Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the cone of Mount Vesuvius peaking through a break in the clouds on January 2, 2022. The stratovolcano is located on the Gulf of Naples in Campania, Italy.
Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe. A famous eruption in AD 79 destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae along with several other settlements.
At the time of the catastrophic eruption, volcanic gases and ash were ejected more than 20 miles into the sky. Rock and lava were released at a rate of 1.5 million tons per second, with a level of thermal energy that was 100,000 times the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
NASA reports that Naples has a population of three million people, 800,000 of whom live on the volcano’s slopes, which makes Vesuvius one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the planet.
The image was captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/ Joshua Stevens