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A Trio of Plumes by NASA
A Trio of Plumes by NASA

A Trio of Plumes, 2016


This image could be an abstract painting. It has all the elements: streaks and washes of color, flat scraped areas, like the black and blue section in the lower middle, and bumpy, textured areas where it looks like an artist applied paint in thick layers, at lower left. Actually, this is a satellite image taken above the South Sandwich Islands. These uninhabited islands in the South Atlantic Ocean include several active stratovolcanoes: especially steep and prone to explosive eruptions. You can see their three white plumes in the center of the image.

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NASA Earth Observatory
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