TOP TEN PHOTOS: Most Viewed of 2008

TOP TEN PHOTOS: Most Viewed of 2008
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1. Chile Volcano Erupts With Ash and Lightning

Captured in National Geographic News's most viewed individual photo of 2008, Chile's Chaiten volcano erupts on May 3 after 9,000 years of silence.

The blast may have generated a "dirty thunderstorm." These little-understood storms may be caused when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles collide to produce static charges--just as ice particles collide to create charges in regular thunderstorms.

The eruption, which continued off and on for months, forced the evacuation of thousands of residents and cattle from this corner of Patagonia.

More photos of this eruption >>
—Photograph by Carlos Gutierrez/UPI/Landov
 
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