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Volcano Views

These side-by-side images of the same volcanic eruption show the differences between optical imaging and radar imaging. On the left is a photograph taken by Space Shuttle astronauts as the Shuttle Endeavor passed over the eruption of Kliuchevskoi volcano in Kamchatka, Russia. On the right is the radar image acquired several days earlier by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar instrument. In the photograph, the ash plume is emerging from a vent on the north flank of Kliuchevskoi. In this view, the volcano is partially hidden by the ash plume and its shadow. The radar image shows how radar can see through the ash and smoke to reveal the contours of the land underneath.

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