The Anatahan Volcano emitted a plume of volcanic ash and/or steam in late May 2006. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture on May 30. In this image, a plume of volcanic ash blows westward over the Pacific, away from the small volcanic island. The ash plume is darker than the region’s clouds.
Anatahan is a 9-kilometer-long island in the central Mariana Islands. It is a 790-meter-tall stratovolcano composed of alternating layers of lava, ash, and rocks ejected by previous eruptions. The first historical eruption of Anatahan occurred in May 2003. It remained fairly active through the fall of 2005, then entered a quiet period. Its emissions picked up again in March 2006.