Plumes of ash and steam from Sarychev Peak blew in a counterclockwise direction across the Sea of Okhotsk on June 16, 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this photo-like image the same day, at 2:40 p.m. local time (2:40 a.m. UTC).
Sarychev’s plume appears to have a dual nature. A large amorphous brown cloud, likely deriving its color from volcanic ash, appears in the east and north, forming the outer arc of the plume. The inner arc of the plume apparently derives its color from water vapor. Bright white puffs emanating from the pinpoint of the volcano hover over the brown cloud, casting shadows onto the plume below. In the west, the volcanic plume appears to mingle with clouds.