Even from the top of a volcanic crater, this vista was unusual. On the left side Mars was bright when this picture was taken in January 2010, as it was nearing its opposition and the brightest time in every two years (note the beautiful Beehive star cluster above Mars in this view). Arching across the lower part of the image is a rare lunar fog bow. Unlike a more commonly seen rainbow, which is created by sunlight reflected prismatically by falling rain, this fog bow was created by moonlight reflected by the small water drops that compose fog. Although most fog bows appear white, all of the colors of the rainbow were somehow visible here. The above image was taken from high atop Haleakala, a huge volcano in Hawaii, USA. Quite stunning in this view is an unknown event like volcanic activity in the far horizon, captured as the yellow light on the right end.



comments (5)

  • Rob Ratkowski Reply

    in all the years that I have lived in Hawaii and the countless nights I have been at the summit I have never seen an eruption plume like that in the photo. there are no lava fountains happening now or in January when this photo was taken. Pu’u O’o does not erupt like that, Hale Mau mau is a glow from a 300 meter deep pit, I’m not sure this photo is actually correct

    April 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm
  • Chip Porter Reply

    Wally, I love your photos but there is no way that is a volcanic eruption. I’m not sure what you caught there but I have to agree with Rob.

    April 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm
  • Wally Pacholka Reply

    I totally agree we need to be very careful and more accurate with this
    photo description and certainly need to take out the word ‘eruption’. The fact is I don’t know what this event really is. It is an unknown earth based “Horizon Event” not caused by any celestial
    object. Something like a title such as “Lunar Rainbow and Hawaii Island Event”
    would be more accurate at this point.
    It was not an “eruption” as the Volcano observatory folk would know
    about it first but in my opionon it could have been
    one of two things:
    1. The 20 mile lava tube, breaking surface at some point along the way
    to the ocean and exposing the plum cloud of smoke to the light of the
    glowing lava for 5 to 10 minutes before it sealed itself up again, or
    2. military flares being tested on the Big Island.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm
  • TWAN Reply

    OK, we have edited the caption according to the comments below, thanks for your note.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:24 am
  • Susan Murbach Reply

    This is an amazing photo!
    Thank you for capturing such an inspirational moment!!!

    February 18, 2012 at 9:14 am

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