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Images: Iceland's Blazing Volcano Seen From Space

Iceland's changing landscape

Holuhraun eruption

(Image credit: Ármann Höskuldsson/University of Iceland)

Only a few satellites orbit near the poles, high enough to catch Iceland's fiery lava fountains in action. Here are some of the best of the bunch.

New country

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: German Aerospace Center)

Iceland's Holuhraun eruption seen in a combined before-and-after radar image from the TerraSAR-X satellite.

Fresh glow

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

Infrared views of the Bardarbunga volcanic eruption. The false color image was snapped Sept. 6 by NASA's Landsat 8 satellite. The photo seen here combines shortwave infrared, near-infrared and green light.

Spying sputtering lava

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

A zoom view of the previous Landsat image highlights glowing lava against Holuhraun's black sands and glacier-fed river channels.

Fire and ice

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

A natural color version of the same image of Iceland's volcanic eruption, captured Sept. 6 by NASA's Landsat 8 satellite.

Noxious gas

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite caught a long trail of sulfur dioxide gas spewing from the eruption on Sept. 5.

Roiling hotspot

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

The hot lava peeks through stormy clouds in another MODIS image from the Terra satellite. The image was shot Aug. 31, the day the eruption kicked into high gear.

Becky Oskin
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.