SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Christmas Tree Cluster, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Christmas Tree Cluster, More
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December 11, 2008--A volcano erupts on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.

NASA's Terra satellite captured a lava flow and ash plume from the Klyuchevskaya volcano in this December 8 image released to the public on December 11.

Satellites are an important tool for monitoring volcanoes, according to some geologists. When a weather satellite picks-up on potential volcanic activity, geologists will turn to a higher resolution sensor, such as Terra's, to record more detail.

The Kamchatka Peninsula is in the northwestern margin of the Pacific Ocean, where tectonic plates collide, creating heat and pressure that fuel volcanoes.
—Image by NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
 
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