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Satellite spots Pacific volcano activity

May 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM   |   Comments

GREENBELT, Md., May 10 (UPI) -- A NASA satellite has captured a dramatic image of steam and gas plumes from a volcano in the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean, U.S. scientists said.

The image shows the activity on Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Marianas volcanoes, a NASA release reported Thursday.

Fires and smoke on the island was imaged on Tuesday by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite.

Pagan Island consists of two volcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus, and almost all of the historical eruptions of Pagan dating back to the 17th century have originated from North Pagan volcano.

The largest eruption of Pagan during historical time took place in 1981 and prompted the evacuation of the sparsely populated island, NASA aid.

The Marianas are an arc-shaped archipelago consisting of the summits of fifteen volcanic mountains, anchored at its south end by the island of Guam.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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