Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2003 April 16
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Magma Bubbles from Mt. Etna
Credit & Copyright: Marco Fulle (Stromboli online)

Explanation: Mt. Etna erupted spectacularly in 2001 June. Pictured above, the volcano was photographed expelling bubbles of hot magma, some of which measured over one meter across. One reason planetary geologists study Earth's Mt. Etna is because of its likely similarity to volcanoes on Mars. Mt. Etna, a basalt volcano, is composed of material similar to Mars, and produces similar lava channels. Located in Sicily, Italy, Mt. Etna is not only one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, it is one of the largest, measuring over 50 kilometers at its base and rising nearly 3 kilometers high.

Tomorrow's picture: Messier's 106th

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.