NASA Satellite Captures Activity in One of Mexico’s Most Dangerous Volcanoes

​A NASA satellite snapped a picture of Mexico’s unsettled Popocatépetl ​volcano that depicts some activity. As per the space agency’s Earth Observatory, the volcano has been bursting since January 2005.

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on board of NASA’s Terra satellite snapped a false-color image of clouds appearing from the summit crater of Popocatépetl. In the image, the vegetation around the summit seems to be red due to the infrared, red, and green wavelengths that the picture combines.

The image was captured by the satellite on February 25th of 2020, just two months after the January 9th eruption, when the volcano dumped lava and released a column of smoke about two miles (3 kilometers) into the atmosphere.

Throughout the month of February, The Global Volcanism Program and Mexico’s National Center for Prevention of Disasters, reported a few hundreds of steam and gas emissions, gas eruption, as well as ash spewing from Popocatépetl.

Popocatépetl Volcano is a Stratovolcano

​After the Spanish conquistadors arrived on the peninsula, Popocatépetl​ is said to have erupted approximately 15 times. Volcán Popocatépetl is actually the Aztec word for ‘smoking mountain,’ but locals usually call the volcano ‘El Popo’ for short. It was dormant for more than 70 years, but it awoke in December of 1994.

Since then, it has been erupting powerfully at irregular time frames, such as March and October of 1996, April of 1997, and December of 200, when thousands of people were obliged to evacuate the area. Currently, it is one of Mexico’s most active volcanoes.

“The volcano has been erupting since January 2005, with near-constant venting from fumaroles, punctuated by minor steam, gas, and ash emissions,” NASA Earth Observatory said in a post.

Popocatépetl​ is a stratovolcano, which means that it is one of the largest types of volcanoes on Earth. Labeled by eruptions of lava mixed with pyroclastic material, stratovolcanoes emit magma that is being made of dacite and andesite. 

Even though stratovolcano eruptions are not as volatile as caldera complexes, they have caused the most number of casualties among any other kind of volcano.

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