Mount. Etna, Sicily
This four-meter resolution satellite image of the top of Mount Etna, Sicily was collected by Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite on July 31, 2001. The image shows the prominent white smoke plume rising from the volcano. Etna has been spewing molten lava, ash and rock from fractures on its southern slope for the last two weeks, forcing a state of emergency in the surrounding area. Imagery such as this can be used in disaster assessment, damage assessment, emergency management, and insurance and risk management. IKONOS travels 423 miles above the Earth's surface at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour. The 1600-pound satellite was launched in Sept. 1999 and is own and operated by Space Imaging in Denver, Colo.