Several vents near the summit of Mount Etna emitted plumes of volcanic gases on March 31, 2013. This false-color (near infrared, red, and green) satellite image was collected by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra satellite. Volcanic plumes, clouds, and snow are white, while forests are dark red, and fields are bright red. Fresh lava flows are black, and older lava flows with more vegetation are progressively lighter and redder. Towns, located at the foot of the volcano, are brown.
Located near the east coast of Italy’s province of Sicily, Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano and is one of the world’s largest continental volcanoes. Among all the world’s volcanoes, Mount Etna has the longest recorded history of eruptions, dating back to 1500 B.C. Since then, the volcano has erupted about 200 times and has been very active in recent decades.