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Papua New Guinea

Numerous volcanoes contribute to the landmass of the island of New Britain, the largest in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. One of the most active of these volcanoes – Ulawun – is also the tallest, with a summit elevation of 2,334 m (7,657 ft).

This astronaut photograph shows a plume of white steam and ash extending from the summit crater of the stratovolcano towards the northwest. The plume begins to broaden as it passes the southwestern coast of Lolobau Island, approximately 23 km downwind. Note that north is towards the lower left.

Ulawun is also known as "the Father," with the Bamus volcano to the southwest also known as "the South Son." The summit of Bamus is obscured by white cumulus clouds (not of volcanic origin) in this image. While Ulawun has been active since at least 1700, the most recent activity at Bamus occurred in the late 19th century. A large region of ocean surface highlighted by sunglint – sunlight reflecting off the water surface – is visible to the north-northeast of Ulawun. Photo courtesy of NASA.