Mount Vesuvius, Italy
This SPOT-6 image, acquired during the early commissioning phase of the satellite, shows Mount Vesuvius, in Italy.
Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland, and has a long history of frequent eruptions. The volcano is well known for the famous eruption in 79 AD that destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The last eruption was in 1944, and the risk of another eruption is a major concern given that the area surrounding the volcano is now widely populated, with an estimated 3 million people.
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Credit: Astrium Services, France, 2012 all rights reserved