Italy's Mt. Etna has had an active month and on Dec. 30 the volcano let loose with more spectacular eruptions as the New Year approached.
Mt. Etna is a stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano. These are conical volcanoes built up by hardened layers (strata) of lava, tephra, pumice and ash. Stratovolcanoes are known as the most picturesque -- and most deadly among volcano types.
Mt. Etna rests on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, close to Messina and Catania.
The volcano lies above the convergence of the African and Eurasian Plates and is the tallest active volcano on the European continent. It currently measures 10,922 feet high.
Most of the current eruptions have shot out from the South East Crater of the cone.
The volcano's latest big fireworks took place during the second weekend of December. See photos of those eruptions here.