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There are few things more beautiful - or terrifying - than the menacing flash of lightning bolts within a volcanic ash cloud.
The latest picture, captured by an amateur photographer as the Colima volcano in Mexico spews out a plume of ash and lava, reveals the raw power of a volcanic eruption.
Hernando Rivera Cervantes took the pictures as local authorities warned those living around the volcano, which is also known as the Fire volcano, to prepare for a possible evacuation.
Mr. Cervantes spent eight hours watching the volcano as it threw ash up to 1.8 miles (three kilometres) into the atmosphere before managing to capture the rare picture.
Earlier this month scientists discovered that it is this lightning that is responsible for making the glass spheres that can appear in volcanic rocks. They found that the intense heat generated by the lightning bolts causes the ash to melt into spherules of smooth glass.
A bolt of volcanic lighting can heat the surrounding air to more than 3,000°C, according to the researchers from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Dr. Kimberly Genareau, a volcanologist at the University of Alabama, said their findings suggested that the role lightning plays in volcanic eruptions may be under reported. Writing in the journal Geology, she said: 'We refer to this new morphological classification of ash grains as lightning-induced volcanic spherules (LIVS).
originally posted by: pheonix358
Um ... why does the lava flow suddenly 'go out'.
The lava flow on the right is there in the first pick and then vanishes in the second and third pick.
Very strange, almost looks like photoshop work.
originally posted by: dezertdog
a reply to: NthOther
The first picture went straight to my desktop.
I'm a freak for all things lightening!