Taking a short detour from my Japan trip reports to share the above image with readers of Insights and Sounds. If you've been semi following me on this blog, you know that I love photographing the Milky Way, especially at the top of Mauna Kea Summit! At an elevation of 13,800 ft, shots of MW are as clear and crisp as you'll ever see. I can clearly see it also with the naked eye (and not some vague outline, but a very defined and detailed look).
I drove up last week attempting to photograph the MW above several of the telescopes located at the peak. Unfortunately, it was on the opposite side of the sky! A little disappointed, I nonetheless moved my camera and gear to still grab something. As I approached the edge, I noticed an orange hue rising from the horizon. As it came into full view, I realized it was the glow of lava from the newly emerged Fissure 8! If you've been following the news, you know that volcanic activity has been hot and heavy, with the lava destroying hundreds of homes in the Leilani Estates area. I had hope to shoot this event, but security was tight with fines of $5,000.00 and possible jail time being handed out to trespassers. But God, in His generosity, gave me a birds eye view of this spectacle from over 80 miles away!
As a sidenote, while the lava has touched a lot of lives and is a tragedy, 99% of the Big Island is unaffected by the lava (other than the VOG)! If you were or are planning to visit there, please do so! A lot of the small businesses are dying because of visitor cancellations. There is still so much to do and see on the Big Island..and visiting the summit is clearly one of them!