When the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland erupted this week, NASA satellites caught a view of the fiery eruption from space. Lava fountains have been captured spewing from a long fissure northeast of the volcano.
According to NASA's Earth Observatory, only a few satellites orbit the high latitudes, and weather has hidden the eruption from their view. Currently, it's being monitored hour-by-hour by a horde of excited scientists and the public via live webcam.
Pictured above, the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite located the volcanic eruption and its plume of poisonous sulfuric gas. The surrounding melting glacial ice is also depicted.
Since Sunday, Barbarbunga has been shooting lava fountains more than 50 meters into the sky. It has been demonstrating seismic activity since mid-August.
Image credit: The Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured a night view of the eruption on Sept. 1. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory