Dramatic image of Eyjafjallajökull ash cloud

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May 7 2010 6:27 AM

Dramatic image of Eyjafjallajökull ash cloud

Some volcanoes just don't know when to stop. Like Eyjafjallajökull:

terra_Eyjafjallajokull

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[Click to envulcanate.]

This image is from NASA's Terra satellite, and was taken on May 6 (yesterday). The border of Iceland is outlined, and you can see the ash plume carries on for hundreds of kilometers. Air travel is being grounded yet again.

Interestingly, according to the NASA site, volcanoes this far north don't affect global climate much. Air currents rise at low to mid-latitudes, and sink in the high latitudes, so the aerosol particles that can cool the atmosphere (like sulfur dioxide) don't get spread globally in eruptions like this one. But the ash particles do make it to Europe, causing havoc there.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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