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NASA Merely Witness Mount Sourabaya Eruption After 60 Years

First Posted: May 16, 2016 04:10 AM EDT
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NASA captured on camera the eruption of Mount Sourabaya for the first time in 60 years. The stratovolcano is located on Bristol Island in the South Sandwich Islands. It is about 1,725 miles (2,776 kilometers) southeast of Bueno Aires in Argentina. If NASA did not witness it, the mount's spewing of ashes and lava would go unnoticed. The eruptions occurred twice on April 24 and May 1,2016.

NASA stated that the photo was taken using the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite.  The image displays two false-colors and was developed from a combination of shortwave infrared, near-infrared and red light that senses heat gradients of the eruption. "Today, scientists can pick up signatures of events occurring far from any human observers," said NASA.


NASA further cited that both images show the heat signatures (red-orange) of what is likely hot lava, while white plumes are the ashes and the bright blue-green is the ice cover on the volcano, according to Sott.

Mount Sourabaya is a stratovolcano, which is also termed as a composite volcano. It is a conical volcano that is built up by many layers of hardened pumice, lava, volcanic ash and tephra. It is about 3,600 (1,100 meters) in height. NASA said that this stratovolcano is covered with snow and glacial ice. This is probably the reason why nobody lives in its surrounding areas. Mount Sourabaya last erupted in 1956.

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