Watch This Amazing Time-Lapse Of The Glow From Hawaii's Volcanic Eruption


Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer

Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF

Hawaii is currently having a pretty tough time with a volcano – and the event has been captured in a rather impressive video.

The Gemini North telescope in Mauna Kea is usually used to study the universe. On this occasion, however, it watched the glow from a region of fissures from the K?lauea volcanic eruption, which is currently causing havoc for locals.


“During the sequence, multiple fissures expelled lava in the area in and around Leilani Estates in the Puna district of the Big Island of Hawaii,” the Gemini Observatory said in a statement. “The lava also flowed into the ocean during the period of the video.”

The footage was taken on the night of May 21, with the camera looking eastward toward the town of Hilo, which is in the center. The Moon also shows up at the start, and later casts a shadow from the Gemini and other observatories.

No, that's not the ocean washing up on the sand, but the glow of the eruption through the clouds.  

“The camera used for the video utilizes a wide-angle lens on a relatively ordinary single lens reflex (SLR) camera with its infrared filter removed,” the statement continued. “This combination causes the volcanic glow to take on a white/blue hue rather than the familiar red color of the lava.”


K?lauea is continuing to cause problems for residents. There’s been one serious injury so far from the lava, while there’s also been a risk of “laze” – toxic gas released as the lava hits the water. A geothermal power plant is now also at risk from the eruption.

An additional star trail image, which also shows a meteor to the center-left. Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF/Joy Pollard


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