The photo above shows snow capped Mount Etna belching smoke and ash during the morning of March 4, 2012 as viewed from Catania, on the island of Sicily in Italy. This was actually Etna’s third eruption episode of 2012. Photographer: Marco Restivo; Marco’s Organization Web site
The source of the pictured eruption was a new cinder cone on the southeast flank of this stratovolcano’s primary crater. Outbursts of lava and ash are nothing new for Mount Etna – eruptions have been reported here for more than three millennia. At about 10,900 ft (3,330 m), Mount Etna is considered Europe’s highest volcano, and despite the occasional nuisance of an eruption, during the winter months skiers flock to the snow covered slopes. Note the veil of ash falling out of the ash and smoke plume.