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Sarychev Peak 2009
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Summary: On June 12, 2009, Russia's Sarychev Peak volcano erupted, hurling an enormous plume of ash and sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. This has produced some unusually beautiful sunrises and sunsets around the northern hemisphere. When the sun goes down, delicate ripples of white appear over the western horizon. Then, as twilight deepens, the sky turns a lovely shade of "volcanic lavender." Fine volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere scatter blue light which, when mixed with ordinary sunset red, produce the lavender hue. Other signs to look for include a bright yellow "twilight arch" and long crepuscular rays and shadows.

  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Benjamin Poupard,
Merfy, near Reims, France
Jun. 30, 2009

Difficult to stay concentrated on the Moon with such a dramatic sunset !

Photo details: Konica Milnolat Dynax 5D, 100 ISO, 1/15s exp. automatic white balance, and NO post-color corection

Paul Laak,
Republic, Washington
Jun. 30, 2009
#1, #2, #3, #4, more

I had read about the white ripples of volcanic sunsets just that morning. And there they were that next night!

Paul Seifert,
Fargo, ND
Jun. 30, 2009

Taken out my apartment window with a Pentax K100D and 16-45mm lens (set at 16mm). Note the shadows on the right from lower clouds.

Rafael Gallego,
Carrión de los Céspedes, Sevilla, España (Spain)
Jun. 30, 2009
#1, #2, #3, #4

Hello everybody!!! As every day, I checked the web this afternoon. I read the volcanic sunset news, and thought "I wish the ash come down to this latitude" (I live in Carrión de los Céspedes, Seville, Spain, 37.2210°N, 6.1940°W... no good place to see noctilucent clouds, for example). So, no hope to see this beautiful sunset... But, later, near the sunset, I went out and I could see some strange clouds, "ripples of white"!!! "Wow!! If is this the previous to the volcanic sunset?" I thought, so I waited a while and "voilà", the purple sunset showed to me. Unbelievable, It was perfect and so beautiful...

Photo details: Sony DSC-V1 camera, a compact camera, 5 mpx, 100 ASA, with differents exposures. Enjoy it!! I did it!!

John Bunyan,
Golden State Star Party. Adin, CA
Jun. 23, 2009
#1, more

One of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen.

Doug Zubenel,
Kill Creek Park just south of De Soto, Kansas.
Jun. 29, 2009
#1, #2, #3, #4

Yesterday afternoon I could see a faint band of ash from Sarychev Peak stretched low across the northern horizon, and tonight enough of it had moved south to create these twilight phenomena.

Photo details: Canon Rebel XTi with 50, 16, and 300mm lenses @ ISO 100.

more images: from Jurgen de Boer of Amersfoort, Utrecht, Netherlands; from Jens Sveistrup of Birkerød, Denmark; from Doug Zubenel of Western Lenexa, Kansas; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky; from Viktor Voropaev of Krasnogorsk, near Moscow, Russia;