Aftermath of the Biggest Eruption Ever Seen from Space – Tonga

Aftermath of the Biggest Eruption Ever Seen from Space – Tonga

The aftermath of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Jan 15 2022 eruption.
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#tonga #volcano #HungaTongaHungaHaapai

Image Credits: NASA/JAXA/NOAA/Kingdom of Tonga
Music Credit: Lars Leonhard – Thunderbolt

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30 Responses

  1. JoeySchmidt ATAMAG says:

    Great coverage Alex, far more in depth than most sources regarding this event.

    • Steve JB says:

      I really liked Scott Manley’s video on the topic and it’s still the best I’ve seen so far.
      But I also like how Alex imposed the ash cloud on Europe for scale.

    • JoeySchmidt ATAMAG says:

      @Steve JB Scott’s a fellow Scot, so I have a soft spot lol, but I have seen a few on other channels that are just lacking in details like Alex and Scott included. Anton Petrov did a decent job, but I think he may have kinda rushed it to get it out and missed key items like the 2014 eruption and it’s implications.

    • David Ford says:

      Geology Hub also has been covering this in pretty good detail. Though I admit that he has a rather monotone delivery.

    • This Guy says:

      Scott Manley, geologyhub and Anton Petrov all did a great job. So happy to see astrum covering it too


    The footage taken on top of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai crater are pretty impressive :O
    I never thought someone would have been brave enough to take a walk over there lol

    • Astrum says:

      It hadn’t been active for a few years when that video was taken, and these were a couple of passing by explorers, so they probably just thought they’d risk it. Interestingly, the scientists weren’t ever brave enough to land from what I’ve read.

  3. I-Am-Evil-Morty says:

    This is *by far* the best & most comprehensive coverage I’ve seen on this event. Excellent work, Alex. Seriously

  4. Nick the Random Guy says:

    Its difficult to understand how powerful volcano erruptions really are and yet its so amazing to see.

  5. Thomas Han says:

    Thank you Alex for covering this eruption.
    I鈥檓 a volcanologist and this video is one of the best presentations I鈥檝e seen.
    Even though the boring tables and numbers are left out for general public, there鈥檚 still a lot of in depth information.

    • Scott Rogers says:

      @Glytch Halcy0n86 Don’t be such a Glytch. Lol.

    • John Chedsey says:

      @Glytch Halcy0n86 Did you know more than one historian wrote about the Civil War? It’s true!

    • D Jones says:

      @Mr. Boomguy Except this video has errors that Scott Manley didn’t make. So, it’s later and less accurate.

    • knightsaberami01 says:

      So question: I noticed along with the rest of the world the wave being pushed NW to SE, was that because of the angle of the eruption? In other words, is it known, if this was a somewhat lateral eruption like Mt. St. Helens?

    • Shane Shanks says:

      I heard not enough ash went into the atmosphere 50 times less than the Alaskan volcano in 1991? 92? So we should fine

  6. drew michael says:

    Very well done and a great summary of the event. Wasn鈥檛 your wheelhouse I would guess but we would never know it by what you just presented. Gifted and talented!

  7. Kuunib says:

    This is really interesting, usually you talk about volcanoes on other planets or moons but now we have a conparison with something here. This also reminds me of the Krakatao eruption.

  8. Muonium says:

    Important to note that while a shock wave – by definition – travels faster than the speed of sound in that particular medium, what we see on the satellite image is not a shock wave. It’s just a pressure wave and is traveling at the speed of sound. The initial explosion of the volcano, just like a nuclear detonation, did indeed launch a shock wave into the atmosphere, but shock waves dissipate and slow down rapidly as they propagate, and even by the time it reached the local islands some few tens of miles away it was certainly already a pressure wave traveling at the speed of sound and not a shock wave any longer. Also, while the total energy of this explosion was definitely greater than any nuclear detonation, the peak power was certainly not, with an H bomb reaching vastly higher powers due to the reaction taking place over a mere microsecond or so while a volcanic eruption takes millions of times longer to release its energy.

    • Muonium says:

      @Amzar Nacht um no. A shock wave is a propagating disturbance that moves faster than the speed of sound, accompanied by a discontinuous change in pressure, temperature, and density. A mere pressure wave is the opposite.

    • Majesty says:

      Thanks for pointing this out, particularly about the time taken to release the energy. Few videos seem to mention that the satellite images are 10 minutes apart. So what looks like a rapid explosion and expansion really took about an hour or so. Even knowing this, i still hadn’t applied to directly to my perception of the energy release compared to a nuke, so i appreciate having that cleared up now. Cheers

    • Beatriz Maia says:

      @coffeefish not a significant amount. To be fair, the media is playing this up a bit, I get it they have bills to pay but it’s not like this was 1991 Pinatubo’s eruption (that one did release a worrisome amount of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere). This is a relative phenomenon and the volcano apparently was already kind of on and off weeks prior to this. The big issue here is the need for more measurements in place in order to properly predicts these things and evacuate people with time

    • Beatriz Maia says:

      that was a very interesting explanation thank you. I learned a lot

    • Amzar Nacht says:

      @Muonium Hmmm. The atmospheric stations across the globe seemed to register a marked alteration of pressure (i.e. atmospheric density during and subsequent to), perhaps temperature though that has not been detailed as yet.
      Seems like a shockwave for the basic details you keep trying to correct.

  9. Polynesian Movement says:

    Prayers out to the people of Tonga! Hope they recover from this and come back stronger! Peace to my Polynesian people affected by this volcanic eruption!

  10. The贸d贸r Gunnarsson says:

    According to my experiendce from eruptions in my country, Iceland, the vegetation recovers incredibly fast after being covered in volcanic ash. It is actually incredible. I hope this will be the case in the Tonga islands.

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