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Friday, 8 June, 2001, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Satellite snaps volcano eruption
NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
Nasa's satellite image shows clear detail
An American space agency (Nasa) satellite captured this picture of a Russian volcano erupting on Monday and throwing ash many kilometres into the air.

The volcano Shiveluch has been erupting since May and it has been under close observation, as it lies on a major air traffic route.

The thermal images shows Shiveluch's active lava dome complex, debris deposited by the eruption and a huge ash plume trailing out to the west.

NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
An artificial colour image shows the hot areas of the volcano
Shiveluch is 2,447 metres (8,028 feet) high and forms part of a string of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean that is known as the Ring of Fire.

Satellite viewpoint

Prior to Shiveluch, the most recent eruption in the region took place in 1964.

The images were gathered by the Terra satellite, which is the flagship in Nasa's Earth observation programme and intended to regularly carry out a health check of the planet. Terra was launched at the end of 1999.

The instrument which took the image was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and is known as Aster (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer). It was designed to measure the temperature and height of surface features as well as how much light they reflect or absorb.

Terra returns to the same viewpoint over Earth every four to 16 days, so it will be able to keep an eye on how Shiveluch is changing the landscape around it.

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