Hawaii is known for its monster waves and sunny beaches. But for Earth scientists, the main attraction is a volcano called Kilauea.
The volcano has been spewing lava for the past 25 years. When the molten rock erupts, it also releases loads of toxic gases, including sulfur dioxide. When this gas reacts with oxygen, moisture, and sunlight, it forms vog (volcanic smog), which can be harmful if breathed in.
For the first time, Earth scientists have used remotely controlled weather balloons to measure levels of gases from an erupting volcano. Results from the balloon contained important news for those living downwind of Kilauea: Hours after the gases erupted, low levels of vog were detected above the populated area near the fiery volcano.
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|Date:||Nov 10, 2008|
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