Via NASA’s spaceweather.com Here’s something you don’t see every day, in fact it has only been seen once before by the volcano researchers that got the photo. The diameter of the ring must be huge to be visible at the photo distance. I’m estimating about 1-2km in diameter.
On May 1, 2010, 4:17 Pm Volcano Photographers Steve & Donna O’Meara were stunned when they photographed a perfectly shaped Volcanic Smoke Ring blown out by Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Southern Iceland.
Here’s the close up view:
Images ©Steve & Donna O’Meara http://VolcanoHeaven.tumblr.com
“This is a rare phenomenon,” say Steve and Donna. “We’ve only seen it one other time at Italy’s Stromboli volcano in 2001.”
Joseph Licciardi, an earth sciences professor from Oregon State University, was there to see it, too. “The ring was visible for five minutes and then fell apart,” he told the UK Dail Mail. “I am thrilled that I was present at the event.”
In addition to Eyjafjallajokull and Stromboli, volcanic smoke rings have also been observed at Mt Etna. Just how the rings form remains a mystery. It’s possible that bursts of gas through narrow vents would do the job, much like cigar or cigarette smokers blow rings with their mouths.
Smoke rings could soon become more common over Iceland. Eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull are usually followed by even bigger eruptions from the nearby Katla volcano. Indeed, experts are warning that an eruption of Katla may be close at hand. Check the odds!
Here’s smoke rings on Mt. Etna:
You can make smoke rings yourself with common home hardware:
There’s even underwater bubble rings: