On June 12, 2009, the International Space Station happened to be passing over the Sarychev Volcano just as it was beginning to erupt.
A newly released video based on several stunning snapshots taken by astronauts reveals the beauty and power of the erupting volcano.
Sarychev Peak, which rises to a height of 4,908 feet (about 1,500 meters), is the tallest peak on Matua Island in the northern part of the Kuril Islands, a Russian archipelago in the northwest Pacific Ocean.
The volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Island chain, erupted in 1989, 1986, 1976 and 1946.
The new volcano animation reveals the plume of ash and steam rising from Sarychev. The plume appears to be brown ash capped with a head of white steam, a result of air rising quickly in a strong updraft, before cooling and condensing.
"The plume was so immense that it cast a large shadow on the island," according to NASA Earth Observatory.