This image acquired by NASA's Terra spacecraft on March 6, 2009, shows early March eruptions of Karymsky volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula left the usually white snow a gray ashy color.
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Karymsky Volcano, Kamchatka

Early March eruptions of Karymsky volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula left the usually white snow a gray ashy color. The ashfall forms a triangle extending from the stratovolcano’s summit eastward to the coast. Karymsky is the most active volcano of Kamchatka’s eastern volcanic zone. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago after a 2300-year period of quiescence.

The image was acquired March 6, 2009, covers an area of 40.1 x 28.8 km, and is located near 54 degrees north latitude, 159.4 degrees east longitude.

With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products.

The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provides scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.

The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

More information about ASTER is available at

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Earth Observing System (EOS)


Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)



Full-Res TIFF:
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Full-Res JPG:
PIA12058.jpg (0.73 MB)

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