Magazine article Technology and Children

Watching a Volcano from Space

Magazine article Technology and Children

Watching a Volcano from Space

Article excerpt

This September, Mount Saint Helens erupted. This mountain is an active volcano. When Mount Saint Helens speaks, people listen! Mount Saint Helens is in Washington State. Back in 1980, Mount Saint Helens exploded suddenly and violently, blowing its whole top off. The ashes from the eruption rose 11 miles into the air. In only three days they reached the East Coast of the United States--some 3000 miles away!

The current eruption has been much smaller and gentler--at least so far. Hot lava from deep inside Earth is oozing up inside the volcano's crater. Small earthquakes occur around the mountain every day due to the movement of lava beneath the surface. Sometimes gas and ash explode through to the surface sending small ash-steam plumes several thousand feet high. Even though the volcano is not likely to explode as it did in 1980, people living near the volcano want scientists to keep a close eye on it.

All this activity gives scientists a chance to learn more about volcanoes. A good, safe place to do this is from space. Especially useful would be a telescope that could somehow look down and see hot spots. …

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