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What the Heck Is This?

There's been so much of this sort of thing in the news lately you might have seen this image. If not, no hints.

Give up? Read on…

It's a close-up of the rising ash cloud from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano, as seen from space. The full image is below.

The ash cloud rose 12 miles (20 km) into the air this week. You may remember the even-harder-to-spell Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted last year and disrupted air travel over Europe. Grimsvotn's ash cloud has already reached a higher altitude, according to NASA.

(Truth be told, you might have seen this image on our site yesterday or today.)

Got a strange or interesting photo related to science, nature or technology? What the Heck, send it to me and maybe I'll use it. And you follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

At approximately 17:30 UTC (5:30 p.m. local time) on May 21, 2011, Grimsvotn began to erupt on Iceland. This is a view of the towering ash plume viewed from a Terra satellite. To the southeast (blow and right of the plume), ash has colored the snow surface dark brown, the lower part of the image is dominated by the Atlantic Ocean and clouds unrelated to the volcano. (Image credit: NASA GSFC)
Robert Roy Britt

Robert is an independent health and science journalist and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former editor-in-chief of Live Science with over 20 years of experience as a reporter and editor. He has worked on websites such as and Tom's Guide, and is a contributor on Medium, covering how we age and how to optimize the mind and body through time. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.