Two satellite images capturing the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

NASA image by Robert Simmon, using ALI data from the EO-1 team.

This natural-color satellite image from April 17 provides a look at the new eruptive phase of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano. A cloud of charcoal-brown ash covers half the image. A fresh plume of ash rises over the summit, its southern face illuminated by sunlight and its northern face deeply shadowed. The ash column casts a tall shadow onto the snow-covered ground to the north. West of the plume, the ground is nearly covered by ash.

This high-resolution view of the plume was captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. A  wider-area view of the eruption was captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite the same day.

NASA image by Rob Simmon made with data courtesy of the NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. 

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image at 1:50 p.m. local time on April 19. The image shows both the eruption plume and the heat signature of lava at the volcano’s summit and at nearby Fimmvörduháls, the site of a precursor eruption. The heat signature shows a rough estimate of temperature, with yellow being hottest and red coolest. The signature at Eyjafjallajökull is a concentrated circle without a river of lava, supporting the Icelandic Coast Guard’s observation that lava had not started to flow from the volcano.

Source: NASA Earth Observatory (

Additional satellite imagery of Eyjafjallajökull can be found at: