One of the most violent but beautiful reminders that we live on a geologically restless planet are volcanic eruptions. Around 550 volcanoes have erupted at least once in historic times, and around 50 or 60 are active each year. On any given day, as many as 10 volcanoes may be spewing ash or lava somewhere on Earth.
Some volcanoes, such as Mount Etna in Italy, erupt almost constantly for years on end. Others, like Mount St. Helens, erupt rarely and sometimes extremely destructively. Like Etna and Mount St. Helens, many of the most dangerous and explosive erupters are stratovolcanoes, which are made of layers of ash and lava from previous eruptions. They tend to be steep-sided cone-shaped volcanoes and often rise strikingly above the surrounding landscape.
Many of the stunning images of eruptions captured from space are of violent stratovolcanoes, such as the one above of Kliuchevskoi, the most active volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. The image above was taken by astronauts on the space shuttle Endeavour in 1994, as an eruption was just getting underway. The ash plume reached as high as 50,000 feet.
While obviously ridiculous for any number of reasons, a company called Moon Publicity is insisting that they are developing what they call ‘shadow shaping’ technology - which would allow them to place your advertisement on the Lunar surface. A robotic rover would basically leave impressions on the Moon’s surface with it’s wheels, which are designed to be visible from the Earth due to the shadow cast. The rover drives around, creates your ad or logo, and terrestrial viewers run out to buy your product. When time is up on your ad, I assume, things raked smooth somehow and the space is sold again.
Somewhere, a true ninja is crying at the mere thought of this.
The video footage, taken from a fixed camera attached to the balloon, and one mounted on Kittinger’s helmet, is stunning. As Kittinger spins violently round (in one of the earlier jumps he lost consciousness after spinning at 120rpm), the earth flashes round against the blackness of space, sudden blinding bursts of sunlight scatter hexagon lens flares. Viewed from the balloon, the figure of Kittinger against the white expanse of clouds seems helpless, one man against nature. .::newsfeed.kosmograd->