PIA16741: NASA's Terra Spacecraft Images Russian Volcanic Eruption
 Target Name:  Earth
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Terra
 Spacecraft:  Terra
 Instrument:  ASTER
 Product Size:  1563 x 2055 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA16741.tif (9.639 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA16741.jpg (455.7 kB)

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Plosky Tolbachik volcano in Russia's far eastern Kamchatka peninsula erupted on Nov. 27, 2012, for the first time in 35 years, sending clouds of ash to the height of more than 9,800 feet (3,000 meters). In this image from the Advanced Spacebourne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft, acquired Jan. 13, 2013, the snowy winter landscape reveals the still active lava flows; the thermal infrared channels highlight the hot rocks in red colors. Steam and ash clouds rising to the north hide part of the flows. The image covers an area of 14.3 by 18.6 miles (23 by 30 kilometers) and is located at 55.7 degrees north latitude, 160.2 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 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, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.

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

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