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An astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has captured a stunning photo of a snow-circled hydrothermal lake above the realistic ‘Mount Dome’ in New Zealand.
Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand’s largest activist volcano The location used to portray Mount Doom in the films “The Lord of the Rings” is in the heart of Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the center of New Zealand’s North Island. Other parts of the park were also used to depict the evil world of Mordor in Peter Jackson’s cinematic adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy epic.
An unidentified astronaut, who was part of the Expedition 65 crew aboard the International Space Station, captured the stunning new image on September 23, 2021, as the International Space Station passed over the volcano. The photo was posted online on September 18 this year NASA Earth Observatory (Opens in a new tab).
The hydrothermal lake sits atop Mount Ruapehu, known as Crater Lake, or Te Wai ā-moe, between the mountain’s three main peaks, which reach an elevation of 9,177 feet (2,797 metres) above sea level. The deep magma chamber inside the volcano heats the lake, and as a result, temperature The lake is between 59 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 45 degrees Celsius). The lake is also highly acidic, with a pH of less than 1, due to large amounts of volcanic gases that dissolve in the water, according to the Earth Observatory.
Crater Lake is important to geologists who monitor the volcano’s threat level. A hydrothermal lake is the only accessible part of the volcanic system that researchers can study, and rapid fluctuations in water temperatures can reflect changes in activity below the volcano’s snowy peak.
In June, the alert level for Mount Ruapehu was raised from “small volcanic disturbances” to “moderate to severe volcanic disturbances,” according to the geological hazard information website. GeoNet (Opens in a new tab), after a small swarm of earthquakes under the volcano. During this time, the water temperature in Crater Lake rose sharply, reaching a peak temperature of 104 F (40 C).
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But the alert level was lowered in July after the water temperature dropped to 75 F (24 C). Based on temperature changes in the lake, experts believe the surge in activity was the result of a brief intrusion of magma into the chamber below the volcano, according to the Earth Observatory.
This is not the first time that real volcanoes have mixed with fictional places in Middle-earth.
In 2021, researchers discovered the remains of a deep-sea caldera belonging to a long-extinct underwater volcano. the team Nicknamed “Ein Sauron” Because of its resemblance to the all-seeing eye from the movie “Lord of the Rings”.
Originally published on Live Science.