Iceland's Ashen Anomalies
If Iceland's Eyjafjallajškull Volcano hasn't produced enough of an epic scene from its eruption, then what can be seen in the skies above are borderline biblical. Lack of air traffic has left the skies over Europe a deeper shade of blue, inspiring onlookers to pause and contemplate its unbelievable clarity that later gives way to the dazzling light of stars at night. Britain's poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, writes of this clarity: "Five miles up the hush and shush of ash/Yet the sky is as clean as a white slate/I could write my childhood there."
The sight of unending blue isn't the only spectacle in the heavens, brilliant arrays of Northern lights stream across the sky over the volcano.
Perhaps the most mysterious of these sights, though, are flashes of lightning, seemingly from the mouth of Eyjafjallajškull. It is theorized that particles within the volcano, such as rock, ice, and ash, create friction that is eventually discharged to form the awesome storms from the eruption. All over the world others continue to watch what other volcanic displays unfold via live webcam transmissions.Slideshows of the auroral display can be viewed here.
Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr Courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.