The NASA image shows the massive ash plume as it looked from outer space during June 2011.
And if you look toward the top right of the photo, you’ll also see mountains covered in ash and mountain lakes that are half gray which means they’re covered in pumice. That’s the heavier rock type stuff that dropped to the ground while the lighter ash kept shooting up.
This volcanic eruption resulted in some cancelled flights over South America and as far away as Australia.
Speaking of Australia–Jason Reilley of Tasmania posted the following picture of the volcanic sunset he saw in his skies.
The hallmark of a volcanic sunset is purple in the sky like you see in Jason’s picture.
Why Sunsets Are So Colorful, Why Volcanic Sunsets Are Purple
Everything in the air acts like a filter to impact the colors of sunsets around the world. This can be smoke, sea salt, dust, ice particles and anything else that’s floating around. Each one shades things a certain way.
Volcanic ash shades things in such a way that purple often appears around sunset. Cool.
Ash does travel around the world in a matter of days. And although I think most of the ash will circulate south of the equator–keep an eye on your local skies just in case! And if you see any purple: firstname.lastname@example.org is the address for those pics!
For tons of cool info on what’s happening in our skies, visit one of my all time favorite sites: www.spaceweather.com