Tuesday, September 18, 2007

spectacular volcanic eruption photo

An amazing photo of the volcano Tungurahua (in Ecuador) was posted as today's Astronomy Picture of the Day. (I'm going to link rather than posting the picture; the picture is copyrighted.) You can see lava flows pouring down in all directions, and a blast of dark tephra blowing off to the side. You can see the prevailing wind direction on the photo, too: the wispy clouds (almost lenticular?) are typical of clouds on the windward side of a peak, and there is a little snow on the windward side, as well.

The photo was taken by Patrick Taschler, who has other really beautiful photos of the eruption animated on the front page of his site.


Ben D said...

I think the label 'wow' covered it adequately :). The picture here with the Pleiades in the background (from the same series) is great too.

Kim said...

Wow - that other photo is also spectacular. And the story of taking the photo is also well worth reading.

(Villages wiped out, though? :( It looks like a Strombolian type eruption to me, and I thought that the tephra generally didn't travel that far from the vent in those cases. I guess I'm wrong, in this case at least. :( )

The snow combined with the glowing tephra is particularly stunning. Fire and ice.

magma said...

Very very impressive photo!

The monthly reports page for Tungurahua at the Global Volcanism Program is splendid (and looong). There are some pyroclastic flow maps and photos from July 14 last year, although the damage from July, August & October eruptions last years seems to have been from heavy ashfall. Five people died in the August eruption. :(