An astronaut onboard the International Space Station (ISS) shot this photograph of two neighboring stratovolcanoes on Java, the most populated island of Indonesia. Mount Sundoro and Mount Sumbing are two symmetrical, cone-shaped peaks in Central Java province that are part of a larger east to west chain of volcanoes. Both peaks rise more than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level and are still active, though they have not erupted since 1730 (Sumbing) and 1971 (Sundoro).
The brighter zones encircling the bases of both volcanoes include areas of intensive agriculture; these contrast with the dark forests on the higher slopes. The peaks of Sumbing and Sundoro rise high enough that the rocky summits elevations reach above the tree line.
The rich volcanic soils surrounding the peaks are very fertile, providing productive farmland in this region of Central Java. The tropical climate of Indonesia also provides abundant rain and sunlight. The area’s main crop is rice, grown in irrigated fields. Other lowland crops include corn, sugarcane, and coffee.
Astronaut photograph ISS065-E-31847 was acquired on May 10, 2021, with a Nikon D5 digital camera using a focal length of 200 millimeters. It is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by a member of the Expedition 65 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by Laura Phoebus, Jacobs, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC.