Myth vs Reality: Volcanic Eruptions and Air Travel

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 This short video addresses the misconception that volcanic eruptions have no affect on air travel.

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory.

All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA except:
·       Aerial photo of Mt. Erebus: Jeanie Mackinder
·       Ground-based photo of Mt. Erebus: Dr. Eric Christian / NASA
·       Sea creature illustration copyright The National Library of Israel, Shapell Family Digitization Project _and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Geography – Historic Cities Research Project
·       Ground-based photos of Eyjafjallajökull: David Karnå
·       Eyjafjallajökull video footage: Ágúst Guðbjörnsson /
·       EO-1 satellite illustration: ATK
·       Fimmvörðuháls fissure photo: Henrik Thorburn
·       Simulation of ash spreading over Europe: Nina Kristiansen, Sabine Eckhardt, NILU
·       Eyjafjallajökull panorama: Henrik Thorburn
·       Mount St. Helens aerial photo: USGS
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music
Written by Tracy Vogel
Designed by Marc Lussier

A banner reads, Myth vs Reality, An illustration with sea serpents surrounding a ship is above Myth, A satellite view of an erupting volcano is above Reality, A dark, rotating planet floats in the background at the bottom, The Myth side is highlighted, Text, It's safe to fly through volcanic ash.
The reality side is highlighted, Text, Eruptions of volcanic ash can be very dangerous to airplanes. The fine, glassy ash particles can clog engines, causing them to fail, and can scour windows, impeding visibility. Earth-observing satellites are important for monitoring clouds of volcanic ash, which can look like ordinary rain clouds on airplane radar.