The eruption of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano is so vibrant it can be seen from space, and satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above the ground have captured images of the eruption from orbit. 

Using data from the Operational Land Imager on NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat 8 satellite, NASA data visualizer Joshua Stevens pieced together a false-color image of the eruption. The image shows the eruption at 10:25 p.m. local time (2225 GMT) on March 22, three days after it started on March 19. 

Related: Mount Etna’s fiery eruptions seen from space (satellite photos) 

Landsat 8 acquired this false-color image of the Fagradalsfjall volcano three days after the start of the eruption, on March 22, 2021 at 10:25 p.m. local time (2225 GMT).  (Image credit: Joshua Stevens/USGS)

The ominous, nighttime image was made from a combination of shortwave and near-infrared data (bands 7, 6, 5), according to NASA. It shows how the lava lit up the clouds from below. Because lava is so hot, it can “glow” in the shortwave-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. 

The NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP weather satellite captured this images of Iceland before and after the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted. (Image credit: Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA/Suomi NPP)

Although the image looks like a ball of fire in the sky, and the volcano can be seen more than 20 miles (30 kilometers) away in the nation’s capital of Reykjavik, there’s very little danger to people in the surrounding area, the NASA statement said. 

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