Another remarkable time-lapse video shows Hawaii’s volcanic activity from a unique perspective

By Tom Yulsman | May 22, 2018 7:43 pm

A ‘cloud camera’ 40 miles away and high on a mountain captured the eerie glow emanating from continuing volcanic activity

A time-lapse acquired by the Gemini North telescope cloud camera on the night of May 21/22 shows the glow from volcanic activity on the Big Island of Hawaii. (Source: Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF)

Time-lapse video acquired by the Gemini North telescope cloud camera on the night of May 21/22 shows the glow from volcanic activity on the Big Island of Hawaii. (Source: Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF)

Last week I featured time-lapse video capturing the ash plume from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano exploding skyward higher than Mt. Everest. Now, the same camera, located on the Gemini North telescope atop 13,803-foot Mauna Kea, has captured yet another remarkable video.

The new time-lapse shows the intense glow from an extensive region of volcanic fissures on Hawaii’s Big Island. As described in a release from the Gemini Observatory:

During the sequence, multiple fissures expelled lava in the area in and around Leilani Estates in the Puna district of the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The lava also flowed into the ocean during the period of the video.

The camera is located about 40 miles away from the eruptions. It’s ordinarily used to monitor the sky so that telescope operations can be handled remotely.

The view is eastward, toward the town of Hilo, which is under the cloud deck roughly at center. According to the observatory release:

The moon illuminates the landscape early in the sequence. Later, the setting moon (behind the camera) casts shadows of Gemini and several Mauna Kea observatories as well as a projection of the mountain onto the atmosphere.

As I’m writing this on Tuesday evening, sulfur dioxide is reported to be spewing from the fissures in Leilani Estate area. And this morning, the Kilauea’s summit volcano erupted once again.
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Earth Science, select, Top Posts, Volcanoes
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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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