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Russian volcano erupted in June, credited for Houston haze

HOUSTON (AP) — Recent sunsets in Houston have been tinged with a burst of purple haze that experts link to a volcano eruption three months ago in Russia.

The Houston Chronicle reports the National Weather Service says chemicals and other particles are ejected into the atmosphere when a volcano erupts. Meteorologist Jimmy Fowler, with the NWS office in Galveston, said Tuesday that the particles causing people to see purple light rays are sulfur dioxide gas.

Fowler says the gas is not harmful and that "It just looks pretty."

A volcano in the Kuril Islands in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region erupted June 22. The volcano, called Raikoke, spewed ash and debris 10 miles (16 kilometers) into the sky.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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