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Sky On Fire

By: Doug Zubenel

 

Region: Americas

Site: Kansas - USA

Date: 2008 August 24

After a major volcanic eruption in Alaska, sunsets turned to campfire-red across the US and then in other continents. As noted by the photographer "On August 7 and 8, 2008, the Kasatochi volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands experienced three explosive eruptions, blasting ash and 1.5 million tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere. This cloud of volcanic aerosols made its way southeastward, and arrived over eastern Kansas on the evening of August 22nd. At that time, I had no idea a volcanic eruption had occurred, but thought the clouds looked very odd. The 23rd was cloudy, but on the evening of the 24th, I saw the clouds again, and the delicate rippling structure they presented made me think they were volcanic in origin. I emailed Stephen James O'Meara of Volcano International, asking him if there had been any recent eruptions, and he confirmed that Kasatochi had done so on August 7th. This image illustrates the incredible range of color that results when reddened sunlight illuminates the the volcanic aerosols and mixes with ordinary twilight sky coloration." Doug Zubenel

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