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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

Fredrik Holm,
Reykjavík, Iceland
Jul. 10, 2009
#1, #2, more

This night we had a good view of a sunset with influences of ash from Sarychev volcano here in Iceland. The sky was nicely purple during the hours of sunset/sunrise. Canon EOS 30D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm.

Brett Zimmerman,
Middletown, Connecticut, USA
Jul. 9, 2009
#1, #2

Beautiful sunset accentuated by volcanic debris over the western horizon. Fuji Finepix 3500.

Dan Linek,
Brentwood, NY
Jul. 9, 2009
#1, #2

I was a bit skeptical of the sunset last night but the sunset tonight was definitely influenced by volcanic ash. It was the first one I have ever seen and I hope to see more in the coming days

Gary A. Becker,
Coopersburg, PA
Jul. 9, 2009
#1, more

When I first noticed the sky about 20 minutes after sundown on July 9, the NW was bathed in a yellow twilight arch. Within a few minutes lavender began to replace the yellow. By the time I got to my observing site, the NW horizon was bleeding red. Above the red a hint of lavender still remained. The image was taken using a tripod mounted Canon 40D camera with a 10-22mm Canon zoom lens at an EFL of 35mm. The exposure was 2 seconds at F/13, ASA 100.

Gregor Vertacnik,
Vodice, north of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Jul. 9, 2009
#1, #2

This time the display was somehow better than four days ago, although some cumulus and altocumulus clouds obscured the view again. Purple afterglow above the northwestern horizon was the most intense about half an hour after the sunset. Photos were taken by an Olympus E-500 DSLR camera.

Shawn Malone,
Marquette MI USA
Jul. 8, 2009
#1, more

I learned about the volcano sunsets on Spaceweather. When I was out last night watching the sunset, I saw the white streaks in the sky just before sundown, then the sky started turning pink. As the sun got lower, I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen over Lake Superior with rays of fuschia from the volcano.

Paul Evans,
Larne, Northern Ireland
Jul. 8, 2009
#1, more

This volcanic sunset was so obvious - as the clouds cleared the classic orange/purple background became clearer and clearer. Photo taken with Sony DSLR-A700 with 16-105mm lens 1/60th f5.6 ISO800

more images: from Matej Grék of Ostrava, Czech Republic; from Stefan Ponko on the north shore of Orcas Island, WA; from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary; from Vincent Phillips of Hale village,near Liverpool UK; from Koen van Gorp of Sombeke, Belgium; from Phillip Chee of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada; from Doug Zubenel of Overland Park, Kansas; from Daryl Mason of Lakeside, ON, Canada