Thursday, June 25, 2009


Framed by a circle of clouds, this is a stunning illustration of Nature's powerful force.
A plume of smoke, ash and steam soars five miles into the sky from an erupting volcano.
The extraordinary image was captured by the crew of the International.

The round hole in the clouds is thought to have been caused by the shockwave of the initial explosion. At the centre lies the billowing mushroom tower of grey and brown ash.
For volcano experts, the most exciting part of the image is the layer of smooth white cloud that caps the plume - a little like a layer of snow on a mushroom.
This cap of condensed air is created from the rapid rising and then cooling of the air directly above the ash column. When moist, warm air rises quickly it creates a cloud.


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