STS078-755-39 Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy June 1996 Located near the middle of the east coast of Sicily, Mt. Etna is a very active and thoroughly studied volcano. Since several towns and villages ring the base of the volcano the activity level of this shield volcano is constantly and carefully monitored. Compare the colors of this color infrared picture with STS78-737-50, a natural color image of Mt. Etna. The dark surface area on the flanks of the volcano on the color infrared image shows recent lava flows (the darkest are the most recent flows) and the reddish colors on the flanks shows the development of vegetative cover (green vegetation). On the natural color picture the dark slopes of the volcano indicate vegetation while the lava flows are lighter in appearance. The extensive, rugged mountainous landscape north of the volcano shows vegetation on most of the slopes; however, there is evidence (lighter-colored landscape) that a lumbering (clear-cutting) operation is reducing the forested lands in the mountains to the north. The dark features west of Mt. Etna are small reservoirs.