Volcanoes have enthralled and terrified humans for centuries. Today, researchers are trying to uncover the secret "ingredients" behind dangerous eruptions. Expeditions to Mount Vesuvius -- one of the world's best-known volcanoes -- and Alaska's Mount Saint Augustine provide specimens that can be compared to materials synthesized in the lab. Understanding what makes one volcano's magma so much more explosive than another may one day help to avoid volcanic disasters.
Provided by American Museum of Natural History