Italy’s Mount Etna, one of the world’s most-active volcanoes and the tallest active volcano in Europe, erupted twice in less than 48 hours, spewing a fountain of lava and ash into the sky. This image, captured Feb. 18, 2021, by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, has been processed using the mission’s shortwave-infrared band to show the lava flow in bright red.
After Etna’s powerful eruption on Feb. 16, 2021, the volcano produced another spectacular display of fire—with tall lava fountains shooting into the night sky, reaching heights of approximately 700 meters. The first eruption caused large lava flows to descend eastwards into the Valle del Bove, travelling for approximately 4 kilometers, but the second major explosion on Feb. 18 caused the lava also to run for about 1.3 kilometers down the volcano’s southern flanks.
Ash from the eruptions covered the city of Catania, and authorities have been monitoring developments in the nearby towns at the base of the volcano, including Linguaglossa, Fornazzo and Milo. The eruption also forced the temporary closure of Sicily’s Catania Airport, which often happens when the volcano is active.
According to Volcano Discovery, which publishes frequent alerts about seismic activity, the volcano also saw activity on Feb. 19, with lava flows continuing to descend to the south and east.
Image Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2021), processed by ESA.