Bad Astronomy

Iceland volcano eruption making an ash of itself

The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull has erupted for the second time this month, sending a long plume of ash across the north Atlantic into the UK, enough to disrupt air traffic there!

NASA’s Terra satellite caught the plume:

You can easily see the plume extending from Iceland across the ocean.’s The Big Picture has dramatic and beautiful shots of the volcano as well.

I’ve seen a few volcanoes in my time, but I’ve never witnessed an actual eruption. I’d really like to… from a safe distance. This particular eruption is likely to be a big pain to a lot of people for quite some time; there have already been floods and evacuations due to the activity. I feel badly for those folks affected, but I also can’t help but gasp in awe at the beauty of events like these. It always amazes me that violence on such a large scale – volcanoes, solar flares, supernovae, galactic collisions – can also be so beautiful.