A spectacular volcanic eruption is currently under way in Japan. The mountain Kirishima is firing red-hot magma and volcanic bombs into the air.
Mount Kirishima, a volcano on the southern island of Kyushu, began erupting on Jan. 26. A giant ash cloud poured from the volcano, prompting the Tokyo VAAC to issue an ash warning for places above 25,000 feet (7.6 kilometers).
Volcanic material shot from the crater, triggering pyroclastic flows, according to the blog Big Think.
Kirishima ejected volcanic bombs — lava fragments that are rounded as they fly through the air — more than a mile (2 kilometers) high from its vent, according to news reports. Images of the eruption show plumes of glowing material shooting a few hundred feet in the air. A volcanic vent is a gap in the Earth's crust through which lava and volcanic gases can escape.
Kirishima technically refers to a larger group of volcanic vents on the island. These vents are quite active but mostly have small explosive eruptions. The latest eruption may be the largest since 1959.
See the ongoing eruption on the Kirishima webcam.