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A Sicilian volcanic eruption photographed from the space station

Enlarge Image credit: ESA/NASA MORE IMAGES

Mount Etna, which has a long rap sheet of eruptions stretching back more than 2,700 years, is still at it. The 3,300-meter volcano on the island of Sicily remains a highly active volcano, erupting several times in just the past decade.

The restless volcano began oozing lava once again on January 12, according to Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. No injuries were reported, according to United Press International, but Etna's plume did force the temporary closure of a Sicilian airport. Etna's activity has not always been so benign; a 1669 eruption killed an estimated 20,000 people.

As the International Space Station cruised over southern Europe on January 14, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency got a firsthand look at his home country's tallest volcano. Nespoli snapped the above photograph from orbit, about 350 kilometers above Earth. Etna's plume is visible trailing off to the left; the landmass on the right side of the image is the tip of the Italian mainland.

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