On September 1, 2004, Japan’s Mt. Asama erupted explosively. After a two-week rest, the volcano continued its eruption in several small bursts starting on September 14, sending plumes of ash from the its 2,568 meter-high summit crater. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this view of the smoking volcano at 1:30 UTC (10:30 a.m. Tokyo time) on September 16, 2004. In this image, the ash plume is heading due south towards Suruga Bay. About 140 kilometers to the southeast, Tokyo is the cement-colored region around the Bay of Tokyo.
This activity is not unusual—Asama is the most active volcano on Honshu, Japan’s main island. Its last eruption was in 2003, though the current eruption is its most violent since 1983.
The image shows the area around Mt. Asama at 500 meters per pixel. The large image shows the entire island of Honshu at MODIS’ maximum resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The scene is available in additional resolutions and formats from the MODIS Rapid Response Team.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory from data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.
- Terra - MODIS