Archive for April, 2010

Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

NASA — The explosive eruptions of huge ash plumes at Eyjafjallajökull Volcano that grounded airplane travel throughout Europe in mid-April 2010 appeared to be declining late in the month. Small plumes continued to be observed in satellite images, such as this one from April 24, but the volume of ash and the heights of the plumes appeared less than before.

When the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this view, the summit of the volcano (image left) was shrouded with brownish-gray ash that contrasted sharply with the white cloud billowing up through the plume. The cloud may be partly steam from the volcano and partly pyrocumulus cloud generated from the heat. The ash cloud is thick over the summit, and it thins to the east. Around the margins of the image, the skies seem relatively clear; the snowy landscape is overlaid with charcoal-colored ash.
The decline in huge ash eruptions has been replaced with new lava flows, which extend between 400 and 500 meters (0.25 to 0.31 miles) north of the summit crater. The lava flow has created a gully in the ice cap that reaches north about 700 meters (0.44 miles).

Icelandic Met Office. (2010, April 26). Conditions and Assessment – 25 April 2010 22:30. Update on Activity Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
NASA image by Jesse Allen & Robert Simmon, using ALI data

Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland

Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland

Iceland Volcano Erupts

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Eyjafjallajokull Volcano In Iceland Erupts

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano In Iceland Erupts

The Ash Plume from Eyjafjallajokull Volcano In Iceland

The Ash Plume from Eyjafjallajokull Volcano In Iceland

NASA’s Terra satellite flew directly over Iceland on April 19, 2010, allowing the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument to capture a series of images of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and its erupting ash plume. The top image is a view from MISR’s nadir (vertical-viewing) camera, and covers an area measuring 412.5 by 279 kilometers (256.3 by 173.4 miles). The bottom image is a stereo anaglyph generated from the nadir and 46-degree forward-viewing cameras. The plume height can be estimated by viewing the anaglyph with red/blue 3-D glasses (place the red filter over your left eye).
In these images, north is at the left, and east at the top. In addition to the main plume, there are some smaller streamers visible to the east (above) it. They are at lower altitude than the main plume. Due to the presence of wind, which causes the plume features to move between successive camera views, the anaglyph gives the misleading impression that they are below the land surface.
An analysis of these data show that the smaller streamers were just several hundred meters above the surface, whereas the main plume extended to an altitude of about 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles).

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has been giving people quite the scare for some time now. It is a belief that the introduction of this product into our diet was the reason for increasing obesity in America; that the simple elimination of the product in our diets would make us lose that extra weight the American public has gained. Like many other Americans I believed this myth that HFCS was worse for you than the other sugars out there: honey, cane sugar, and brown sugar. But like many Americans, I was wrong. I used to read every label that I thought may have HFCS in it, and if it did I would put it back down and refrain from consuming the “evil” substance.

Just this year I have learned that HFCS is not as harmful as I thought it was. However, like other sugars, high fructose corn syrup should only be ingested in small amounts. The main reasoning for manufacturers to use HFCS as opposed to other sugars is that it is cheaper .

When choosing what food to eat, it helps to know what you are actually eating. Some foods that you wouldn’t expect to have sugar in it do, and thus it is still important to be aware of what contents you are actually eating. The best ways to go about doing this are to eat foods that are in their most natural form. This includes organic produce and excludes packaged foods. If you are choosing a food or drink item that has a variety of ingredients it may be important to read the ingredients and nutrition facts as HFCS is becoming more prevalent in foods that were once exempt of sugar additives.

The foods that many kids, and adults, find to be the most delicious are usually those foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. Kids especially are drawn to the sugary drinks and foods that are becoming more prevalent in our grocery stores and fast-food restaurants. Persuading children to eat fresher and healthier foods may be difficult, but will prove to be more beneficial for their health now and in the future. It is important to remember that high fructose corn syrup is still a type of sugar and should only be consumed in moderation.

About the author: Nicole Reising is an intern at the Office of Children’s Health Protection. She is a sophomore studying non-profit management at Indiana University.

Space Trash: NASA Extends Contract With Russia

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

WASHINGTON — NASA has signed a $335 million modification to the current International Space Station contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency for crew transportation, rescue and related services in 2013 and 2014.

The firm-fixed price modification covers comprehensive Soyuz support, including all necessary training and preparation for launch, crew rescue, and landing of a long-duration mission for six individual station crew members.

In this contract modification, space station crew members will launch on four Soyuz vehicles in 2013 and return on two vehicles in 2013 and two in 2014.

Under the contract modification, the Soyuz flights will carry limited cargo associated with crew transportation to and from the station, and disposal of trash. The cargo allowed per person is approximately 110 pounds (50 kilograms) launched to the station, approximately 37 pounds (17 kilograms) returned to Earth, and trash disposal of approximately 66 pounds (30 kilograms).

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