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News Link • Natural Disasters

Watch the 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens From Space


It always amazes me how much our coverage of volcanic eruption has changed in that time as there is not a single video or film of the eruption. The most famous images of the landslide and the eruption that followed are actually a series of stills that, in recent years, have been digitally stitched together. To think of an eruption of this magnitude today in the lower 48 states not getting a full series of camera of all varieties trained at it is hard to imagine, but in 1980, this is what we ended up having to capture the most important American eruption in the last 50 years.

One view that we've grown accustomed during most current volcanic eruptions are those amazing shots from space. The NASA Earth Observatory is filled with amazing images of volcanoes erupting that capture the scale at which these events occur. Even shots of the aftermath of an eruption can be fascinating, like this one of Ontake in Japan right after the eruption that killed almost 50 people. This easy access to shots of eruptions from space are a fairly new phenomenon and the 1980 eruption isn't really known for spaceborne shots of the event.

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