Follow this link to view pictures of a volcano erupting on a remote Russian island. The pictures show the volcano’s plume clear a path through the clouds.
The round hole in the clouds is thought to have been caused by the shockwave of the initial explosion. At the centre lies the billowing mushroom tower of grey and brown ash. For volcano experts, the most exciting part of the image is the layer of smooth white cloud that caps the plume – a little like a layer of snow on a mushroom. This cap of condensed air is created from the rapid rising and then cooling of the air directly above the ash column. When moist, warm air rises quickly it creates a cloud.