June 29, 2011 at 1:10 PM ET
A NASA satellite captured this spectacular false-color image of the Nabro volcano erupting in a remote region of the northeastern African country of Eritrea.
The bright red portions of the image indicate hot surfaces, NASA explains in an advisory. That's why the hot volcanic ash spewing out of the volcano's caldera glows red.
To the west of the ash cloud, portions of the lava flow are visible. The front edge is particularly hot, thus red. The speckled bits upstream in the lava flow are likely regions where the cool, hardened crust is splitting and exposing fluid lava as the flow advances.
The volcano is located in an isolated region of Eritrea near its border with Ethiopia. Scientists believe it began erupting on June 13. Ash from the volcano has disrupted flights and cut short Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's recent trip to Africa.
Despite these impacts, scientists say they know very little about the volcano. When it was first detected, in fact, scientists thought it was the nearby Dubbi volcano. Imagery such as this photo from NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite acquired on June 24 is providing the most detailed look at the eruption to date.
More on African volcanoes:
John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by hitting the "like" button on the Cosmic Log Facebook page or following msnbc.com's science editor, Alan Boyle, on Twitter (@b0yle).