NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the ash plume from Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano this morning, April 20, as it flew overhead from its vantage point in space.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured visible image of the ash plume (consisting of fine particles of pulverized rock) at 11:55 UTC (7:55 a.m. EDT). The plume appeared to be lighter in color than the previous few days, and it was drifting south and east over the Northern Atlantic Ocean.
NASA works with other agencies on using satellite observations to aid in the detection and monitoring of aviation hazards caused by volcanic ash. For more on this NASA program, visit: http://science.larc.nasa.gov/asap/research-ash.html.
The MODIS Rapid Response System was developed to provide daily satellite images of the Earth's landmasses in near real time. The MODIS Rapid Response Team that generates the images is located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.