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Volcanic sunset…

If you’re a regular visitor to the excellent website “Spaceweather.com” you’ll know that lots of people around the world are enjoying beautiful sunsets at the moment. Why? Well on June 12th a volcano in Russia, called “Sarychev Peak”, erupted, sending huge amounts of smoke, ash, dust and gas up into the air. The eruption was photographed a window-hogging by astronaut looking down from the International Space Station…

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Since then the volcanic material has been swirling around the globe, in great teased-out plumes and streamers. It’s not dangerous, but people living in areas where a plume has passed over them at just the right time have been seeing gorgeous sunsets and dusks. There’s a whole gallery of pictures up on Spaceweather.com, showing sunsets painted pink and violet and lavendar, with subtle streaks of coloured cloud glowing in the west…

I’ve been reading for the past week how one way to tell in advance if YOU might see a “volcanic sunset” yourself is to look for horizontal streaks of pale white/grey cloud in the western sky before the Sun has even set. That means there’s volcanic material above you, and there’s a chance you might see something pretty after sunset. Well, during a visit to my mum up in Cockermouth on Friday night that’s just what Stella and I saw..!

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The cloud streaks are definitely there! A little while later, when the Sun had actually set, there was even more to see in the sky…

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You can see now how the cloud streaks have become tinged pink and red. To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure that they weren’t just “normal” sreaks of cirrus cloud, but photos on Spaceweather.com labelled as “Volcanic sunset clouds” show exactly the same thing, so I’m claiming them! 🙂

A little later still, this is the sunset we saw… not as dramatic or garish as those seen elsewhere in the world, but still pretty, I think…

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Will we see some more beautiful Sarychev sunsets? We’ll just have to wait and see..!

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