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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Smoking Smoke Rings: Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy, and More

      This week, Partial Ellipsis of the Sun presents a photo collection of spectacular geological and meteorological images. Firstly, smoke rings from Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy. These images are from Andrew Rader. Mount Etna is erupting for the second time this month. Wow, huh?



   

     Next, this pyroclastic flow deposit is located in "Poseidon's Gardens" on the island of Ischia, Italy. Ischia, just off the coast from Naples and Mount Vesuvius, is dominated by Mount Epomeo. This deposit shows the violent nature of pyroclastic flows and the turbulence and deformation possible within these volcanic features. These volcanic layers were deposited about 10,000 years ago. The layers were deformed as the flow slid down the side of the mountain, or possibly, as the soft sediments were covered by a more viscous lava flow during the same eruption. Oooh la la! {Photos by Drew Patrick.}







      From Poseidon's Gardens to "Poseidon's Fury" in these gargantuan crashing waves around Bell Rock lighthouse in Angus, Scotland (photographer unknown). . .Whoa.



      And, lastly, from much calmer seas, a large slab of extinct Paleozoic ammonites and belemnites from Morocco (photos by me).





Have you seen a spectacular geologic or meteorologic image this week? Please share a link!

Steph


33 comments:

  1. Thanks, Steph! I reblogged by link here: https://topofjcsmind.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/mount-etna-and-more/. I included a link to the Smith Alumnae Chorus visit to Etna in my post. There was a bit of ash but not a big eruption at that time.

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    1. Thanks for reblogging, Joanne. I enjoyed your photos near Mt. Etna, especially the one with you, Mary, and Trisha.

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  2. More fun visualizations. As always, though, the problem with astronomy is that it involves being up late, often in the cold, and having to wait for clear skies.

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    1. Wow, that's cool. Thanks, jan.

      Interesting you brought up the clear skies. We've been studying famous scientists in kindergarten all month and today was Neil DeGrasse Tyson. We moved into the realm of live scientists today after Mary Somerville, Rosalind Franklin, and Bob Boyle.

      One kid's mom picked him up early and he was telling her about Rosalind Franklin.

      "Franklin Roosevelt?"

      "No, mom, Rosalind Franklin!!"

      It made my heart happy to hear how adamant he was. . .

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  3. Re: "Have you seen a spectacular geologic or meteorologic image this week? Please share a link!..."
    Yes.

    Can people who live in the vicinity of Mt. Etna buy home insurance?

    Thanks for the "Seven Extraordinary Women Scientists" link, Steph. YouYou Tu? Yo-Yo Ma!

    LegoWhoHasFondMemoriesOfHisFatherBlowingSmokeRings...TheSolePositiveSideOfHis"SmokingLikeVesuvius"Habit

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    1. > Can people who live in the vicinity of Mt. Etna buy home insurance?

      Health insurance, maybe. If you want home insurance, it may more prudent to live in a less geologically active place.

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    2. Yes, good point, jan. For home insurance that is probably the more prudential choice.

      LegoWhoBuiltHisHomeOnAFoundationOfShiftingSilicaAndMoltenLava(ByTheWayDoesNonMoltenLavaExist?)

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    3. Yes. Aa and pahoehoe are both basaltic lavas.

      Nice smoke ring memories, lego.

      And, yes, insurance just cracks me up, too, jan.

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  4. Replies
    1. Coral is an animal, so why is it being planted, and why was this brought to my attention by a geologist?

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    2. "Planted," how about that, Paul?

      {Spoke the bot(anical), evermore. . .}

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    3. This seems related to the above coral "planting" thread:

      "The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore, so it eats it. It's rather like getting tenure."

      --Daniel Dennett, philosopher, writer, and professor (born March 28, 1942)--

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  5. A Love Letter to Dictionaries

    Don't miss the story of the "Backwards Dictionary," a compendium of over 300,000 words typed out backwards.

    {Kory Stamper, the featured writer, is a Smith College graduate who is originally from Colorado.}

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    1. Speaking of venerating reference works, I'm finally getting to the end of Stephenson's Seveneves. There's a character named Sonar Taxlaw, for the volume of the Encyclopaedia Britannica that's her bailiwick.

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    2. Sonar Taxlaw--that's awesome.

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  6. Colorado and the Fritchle: 38 percent (!) of cars in the U.S. were electric in 1900.

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    1. 40% were steam-powered and a mere 22% were gas-powered. . .

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  7. Replies
    1. It's April 1. Google Maps lets you play Ms PacMan on your street grid. All sorts of odd phenomena abound. Beware fake news!

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    2. I know. Isn't it fun? Did you hear the "Dirt Chefs" on NPR this morning? April, thy name is mud.

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  8. Who knew there was such a thing as an International Cloud Atlas? And, just as paleontologists can rearrange the dinosaur family tree, and astronomers can kick Pluto out of the solar system, the World Meteorological Organization can, in their just-released update, declare whole new species of clouds.

    Their names sound like Professor Flitwick's spells at Hogwarts. (Can you see Hermione waving her wand, shouting "Volutus! Asperitas! Flammagenitus!"?

    I like Cavum, commonly termed "hole in a cloud", largely because CAVU is an old aeronautical term, meaning "ceiling and visibility unrestricted".

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    1. Clouds are great. I don't see any Mickey Mouse or puppy dog or cat whisker clouds listed though. .

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    2. They probably got rid of Mickey Mouse around the same time the astronomers dumped Pluto, right?

      I think cat whisker clouds are Cirrus fibratus.

      That Cavum picture looks like what pilots call a "sucker hole, luring the unsuspecting non-instrument rated into clear air above a cloud layer or, if you're already there, into what looks like a good path to the airport. Amazingly, visual flight rules flight above clouds is legal, but you have to have great confidence in a weather prediction that you'll be able to descend in clear air before your destination. It's called "VFR on top", and has led to many fatalities due to run-ins with cumulogranite (clouds with rocks in them), as well as the inevitable "I Like It On Top" t-shirts at pilot shops.

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  9. New post on "Seven Unusual Landforms from the Giant Blue Eye of the Sahara to the Carnallite Salt Mines of Russia" is now up.

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