Bad Astronomy

UPDATE: more amazing Nabro volcano images

A couple of days ago I posted an amazing satellite image of Nabro, an erupting volcano in Eritrea. Today, NASA released follow-up images from the Earth Observing-1 satellite, and they’re also very, very cool.

This first one is false color, and is a combination of far infrared, near infrared, and visible light. The warm, recently deposited lava is fairly obvious. You can also see the ash plume and some clouds. Note the scale bar in the lower left.

The second image is in visible light, and is a more natural color:

Nifty! Since we don’t see in infrared, the lava is not glowing, and appears brownish. Interestingly, the active vent is easier to spot in this shot because the lava is not as distracting.

You can read my earlier post for more info on the volcano. These images are just about the only data scientists are getting on it since it’s located in a difficult-to-reach region. But then, what’s difficult when you have satellites designed to look down at exactly these sorts of things?

[UPDATE: Vulcanologist Erik Klemetti has written an article for The Big Think about this eruption with lots of sciencey goodness.]

Credit: NASA/EO-1/Robert Simmon