In the southern part of Kamchatka, Russia (known to Risk
fans everywhere) sits the stratovolcano Kizimen. It's something like 12,000 years old, and in those millennia has covered the nearby mountains with ash. For at least the past 70 - 80 years it has been active, with one large eruption in the late 1920s. In this image taken by NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite
, taken on January 6, 2011, you can see a long plume of ash and water vapor stretching to the east. The volcano has been rather gently erupting since New Year's Eve, so observations like this one are important in understanding the extent and nature of the activity.
I love the look and feel of this image; the terrain there is incredibly hostile, mountainous and remote. That's accentuated by the sunlight casting shadows across the region. This image was captured in mid-morning, just a few hours after local sunrise - you can tell by the shadows pointing north and west, so the Sun must have been south and east when this was snapped.
That whole area is lousy with incredible volcanoes... scan through this gallery and you'll see plenty more.Image credit: NASA