On August 2, 2013 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite passed above Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, and captured this true-color image of a large plume rising from Bagana volcano. The light gray plume blows to the west, across the Solomon Sea.
Bagana is currently quite active, and emits steam and gas plumes almost constantly. The cone is nearly void of vegetation, and a small lava dome on the north flank. Lava flows, active fumaroles (breaks in the Earth’s crust which emit gases and steam) and several hot springs are also features of the smoldering volcano.
Despite the near continuous activity, Bagana is poorly observed, because it sits in a remote area on the mountainous spine of Bouganville Island. Most data on this volcano comes from remote sensing satellites as they fly overhead, such as the MODIS instruments aboard Aqua and Terra.