Etna in full splendor, 5 August 1997
I have posted this photo before in my Flickr collection , more than 3 years ago, and it has become the most viewed of all of my Flickr photos. So why post it again? Firstly, because some of my new contacts may have not seen it because it is on the very oldest of my photo pages. Secondly, because this is the re-scanned, polished, cleaned, high-resolution version of a photo that has found its way to as far as the front page on a book on natural hazards (1st edition), so you can see it here in unprecedented splendor.
What we see here is the Southeast Crater - youngest and most active of the four summit craters of Etna - erupting on the evening of 5 August 1997. The activity comes from a small cone, maybe 30 to 40 m tall, sitting on the floor of the crater, whose dark rims can be seen around the base of the cone. This cone produced small explosions about once every second, throwing incandescent lava fragments up to 50 m into the air. A tiny lava flow can be seen on the far left side of the cone. In the background is the densely populated Ionian coast of Sicily, including the city of Catania, which is in the right part of the photo, and in the far right distance are the towns of Augusta and Siracusa, up to 80 km away. In the sky near the top left margin of the photo is the planet Venus.
I often think this is my absolutely best photo ever taken on Etna, although there are a few that for some reasons I like better. Certainly this one has come out pretty well. It took some effort to clean, first the slide, and then the scanned photo, from dust, scratches, and even from traces of fungi. Enjoy.
There will be no posts here for the next week, as my family and I will be making some sort of holidays in the Nebrodi Mountains, obviously always with a view on Etna! But if something happens at the volcano, you will learn of it anyway ...
Scanned from original Ektachrome color slide