The Hunga Tonga volcano eruption was tall enough to reach space

Posted at 6:03 AM, Dec 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 07:03:46-05

You may recall seeing some impressive images from the Hunga Tonga volcano earlier this year when a huge eruption rocked part of the Pacific Ocean. Scientists can now confirm that the event was truly unique among historic eruptions.

When the volcano blew its top on January 15, the plume of smoke and ash shot far into the atmosphere. Water vapor from the eruption reached the edges of space. That's something that no volcanic eruption on Earth has ever achieved before.

Large eruptions are sometimes known to produce lightning, which can lead to dazzling photography opportunities. The lightning produced during the Honga Tunga eruption contained the highest concentration of lightning ever measured.

The Global Lightning Detection Network, managed by Vaisala Inc., indicated that there were at least 400,000 lightning strikes in the vicinity of the volcano on January 15.

Geophysicists have described the findings as once in a lifetime.