NASA Mexico Popocatepetl Volcano Eruption Space
Photo credit: NASA
Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano is one of the country’s most active volcanoes and has been erupting since January 2005, with low-intensity emissions of gas, steam, and ash daily. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this amazing image of a plume rising from the volcano on January 2, 2021. A few days later, the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) observed a volcanic ash plume that rose to 21,000 feet above the volcano. Read more for a video and additional information.

Popocatépetl is situated 17,802-feet above sea level and the second tallest volcano in Mexico after Citlaltépetl. The stratovolcano is comprised of alternating layers of volcanic ash, lava, and rocks from earlier eruptions. It’s located approximately 40 miles southeast of Mexico City, where more than 20 million people live close enough to be affected by a major eruption. Fortunately, most of the eruptions in the past 600 years have been relatively mild.

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Mexico’s National Center for Prevention of Disasters (CENAPRED), which continuously monitors Popo, warned people not to approach the volcano or its crater due to falling ash and rock fragments. Some ashfall was blown downwind to the city of Puebla, located about 45 kilometers (30 miles) away from the volcano,” according to NASA.