NASA Tracks Volcanic Ash with Satellites
Volcano eruptions can wreak havoc on airplanes that fly through the clouds of ash and sulfur dioxide. The ash, in particular, can destroy a jet engine and even cause it to fail mid-flight. However, it can be difficult to detect the ash clouds, because they often look like ordinary rain clouds on radar and to the pilot's eye. To be cautious, volcanic eruptions are given a wide bearth, leading to costly delays and cancellations. NASA scientist Nickolay Krotkov is developing a new way to map ashes.