Dark flows of cooled lava blacken the slopes of Mt. Etna, overrunning the forgetful vegetation that endlessly recolonizes the slopes. The infrared energy the vegetation kicks back toward the satellite is colored red in this scene. North of the volcano, the velvet red vegetation is interlaced with ice-blue rivers. A plume of ash and steam from a recent eruption lingers over the crater and drifts slowly over the southeast flanks of the volcano. To the north and west of the mountain, braided rivers of lava reach like ashen fingers toward cities and towns that sit, fortunately, just out of reach.
This scene was acquired by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite on July 29, 2001.
Image provided by the USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems Branch as part of the Earth as Art II image series