Activity at Popocatépetl

Activity at Popocatépetl
  • Credit:

    NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

With a name that means smoking mountain in the Aztec language, Mexico’s Popocatépetl does not disappoint. The towering volcano, about 70 kilometers southeast of Mexico City, was emitting a faint plume of steam and gas on January 4, 2011, when the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this photo-like image.

The agency that monitors volcanoes in Mexico reported five low-intensity eruptions between January 4 and 5. Popocatépetl erupts frequently, and the current eruptive episode started on January 9, 2005, according to the Global Volcanism Program.

  1. References

  2. CENAPRED. (2011, January 5). Nivel de actividad del volcán Popocatépetl. (Spanish). Accessed January 5, 2011.
  3. Global Volcanism Program. (2010). Popocatépetl Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Accessed January 5, 2011.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 2000x3000
  • JPEG 4 MB
  • 4500x4500
  • GeoTIFF 42 MB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    January 4, 2011
  • Visualization Date:

    January 5, 2011
  • Sensor(s):

    EO-1 - ALI
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration