Featured Image for Astronaut takes humbling photo of Kilauea’s lava flows from space
Science

Astronaut takes humbling photo of Kilauea’s lava flows from space

In the weeks following Kilauea’s eruption in Hawaii, we saw some incredible satellite images of its lava flows.

But its the latest one taken by astronaut Ricky Arnold that has our jaws dropping.

In the top left-hand corner, you can see the first rays of sunshine lighting up the curvature of the Earth; in the bottom right-hand corner you can see the small orange glow of lava against the blackness of the Pacific Ocean.

Two impossible feats of nature occurring at once. Arnold took the photo from the International Space Station.

It is as breathtaking as it is humbling.

Kilauea volcano captured from space by astronaut Ricky Arnold.

Kilauea volcano captured from space by astronaut Ricky Arnold.

“The pumpkin orange lava flows of #Kilauea aglow during the predawn hours over the Pacific Ocean,” Arnold wrote alongside the image in a tweet.

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted on May 3 after a 5.0 magnitude earthquake shook the Big Island.

Lava ran through residential subdivisions in the Puna district, causing mandatory evacuations throughout the Big Island.

A few months on and the volcano is still very much alive, with a persistent fissure on the volcano’s side still experiencing ‘collapse/explosion events’. This fissure, known as Fissure 8, is almost at 200 feet high due to a solidified mound of volcanic rock that has formed around it. Scientists are debating whether the fissure should be classified as a new volcano.

kilauea volcano

Satellite image shows lava flows from Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. (Copernicus Sentinel-2/ESA)

In the months leading up to the eruption, locals at Volcano Village had been experiencing regular earthquakes caused by explosions six miles away at the Halemaumau Crater. But as of the end of June, the number of these earthquakes has risen considerably.

According to the Hawaii Tribune, the region is experiencing up to 600 earthquakes on a daily basis – many of which are strong enough to be felt and cause damage.

More than 1,000 residents of the surrounding region remain in temporary housing.

Leave a comment