Mount Etna Eruption, Lenticular Clouds and Waning Moon

August 14, 2019

Eartshine Moon  and Lenticular Cloud Over Mount Etna Eruption Unesco World Heritage Site EPOD

August 2019 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: Dario Giannobile
Summary Author: Dario Giannobile 

At the end of July, I was preparing to photograph the waning crescent Moon and decided to drive toward the small town of Bronte, on the western side of Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy). But before arriving, Etna awoke. Two fissures in its southeast crater erupted, creating separate lava flows as well as sporadic, pyroclastic jets. I could see the activity from the south-southwest slopes of Etna but chose not to get any closer.

To my surprise, from the spot where I was positioned, I could see that several spectacular lenticular clouds had formed over Etna’s summit. The view of the clouds and the eruption was incredible, particularly when the Moon rose above the horizon. The most beautiful moment occurred when the Moon passed behind the edge of one of the clouds, allowing me to capture various celestial and terrestrial details, including the ashen Moon, individual stars, iridescence across the edge of the clouds, contrast of shadow and light in the sky, and finally Etna’s eruption with the glowing lava fountains. Photo taken on the morning of July 28, 2019.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon EOS 6D; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 (Windows); Exposure Time: 4.000s; Aperture: ƒ/2.8; ISO equivalent: 3200; Focal Length: 70.0mm.