Satellites Are Capturing Footage of Hawaii's Erupting Kilauea Volcano as Seen From Space

Sunday, 27 May 2018 - 3:46PM
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Sunday, 27 May 2018 - 3:46PM
Satellites Are Capturing Footage of Hawaii's Erupting Kilauea Volcano as Seen From Space
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NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY
For the past several weeks, the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii's big island has been destroying homes and forcing nearby residents to evacuate, after new fissures opened up and sent lava flowing into its surroundings (the volcano has been erupting since 1983, but was contained until now).

This new wave of volcanic activity has been massive enough that it's actually visible from space, and satellites from space agencies all over the world have been photographing the bright lava from orbit. Even astronauts on the International Space Station reported seeing Kilauea erupting, and this is to say nothing of observatories on Earth which got better views.

To assist in disaster response, the European Space Agency (ESA) was able to capture some photos of Kilauea's pouring lava channels using their Sentinel-2B satellite, while NASA's Landsat program took an especially haunting photo of the volcano's glowing lava during the night. You can see all of these photos below:







Closer to the actual volcano itself, the Gemini Observatory recorded the glow of Kilauea's eruption, which was still visible even over the cloud tops. The observatory's Gemini North telescope resides on top of a nearby dormant volcano named Mauna Kea, so this wasn't taken from space, but it's still worth a look.

You can see that below:



And last but not least, here's how Kilauea looks right now to the astronauts up on the International Space Station. The ISS released this photo:




At least 20 fissures have opened in the past couple weeks, with steam and sulphur dioxide being released alongside the lava. As many as 2,000 people have evacuated so far, and it's very possible that more evacuations will happen soon. This is no small volcanic eruption.

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