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Photos: Mount St. Helens awakens

Federal researchers reveal pictures taken before, during and after Tuesday's eruption.

Mount St. Helens awakens

This photo of Mount St. Helens was taken by a research camera Tuesday morning before the eruption. The volcano later spit out a 7-mile high plume of ash and steam.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens awakens

This photo shows the beginning of Tuesday's eruption. The picture was taken about 5:27 p.m. PST by a research camera.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens awakens

This image was captured at 5:53 p.m. PST--about half an hour after the eruption started, and as it was winding down.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens awakens

The volcano's plume was mostly white or otherwise light-colored. For that reason, researchers have concluded that steam was the predominant component.

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Mount St. Helens