Mount Etna has been spewing lava across Sicily for weeks during a series of eruptions captured by a large number of Earth-orbiting satellites.
Etna, the most active volcano in all of Europe, has been erupting since 2011. The latest series began on February 16. The volcano erupted that day, again on February 18 and again between February 20 and 23. During these eruptions, lava fountains shot up into the night sky, reaching 0.4 miles (0.7 kilometers) in height at the beginning of the month and reaching 0.9 miles (1.5 km) above the top of the volcano. at the end of the month.
These most recent eruptions “were among the most violent in the young history of the southeastern crater,” Marco Neri, a volcanologist at Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, said in a NASA statement.
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Earth observation satellites were eager to see the smoke, ash and lava spewed by the volcano. On February 18, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite of the NASA / US Geological Survey took a natural-color view of the volcano, which was overlaid with infrared data to show the warm areas (or points where lava had broken through). ).
Also on February 18, the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, which is made up of two satellites, observed the eruption. European satellites captured a moment that, using infrared images, showed the lava in bright red and orange.
A few days later, as Etna erupted again on February 23, the NOAA-20 satellite of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration took an image with its VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument that highlights the columns that come from the volcano.
Landsat 8 captured a nighttime image of activity at #MtEtna on February 25, 2021. This image uses the thermal and shortwave infrared bands (bands 10, 7, 6) to show the lava’s heat signature. pic.twitter.com/ryTDbKw0nAMarch 1, 2021
Landsat 8 observed the volcano again on February 25, this time at night. Using shortwave and thermal infrared bands, he was able to show the lava below based on the heat it emanated.
While these recent eruptions were impressive, they caused minor disruptions rather than major damage to the surrounding area, according to the NASA statement. Ash from Etna temporarily closed Catania airport and was deposited in Sicily, for example, and local residents had to deal with falling ash and rocks.
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