Volcano seen from space looks like the entrance to hell

A NASA satellite snapped a dramatic image of a Russian volcano spitting out an ash plume while surrounded by clouds.

Amanda Kooser
Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
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A NASA satellite caught sight of the volcano in Russia spewing ash.

NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Russian volcano Shiveluch has been busy kicking out ash and lava for over a decade. NASA describes it as one of the world's most active volcanoes. A new satellite photo released on Tuesday makes the natural phenomenon look like an angry, ash-gushing gateway to Hades. 

The ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) instrument on board NASA's Terra satellite captured the eye-opening view on Sunday.  

A large ash plume rises from the volcano. What makes this image look so otherworldly is the bright swathe of clouds surrounding the top of the volcano. A smaller volcano named Bezymianny makes a cameo appearance below its larger kin.  

Shiveluch has experienced an ongoing eruption since 1999, according to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program. The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team monitors volcanoes in the area and reported a 60-mile-long (99- kilometer) ash plume coming from the volcano this month.

The top-down satellite view offers a fascinating perspective on the latest activity at Shiveluch, which is one of the largest volcanoes on Kamchatka Peninsula in the far-east region of Russia. 

NASA operates the ASTER instrument in partnership with a Japanese science team. The Terra satellite tracks pollution and monitors Earth's climate and atmosphere.

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