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Kamchatka's Spring Clearing: Earth Image of the Week April 25, 2014
Satellite image of the Ivanpaw Solar Electric Generating System.
Far East Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula was experiencing a rare sunny day on April 16, 2014.
The dramatic wintertime landscape across Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula was revealed to orbiting spacecraft and astronauts on April 16.

The region is often blanketed by cloudiness at this time of year.

When NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Kamchatka at 2:20 p.m. local time, the expanse of snow and ice that still keeps much of Far East Russia in winter’s grip was clearly visible.

But also seen are dark areas covering the snow that experienced observers can quickly identify as ash from some of the peninsula’s 29 active volcanoes.

This is especially true around Karymsky, Kamchatka’s most restive. Ash also seems apparent around Shiveluch, Bezymianny and Kizimen, but the latter hasn’t produced an eruption since 1928.

That means the geothermal area could have recently experienced a springtime melt, revealing dark ground that had yet to sport any vegetation.

This is also likely the case along west-central parts of the peninsula, which hasnot produced any recent volcanic activity.

Many of the darker areas are in low elevations, which would experience a spring melt far earlier than the spine of mountains the stretches through the entire length of Kamchatka.

Full story and image: NASA