Mount Redoubt, an Alaskan volcano, has been erupting for over a week. On Monday a satellite captured its latest emission: A huge plume of ash that locals said came with a smell of sulfur.
The image above was snapped by GeoEye-1, a commercial satellite. Located about 100 miles southwest of the city of Anchorage, the over 10-thousand-foot-tall Mt. Redoubt has been spewing steam and ash high into the atmosphere, but now NASA reports that its emissions are closer to Earth. This plume is extremely dark, which suggests the mountain is mostly erupting with ash instead of steam this week. And that's not very good news. According to NASA:
Volcanic ash consists of tiny shards of rocks and volcanic glass. Extremely abrasive and mildly corrosive, this kind of ash can even conduct electricity when wet, sometimes leading to electrical outages. Winds can easily carry volcanic ash hundreds or even thousands of kilometers from the eruption site.
So the ash we're seeing here is potentially quite dangerous. Below is another satellite image of the Redoubt eruption, taken last week.