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Images From Above: Iceland's Erupting Volcano

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland
The Grimsvotn ash plume casts a shadow to the west in this NASA satellite image.
(Image: © NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response)

As Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano erupts for the third day, NASA Goddard released satellite images showing the ash plume from space.

In the first image, acquired on May 22 by the NASA MODIS satellite, the erupting plume casts a shadow to the west. Two additional images reveal the ash plume, which caused the closure of Iceland's largest airport yesterday.

The eruption is reminiscent of last year's Eyjafjallajokul eruption in its potential to disrupt European travel, but Grimsvotn's ash is coarser than Eyjafjallajokul's, wrote Erik Klemetti, a professor of geosciences at Denison University, in his blog, Eruptions. That could be one factor keeping the ash from disrupting travel as severely as last summer's eruption did. So far, the only flight cancellations outside of Iceland have been in Scotland, where Loganair cancelled 36 flights set for Tuesday, The Telegraph reported.

A NASA satellite captures the ash plume from the Grimsvotn volcano eruption in Iceland on May 22. (Image credit: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response)

Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano erupts on May 22, 2011. (Image credit: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response)

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