The Extraordinary and Disastrous Eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcano

The Extraordinary and Disastrous Eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcano

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcano in January 2022 was the largest our planet has seen in decades, wreaking destruction on the island nation of Tonga in which the volcano resides. Studies of this volcano can help us understand the causes and effects of such massive eruptions, and may even give insight into the geological processes that have shaped the landscape of Mars.

Media from NASA Earth Observatory On January 15, 2022, the largest volcanic eruption in decades devastated the island nation of Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean. The blast released a massive amount of energy, equivalent to between 4 and 18 megatons of TNT, which is hundreds of times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The explosion created a low-frequency pressure wave that circled the Earth, causing the entire atmosphere to oscillate. Ash has coated the islands, causing a serious shortage of clean drinking water, and a tsunami caused by the eruption wrought widespread damage. The effect on...
Don’t Look Up: A Scientific Review

Don’t Look Up: A Scientific Review

How realistic is Don’t Look Up? What does it tell us about NASA, the importance of peer review, and asteroid-fighting technology in the real world? (Warning: Spoilers Ahead!)

Don’t Look Up, a film released on Netflix in December 2021, provided a metaphorized take on the relationship between the scientific community, the political sphere, and the public in regard to climate change. In a fictionalized United States, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), an astronomer at Michigan State University, and his PhD student, Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), try to warn the public about a comet, first discovered by Dibiasky, scheduled to collide with the Earth in six months. Encountering the ineffectual POTUS Orlean (Meryl Streep) anda CEO tech billionaire, Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance), only concerned with making a profit, Mindy...