Vortex Rings at Dawn

Smoke rings from Mt. Etna drift near the moon in the red light of dawn.

Vortex rings blown from Mount Etna’s vents drift through the dawn light in this beautiful image from Dario Giannobile. Little is required to create vortex rings — they are a puff of fluid shaped by an orifice — but they are relatively unusual to see around volcanoes. Etna is an exception; it happens to have one or more vents that frequently form rings. Their shape and the venting pattern of the volcano must be unusually well-suited to ring formation. (Image credit: D. Giannobile; via APOD)

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