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July 19, 2011
An astronaut aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis took this 70mm photo of Mt. Etna near the east coast of Sicily. According to geologists, several specific landforms that include Mt. Etna, a series of volcanic islands known as the Lipari Islands (immediately north of northeast Sicily), and the broadly conical-shaped mountains near the southern tip of the "toe" of Italy help to confirm that this part of Italy was formed at least in part by volcanic processes. Mt. Etna to this day continues to be a very active volcano. The Strait of Messina separates Sicily from the mainland of Italy. The strait measures 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) at its narrowest point. Clouds obscure some the mountainous terrain both in northeast Sicily and on the mainland of Italy. The island state of Malta, located 93 kilometers (58 miles) south of Sicily, is also visible in the lower right corner of the image.

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