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Vesuvius on fire

14 July 2017

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With Italy suffering high temperatures and drought, wildfires have broken out including blazes that are ravaging the slopes of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Using images taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2B satellite on 12 July 2017, the animation combines different sensor bands to highlight the numerous separate fires around this iconic volcano and the smoke billowing over the surrounding area.

This huge plume of smoke led some to believe that Vesuvius was erupting again. The last time it erupted was back in 1944, but is most famous for the 79 AD eruption that destroyed Pompeii.

The smoke from these fires poses the biggest threat and has forced several evacuations this week. The wooded slopes of Vesuvius form part of the Vesuvio National Park, which was set up in 1995 to protect the volcano and surroundings. Much of the woodland is now destroyed.

 Vesuvius on fire

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Sentinel-5P launch preparations in full swing

14 September 2017

With liftoff set for 13 October, engineers at Russia's Plesetsk launch site are steaming ahead with the task of getting Europe's next Copernicus satellite ready for its journey into orbit.
Sentinel-5P being lifted into position
The Sentinel-5P satellite has been at Plesetsk in northern Russia for almost two weeks. So far, it has been taken out of its transport container, positioned for testing and engineers have started ticking off the jobs on the long ‘to do' list.