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Nyamuragira Volcano Erupts

Nyamuragira Volcano Erupts

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  True Color (142 KB JPEG)

Nyamuragira volcano erupted on July 26, 2002, spewing lava high into the air along with a large plume of steam, ash, and sulfur dioxide. The 3,053-meter (10,013-foot) volcano is located in eastern Congo, very near that country’s border with Rwanda. Nyamuragira is the smaller, more violent sibling of Nyiragongo volcano, which devastated the town of Goma with its massive eruption in January 2002. Nyamuragira is situated just 40 km (24 miles) northeast of Goma.

This pair of images was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA’s Terra satellite, on July 26. The image on the left shows the scene in true color. The small purple box in the upper righthand corner marks the location of Nyamuragira’s hot summit. The false-color image on the right shows the plume from the volcano streaming southwestward. This image was made using MODIS’ channels sensitive at wavelengths from 8.5 to 11 microns. Red pixels indicate high concentrations of sulphur dioxide.

Image courtesy Liam Gumley, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison