This is an image of Mount Merapi, acquired by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on June 6, 2006. A red square marks the volcano's summit; this "hotspot" is where the satellite sensor detected unusually warm surface temperatures.
A gray plume emerges from the summit and blows westward away from the volcano, gradually dissipating as it goes. Clouds also appear in the region, distinguishable from the plume by their opaque white appearance.
Mount Merapi, on the Indonesian island of Java, has been sporadically giving off clouds of gas and lava for several weeks. It's possible that the increased activity of this volcano was caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake, which struck about 20 miles to the south of it on May 27.
The volcano's lava dome has swelled in recent weeks, raising concerns that it could suddenly collapse and send scalding clouds of gas and debris into populated areas. Over 23,000 people have left the area in the last 3 weeks. The volcano is 280 miles from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.