Image of the Day: Mount Merapi's Active Volcano as Seen from NASA's Terra Satellite

NASA's Terra satellite captures images of Indonesia's active volcano at Mount Merapi.

Bad Astronomy celebrates the beauty and highlights the utility of NASA satellites that don't look out toward space but instead turn their attention down toward Earth:

In this image, taken with NASA’s Terra satellite on November 15, vegetation is shown in red (not green; the detector used by Terra can see light in the near-infrared, where plants are highly reflective, and this is colored red in the images). The ash and rock from the volcano appear gray. You can see where pyroclastic flows have flooded the forests on the volcano slope, destroying whatever plant life they touch. You can also see white clouds, and the gray plume of ash from the crater itself. Note that I have rotated the image so that north is to the left; I did this to make it fit better on the blog.


Learn more about this look at Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano here.