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Filmmaker Martin Heck captured incredible timelapse footage of the Chilean volcano Calbuco erupting earlier this year. Fluid dynamics on these enormous geophysical scales is always awe-inducing. In the beginning, clouds bob gently and flow around the landscape. Then the volcano erupts, and the towering ash cloud of the eruption roils with turbulence, displaying eddies with length scales from hundreds of meters down to centimeters. And when the hot ash has risen and cooled, it forms a cap that spreads horizontally. Nature is a wonderful demonstrator of fluid dynamics, but what always amazes me is how very alike flows are whether they are confined to a laboratory or take up an entire planet. (Video credit: M. Heck; via It’s Okay To Be Smart)

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