Saturday, January 15, 2011

Latest news given by NASA ABOUT Mt.Etna

Renewed activity at Europe's largest volcano sent ash into the atmosphere and lava flowing down its slopes.  The display by Mount Etna on the island of Sicily was captured in imagery taken by NASA's Terra satellite.
The image, released by NASA today, was taken on January 11th as the mountain began spewing ash but before the lava began flowing.  Click on the image to the left to view the satellite photo.
Increased seismic activity led seismologists and volcanologists to believe an event was going to happen and on January 12th Etna came to life.  The impressive eruption was captured in astounding video taken by residents.
The 10,925 foot tall Etna has a long and storied past dating back to 1500 BC.  The Global Volcanism Program documents a regular and near constant history of eruptions, some of which have caused destruction and death.
Mt. Etna’s largest eruption occurred on March 11, 1669 and sent flowing lava down its slopes that buried parts of the city of Catania and killed an estimated 15,000 people.
Since that time only one other eruption of the mountain has caused destruction.  That event, on November 2, 1928, virtually destroyed the village of Mascali.  Many other sizeable eruptions have occurred but population centers have luckily escaped devastation.

Satellite image of the eruption of Mount Etna on January 11, 2011. Click the image for a larger view.
Photo: NASA

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