Tonga volcano plume reaches half-way to space

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London: An indicator of the great power of last Saturday’s volcanic eruption in Tonga is the height reached by its plume.

UK scientists examining weather satellite data calculate it to be around 55km (35 miles) above the Earth’s surface.

This is at the boundary of the stratosphere and mesosphere layers in the atmosphere.

Dr Simon Proud, from RAL Space, said these were “unheard-of altitudes” for a volcanic plume.

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