Jebel at Tair, a volcanic island in the Red Sea, erupted at the end of September 2007. The eruption released lava and ash, and created a spectacular light show, according to observers in the area. On October 15, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image. This shows a largely quieted volcano releasing only a faint volcanic plume.
ASTER measures light visible to human eyes and infrared light, enabling the sensor to detect thermal anomalies caused by substantial temperature differences. The bright red spot at the summit is a thermal anomaly. A smaller, fainter anomaly appears just northwest of the summit. The volcano’s slopes bear the marks of previous eruptions, the darker streaks indicating more recent lava flows.
Jebel at Tair is a stratovolcano—a cone composed of alternating layers of ash, lava, and rocks from earlier eruptions. The latest eruption is a continuation of activity on this island, where explosive eruptions were recorded in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The volcano is known by multiple names and spellings, including Jabal al-Tair, Jabal al-Tayr, Tair Island, Al-Tair Island, Djebel Teyr, and Jibbel Tir.
On the evening of September 30, 2007, Jebel at Tair erupted, sending lava down its flanks and releasing a cloud of volcanic ash. A glowing hot spot and a faint volcanic plume suggest that, although the volcano had quieted since September 30, its activity had not completely stopped.