On August 18, 2013, Mount Sakurajima erupted. The eruption lasted for about 50 minutes, sending ash and smoke across the bay into the city of Kagoshima, which is near the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu in Japan.
These images, acquired by the Landsat 8 satellite on Monday, August 19, 2013, show the remaining smoke continuing to billow from the volcano. The color image uses Landsat bands 4, 3, and 1 from the Operational Land Imager (OLI) sensor, and has been sharpened with OLI’s panchromatic Band 8 to show more detail. The black and white image (band 10) was acquired by the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) and displays temperature differences. Warmer surfaces appear light gray to white in the thermal image, while cooler areas appear dark gray to black. While there are a few clouds near the caldera that appear dark because of their cooler temperature, the bright area at the peak of the volcano indicates heat.
Landsat imagery can provide timely views of natural disasters to show the changes on the earth’s surface.