Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time-lapse video: Eyjafjallajökull volcanic ash hides Aurora Borealis

On 21 March 2010, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland erupted for the first time in 200 years, launching lava into the skies. It was enough to trigger evacuations and close airspace across the country.

Soon thick plumes of dust and ash billowed further out, bringing European airspace to a standstill between 15 and 20 April. The economies of many countries were hit hard by the severe travel disruption it caused.

Despite the chaos, the eruption was also stunning to witness. Pétur Guðmundsson, a photographer and filmmaker from Iceland, produced this motion time-lapse in early May 2010 as the volcano continued to spew out ash.

Using a digital SLR camera positioned on a dolly, he captured a picture every few seconds as the camera was moved really slowly to create a motion effect. At one point, a lightening strike dramatically lights up the plume.

The eruption was declared officially over in October 2010 by Ármann Höskuldsson, a volcanologist at the University of Iceland.

According to Höskuldsson, although there are currently some steam and gas emissions in the summit area, there are no signs of imminent volcanic activity and it's considered to be dormant.

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