Last week we made a big step forward in building the volcano. A couple of weeks ago we had the template for the volcano printed on to 48 sheets of A0 paper. We then had to stick the sheets together and cut the contours out. Luckily we had an excellent team, so with the addition of lots of strong coffee and cookies, the job was done!
We then handed the paper templates and sheets of plywood to Rob and Lewis, two local builders who “like a challenge”. They spent their Saturday cutting the plywood and thinking of the next stage in the build plan.
In other volcano news, a massive volcanic eruption on Io, a moon that orbits Jupiter, was spotted by the Keck II telescope in Hawaii. Lava was erupted hundreds of miles into the air and covered an area of approximately 11.5 square miles – massive by Earth standards! Io is covered in volcanoes that erupt almost all the time. The moon is heated by the powerful effect of gravitational squeezing from the sheer mass of Jupiter which generates a lot of heat and hence volcanism. The relatively low gravity and the little to no atmosphere on Io means that volcanic plumes can rise much higher than we see on Earth – the image below shows one such eruption that occurred a few decades ago and was recorded by the Voyager 1 probe.
Volcanoes often cause a lot of headaches for airports – anyone remember the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull? Well, this time a geothermal vent decided to open up near Rome’s International Fiumicino airport. So far it has just erupted steam, mud and water – but the region is well known for it’s volcanic activity. The nearest possibly active volcanic system is the Monti Albani, although the last eruption occurred around 7000 years ago.
And finally, here’s some of the research done by Jon Stone, one of the Norfolk Firework Volcano team. He is using community participation to help monitor volcanoes using kites and quadcopters, a great example of citizen science! Here’s a video of his “volcanocopter” exploits on the UEA campus: