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Ash Plume from Mount Etna – December 7th, 2010

37.7N 14.9E

December 7th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Sediments, Volcanoes

Mount Etna, Italy - December 7th, 2010

Mount Etna, capped with snow, can be seen on the eastern end of Sicily, Italy. At the time this image was taken, winds were blowing a small ash plume due east.

The northern and southern coasts of Sicily are flanked by tan and green sediments. Part of the tip of the Calabria region and the Strait of Messina are also visible.

Mountains of Sicily and Calabria, Italy – December 12th, 2009

38.0N 15.5E

December 12th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Italy - November 18th, 2009

Italy - November 18th, 2009

Part of the region of Calabria is visible to the upper right in this orthorectified image, at the very south of the Italian peninsula. It is connected to the rest of Italy by the Monte Pollino massif, while on the east, south and west it is surrounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas.

The region is a long and narrow peninsula which stretches from north to south for 248 km, with a maximum width of 110 km. Some 42% of Calabria’s area, corresponding to 15,081 km2, is mountainous, 49% is hilly, while plains occupy only 9% of the region’s territory.

It is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina, where the narrowest point between Capo Peloro in Sicily and Punta Pezzo in Calabria is only 3.2 km.

The island of Sicily is also characterized by a densely mountainous landscape. The main mountain ranges are Madonie and Nebrodi in the north and Peloritani in the north-east, whereas the south-eastern Hyblaean are considered geologically as a continuation of the Italian Apennines. The volcano Mount Etna is located near the eastern shores.

Sicily in Early Autumn – November 20th, 2009

November 20th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Sicily, Italy - October 7th, 2009

Sicily, Italy - October 7th, 2009

The Italian island of Sicily shows more green vegetation in this image, taken in early autumn, than it does in the hotter and drier summer months (click here for an image of the area in summer). The skies are virtually cloud free, and the summit and flanks of Mount Etna are clearly visible as a dark brown area near the eastern shores.

In the upper right corner, the Strait of Messina separates Sicily from the Italian mainland region of Calabria. Also visible near the top of the image are the Aeolian Islands, also known as the Lipari Islands, arranged in an arched shape in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Summer Landscape of Sicily – July 29th, 2009

37.3N 14.6E

July 29th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Italy - July 26th, 2009

Italy - July 26th, 2009

Sicily is the autonomous region of Italy with the greatest land area, at 25,708 square kilometres (9,926 sq mi), and also the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Sicily is directly adjacent to the Italian region of Calabria, via the Strait of Messina to the east.

Sicily’s position means that it enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild to warm, wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. The Sicilian terrain in this image, taken midsummer, appears mostly tan in color. The lack of sediments flowing into the surrounding sea also indicates that there has not been significant rainfall recently.

Sicily and its small surrounding islands are highly significant in the area of volcanology. Mount Etna, located in the east, is the only volcano on mainland Sicily; with a height of 3,320 m (10,900 ft) it is the tallest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world.

As well as Etna, there are several non-volcanic mountain ranges in Sicily: Sicani to the west, Eeri in the central area and Hyblaean in the south-east. Across the north of Sicily there are three others: Madonie, Nebrodi and Peloritani.

The Aeolian Islands to the north-east are volcanically significant with Stromboli currently active, also in the Tyrrhenian Sea are the three dormant volcanos of Vulcano, Vulcanello and Lipari.

Off the Southern coast of Sicily, to the right, the island country of Malta is visible as well.

Algal Bloom Along Southern Coast of Sicily – November 27th, 2008

November 27th, 2008 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

Sicily, Italy - November 26th, 2008

Sicily, Italy - November 26th, 2008

Here, an algal bloom along the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, from the city of Marsala (west) to Portopalo di Capo Passero (east).

The bloom trails out into the ocean from the southeast, curving down towards the island nation of Malta (below).

The eastern coast of Sicily, on the other hand, is free of algae. Near this coastline, we can see some snowfall on Mount Etna as well as some smoke blowing eastward from the volcano. In the northeast tip of the island we can also see the Strait of Messina, between Sicily and mainland Italy.

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