Photographer's Note

Hawaii is not only the name of the State and Archipelago, but also the name of the youngest and largest Hawaiian Islands, also known as the Big Island. Around one million years old and still growing, it holds a few records in the world of volcanoes. It hosts Kilauea, which is the most active volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa, which is the largest, and Mauna Kea, which is the highest if measured from the ocean floor. All this on an island requiring less than a day to drive around. Needless to say, volcanoes in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park are the most exciting part about the Big Island.
This is pahoehoe lava flowing on the side of Kilauea towards the ocean. Pahoehoe is a basaltic, viscous, slow flowing and therefore not overly dangerous lava. Its surface cools and gets covered quickly with a solid black crust, while the interior and the fresh edges remain liquid and are easily noticeable in the image. This is also why the view is not overly spectacular in full daylight, when the red glow is barely noticeable. The view required a two hours night approach over an older lava field, with a very irregular, rough surface. Those who would like to get close to the action should take a few days for this, hike in and camp at the end of the Napau Trail. Walking on lava is quite demanding and the environment is harsh, but the night views are worth the effort.
The picture was exposed 90 seconds and the movement of the stars is clearly visible.

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Additional Photos by Roland Roesler (Roly) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 546 W: 9 N: 436] (2024)
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