NASAs Terra spacecraft shows an ash and steam plume emanating from the central crater of Nishinoshima, a small volcanic island located about 1000 km south of Tokyo, Japan.

Nishinoshima is a small volcanic island located about 1000 km south of Tokyo, Japan. Eruptive activity began in December 2019, and has continued uninterrupted. ASTER captured this image of an ash and steam plume emanating from the central crater. Thermal infrared data is superposed in red on a visible-infrared color image to highlight the lava in the central crater and lava flows that have flowed down the volcano's flanks. The image was acquired July 28, 2020, covers an area of 15 by 21 km, and is located at 27.3 degrees north, 140.8 degrees east.

With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of about 50 to 300 feet (15 to 90 meters), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. 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 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 in Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

More information about ASTER is available at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/.

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