Chilean Volcanic Eruption Creates Air Travel Headaches Down Under
After starting to erupt on June 4, a Chilean volcanic complex’s ash cloud is creating a winter of discontent for travelers in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex in central Chile, seen here Saturday morning, has emitted a steady stream of ash, grounding dozens of flights in Australia.
Watch an animation of how the ash has circled the Southern Hemisphere to create a “plume of gloom” hovering in prime Australian airspace.
Ash from the eruption could stay airborne and mess up flights for months, Reuters reports.
This “false-color” satellite image shows low-angled sunlight — 10 days before the hemisphere’s winter solstice — lighting up the plume’s northern side, while the south side is in deep shadow.
NASA’s Earth Observatory describes the coloring of the image:
In this image, low-angled sunlight (10 days before the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere) illuminates the north side of the plume, while the south side is in deep shadow. The ash colum rises from a fissure about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of Puyehue Volcano. The high-altitude lakes to the west of the eruption site are bright blue (likely from ash suspended in the water) and partially covered by floating pumice, a type of volcanic rock permeated with gas bubbles. Ash-covered snow is gray, and vegetation is red.
Image courtesy: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team