How Fast Do Gases from Volcanic Eruptions Travel?
ES0906  Detecting Gases
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is one of the gases that exploded from Mount Pinatubo's summit. Its presence in the atmosphere increases the acidity of rain. The gas is invisible to humans, but instruments on satellites can detect it.
An Earth-observing satellite

Every day, NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instruments measure the concentration of gases such as SO2 over most of the planet. A series of TOMS instruments on different Earth-observing satellites has provided a long-term record of gases in the atmosphere.

To see what happened to the SO2 that erupted from Mount Pinatubo, you’ll examine an animation of daily TOMS images that were collected following the eruption.

Click here to find out more about TOMS.

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