Stunning photo shows Antarctica bathed in pink light after volcano spews particles into atmosphere
Aerosols from the Tongan eruption in January likely turned skies pink in Antarctica. This photo shows Scott Station.
- Antarctic skies have turned pink and purple in the past week, as seen in a stunning photo.
- The change is due to particles released by a volcanic eruption earlier this year.
- The explosion in Tonga also affected skies in other countries.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
The skies over Antarctica have recently turned a spectacular pink color, likely due to aerosols released into the atmosphere by an undersea volcano eruption since the beginning of the year.
Stuart Shaw, a science technician working at Scott Base Antarctica in New Zealand for the winter, uploaded a photo to Instagram on July 7.
“Believe it or not, I haven’t altered those colors either, they’re pretty much as we saw them.” Shaw said, according to The Guardian. “It’s incredible.”
Scott Base and the Tongan Volcano are shown on this map.
The strange color is formed by particles in the atmosphere that can travel great distances and for long periods after a volcano explodes.
A New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) press release explained the phenomenon.
“Stratospheric aerosols can circulate around the world for months after a volcanic eruption, scattering and bending light as the sun dips or rises below the horizon, creating a glow in the sky with hues of pink, blue, purple and purple,” he said.
The institute tracked aerosols over Scott Station on July 7 and found they were abundant in the sky, as shown in the graph below.
The submarine volcano Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai broke out on January 15about 20 miles from land.
The eruption flew away the highest ash plume ever recorded by satellites.
This erupted with about 10 megatons of force. He created a massive ash cloud and tsunami that devastated nearby Tongan villages. At least three people were killed.
Satellites have captured images of an umbrella cloud generated by the submarine eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on January 15, 2022. NASA/NOAA
Aerosols from volcanic eruptions can persist in the sky for about two years, during which time they spread and virtually cover the globe, as by NASA. They reflect sunlight back into space, creating strange colors.
The peculiar color of the sky seen at dusk is known as “afterglow” and is quite common after a volcanic eruption, according to New Zealand experts.
The photo shows Vince’s Cross on Hut Point, erected in remembrance of George Vince, the first person known to have died in Antarctica. Stuart Shaw/Fly on the Wall Images
The color and intensity depend on “the amount of haze and cloudiness along the path of light reaching the stratosphere,” their press release says.
People have reported seeing purple and pink skies in New Zealand and Australia over the past month, The Guardian previously reported.