The active Russian volcano Bezymianny in Kamchatka shows an ongoing flow from a vent on the side of the volcano on Dec. 28, 2000. This image is a composite of an Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) image showing the volcano's topography (blue) and a thermal infrared image showing the "hot spot" (red) in great detail. ASTER is the "zoom lens" aboard NASA's Terra satellite.
ASTER's ability to sense fine-scale heated surfaces is providing never-before seen views of active volcanic eruptions. These observations provide a detailed look into the eruptive history. Lava flows, hot mudflows, and other details of eruption activity that cannot be seen using other techniques are revealed. Michael Ramsey, of the University of Pittsburgh, presented on May 30, 2001, at the American Geophysical Union's (AGU) Spring meeting ASTER's initial observations of the recent phases of two ongoing eruptions in the Caribbean (Montserrat) and Russia (Bezymianny).
Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team, University of Pittsburg