Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian far east • Earth.com

Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian far east

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Kamchatka, a mountainous peninsula in far eastern Russia. 

The photo, which was taken by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station, captures a few the region’s 29 active volcanoes. Some of these volcanoes show signs of recent activity, including ash deposits from recent eruptions

In this image, the peaks of Klyuchevskoy and Bezymianny volcanoes are notably darker. According to NASA, days before this photo was taken, Bezymianny had a significant ash eruption that was recorded by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team.

Kamchatka has hundreds of plant species, as well as brown bears, snow sheep, reindeer, wolves, foxes, wolverines, and sables. The peninsula is also home to half of the world’s population of massive Steller’s sea eagles. The surrounding coastal areas support nine different types of whales, thousands of sea otters, and massive seabird colonies.

The Kamchatka Peninsula (Russianполуо́стров Камча́ткаPoluostrov KamchatkaIPA: [pəlʊˈostrəf kɐmˈt͡ɕætkə]) is a 1,250-kilometre-long (777 mi) peninsula in the Russian Far East, with an area of about 270,000 km2 (104,248 sq mi).The Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk make up the peninsula’s eastern and western coastlines, respectively. Immediately offshore along the Pacific coast of the peninsula runs the 10,500-metre-deep (34,449 ft) Kuril–Kamchatka Trench.

The Kamchatka Peninsula, the Commander Islands, and Karaginsky Island constitute the Kamchatka Krai of the Russian Federation. The vast majority of the 322,079 inhabitants are ethnic Russians, although about 13,000 are Koryaks (2014). More than half of the population lives in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (179,526 in 2010) and nearby Yelizovo (38,980). The Kamchatka peninsula contains the volcanoes of Kamchatka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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