The Bezymianny Volcano on Russia.s Kamchatka Peninsula started to erupt violently on January 13, 2004. According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the ash plume reached a height of 3.75 miles (6 kilometers). The plume shows up clearly in these Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images acquired on January 14, 2004, by NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites. Bezymianny had been considered extinct before its dramatic eruption in 1955-56. Since then, the volcano has been relatively active, its most recent eruption having ended in January 2003. This eruption, however, was somewhat unexpected. The volcano went from code green, which indicates that the volcano is dormant, to code red, the color assigned to erupting volcanoes. For more information, see the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program.
Three other volcanoes on Kamchatka are currently active. Shiveluch, or Sheveluch, seen in the top of the images, began to erupt on January 11, 2004, according to news reports. Ash still taints the snow around the volcano. Klyuchevskaya (also called Kliuchevskoi), just north of Bezymianny, has also been emitting a faint ash plume. To the south of the area shown in these images, ash darkens the snow around Karymsky, evidence of its recent activity.
The false color image shows the snow as bright red, making the ash plume even more evident.