A Year of Volcanic Activity

A number of volcanoes made headlines over the past year, as they wreaked havoc on nearby communities, grounded planes, and spewed lava, gases, and ash into the air. Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull took center stage last April, with Indonesia's Mount Merapi causing local devastation late last year. At any given time there are dozens of erupting volcanoes around the world - one in Japan named Shinmoedake is just now stirring for the first time in 52 years, rattling windows and dropping ash on nearby towns. Collected here are images of volcanic activity around this world of ours over the past year.

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  • Omar Havana/Getty Images

    Nepal After the Earthquake

    A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal early on Saturday, centered 10 miles below the surface, less than 50 miles from the capital of Kathmandu. At least 1,100 are already reported to have been killed by the quake and subsequent avalanches triggered in the Himalayas.

  • Smithsonian.com

    Winners of the 2014 Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

    The editors of Smithsonian magazine have announced the winners of their 12th annual photo contest, selected from more than 26,500 entries.

  • Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

    The Eruption of Chile's Calbuco Volcano

    Chile's Calbuco volcano erupted on Wednesday, spewing a giant funnel of ash high into the sky over a sparsely populated, mountainous area, triggering a red alert. Authorities ordered an evacuation for a 10-kilometer (six-mile) radius around the volcano.

  • NASA

    Earth Day 45

    First organized in 1970, Earth Day is a day set aside to remember and appreciate the Earth's environment, and our responsibilities and roles within it. Today, April 22, we observe the 45th annual Earth Day, and though many things have changed for the better, environmental challenges remain.

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