Category Archives: Earth from Space

Krakatoa, from space

On August 26-27, 1883, a small island in the Indian Ocean obliterated itself in one the most notorious volcanic eruptions in history. Krakatau (often spelled Krakatoa) erupted with such violence that two-thirds of the island, about 23 square kilometers, sank into the Sunda Strait. The explosions heard in the 1883 eruption remain the loudest noise on human record. The sound was heard across the Indian Ocean, as far away as Rodriguez Island, 4,653 kilometers (2,891 miles) to the west, and Australia, 3,450 kilometers (2,144 miles) to the east. The massive eruption also generated a series of tsunamis, which produced waves as high as 30 meters (98 feet) tall.

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Pale Blue Dot

The farthest spacecraft from Earth, NASA’s Voyager 1 Notes 1 probe took a photo of planet Earth in 1990, from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40 AU) from Earth. The photo is known as the Pale Blue Dot. In the photograph, Earth is shown as a fraction of a pixel (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space. It was a part of the solar system Family Portrait series of images.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, at the request of Carl Sagan Notes 2.

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