...for more than three years. On October 16, 2012, a plume of steam and other volcanic gases streamed from the volcano. This natural-color satellite image of the eruption was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite. Pagan Island’s 53 residents were permanently evacuated following a strong eruption in 1981. Ever since, scientists have monitored the volcano with satellites, through reports from passing ships and aircraft, and infrequent research expeditions. The USGS provides weekly updates on Pagan’s activity at this direct link.