Watch Hawaii's Kilauea volcano glow through the clouds

Clouds and shifting stars turn Hawaii's dangerous volcano into a scene of beauty.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

The Gemini North Observatory has a unique perspective on the frightening activity happening at the Kiluaea volcano. Gemini sits high up on Hawaii's Mauna Kea mountain and has a camera pointed in the direction of Kiluaea. That camera caught sight of the distant eruption and generated a spectacular time-lapse video.

The footage comes from May 21 and 22 and shows stars fleeing across the night sky while the clouds glow as if lit by a giant flashlight from below. The radiating light comes from lava-spewing fissures generated by Kilauea's continued eruption. The time-lapse effect makes the clouds look like a roiling sea.

The camera has its infrared filter removed, which is why the footage shows a white and blue glow rather than the customary red glare of lava. 

The video is haunting, but it only hints at the danger and destruction caused by Kiluaea's current eruption, which started on May 3 and has since destroyed buildings and forced evacuations as intense fissures opened up across the land.

The United States Geological Survey has been monitoring lava flow and ballistic blocks ejected by the volcano while satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station have watched the action from far above.

The USGS says it doesn't know how long the eruption might last. 

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