Spectacular Images of Raikoke Volcanic Eruption Taken from Space

The International Space Station has caught incredible photos of a volcano erupting in Russia's archipelago.

On 22 June, Raikoke volcano erupted unexpectedly into a huge plume of smoke and ash.

The volcano is based in the archipelago of the Kuril Islands, part of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.

Given its location, not many on Earth caught the spectacular sight, but up in space, astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) caught the moment through stunning photographs. 

RELATED: 10 BREATHTAKING PHOTOS TAKEN FROM SPACE

The eruption was a display of the classic shape of volcanic plume rising up into the air. Aircraft and satellite data deem the ash could have gone up 8 to 10 miles into the air. 

Spectacular Images of Raikoke Volcanic Eruption Taken from Space
Raikoke as seen from space on June 22. Source: Earth Observatory/NASA

Simon Carn, a volcanologist at Michigan Tech in a NASA Earth Observatory post that the ash at the top of the plume is surrounded by a white cloud. This cloud could likely be water vapor condensing out of the air; alternatively, it could be steam from the hot bright orange magma entering the water. Simon also tweeted about the volcanic ash:

Why is this of any importance, given the islands are uninhabited and no one in the surrounding area is impacted?

Volcanic plumes that can reach up to the stratosphere, such as Raikoke's, and are particularly interesting to volcanologists as they can impact aviation and climate

A little bit of info about Raikoke

The uninhabited island's peak is at 1,808 feet and is part of the Kuril Islands. The archipelago spans from Russia to Northern Japan and sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

This is the exact spot where the Pacific tectonic plate meets other tectonic plates, thus making it the area most prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the world.

Spectacular Images of Raikoke Volcanic Eruption Taken from Space
Raikoke as seen from space on June 22. Source: Earth Observatory NASA

This is not Raikoke's first display of magma.

It had major eruptions in 1924, and 1778. The Kuril Islands also have other volcanoes, naturally, and in 2009, Sarychev volcano also erupted, caught on camera by ISS flying over it. 

If you're in the area, the plume of smoke and ash from Raikoke's recent eruption is moving across the Bering Sea, as per the European Space Agency

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