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Mauna Kea Volcano: See Earth Looking Back out at Space as We Look In

3 Dec 2015, 3:03 pm

valcano (1)
NASA was able to capture much more than a striking photo of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano (“White Mountain”). Look closely and you can make out the little white specks at the rim. Those are astronomical observatories set up by several countries and academic consortiums.

(Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii)
(Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii)

With a summit of 13,800 feet, Mauna Kea is an ideal site for the observatories as Hawaii’s tallest volcano. However, the potential for renewed activity is high, last erupting in 2460 BCE. Neighboring Mauna Loa volcano has erupted approximately every six years for the past 3,000 years.

It is unusual for satellite to properly capture depth of an image but the late afternoon lighting and viewing angle accentuates the shadows. It also highlights the observatories and the cinder cones that dot the immense volcano.

For WeatherNation: Monica Cryan

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