A UK-led team of scientists is rolling out a project to monitor every land volcano on Earth from space.
Two satellites will routinely map the planet’s surface, looking for signs that might hint at a future eruption.
They will watch for changes in the shape of the ground below them, enabling scientists to issue an early alert if a volcano appears restless.
Some 1,500 volcanoes worldwide are thought to be potentially active, but only a few dozen are heavily monitored.
One of these is Mount Etna where, last month, a BBC crew was caught up in a volcanic blast while filming a report on the new satellite project.
How do we currently keep track of volcanoes?
When we visited Etna’s slopes last month, volcanologist Boris Behncke from Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) showed us one of its monitoring stations. “We have about 40 GPS stations, more than 60 seismic …