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Mount Etna - Sicily

This active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily is almost always venting steam into the atmosphere. Stratovolcanoes form as alternating layers of volcanic ash and lava flows come from their central vents and cool to form rock. During one eruption in 1969 fragments up to 1 meter (about 3 feet) across were ejected from the volcano. This image was acquired by Space Shuttle astronauts, and is slightly enhanced to bring out details in the volcano. Mount Etna is over 3000 meters (10,000 feet) high, making it the highest peak in Italy south of the Alps.

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