NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Landsat data from the USGS Earth Explorer.
This satellite image shows lava lakes and gas plumes from Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo Volcanoes. Both are located just north of the Congolese city of Goma, near the border with Rwanda.
The false-color image combines shortwave-infrared, near-infrared, and green light as red, green, and blue, respectively. Shortwave- and near- infrared light penetrates hazy skies better than visible light, so more surface detail is visible in this image than would be in natural-color. Because very hot surfaces glow in shortwave-infrared, the lava lakes within the summit craters of Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo appear bright red. The dark lava flows spreading from Nyamuragira were erupted within the past 50 years, some as recently as 2012. Vegetation is bright green.
The image was collected by Landsat 8 on June 30, 2014.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.