Sunday, May 29, 2005

A pair of glows in the night

After a few days of good weather, Mount St Helens was obscured by clouds for most of last night. Only occasionally did the clouds part briefly to give us a view of the glow from the lavadome and the mystery little glow on the western flank. See the image below.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights the two glows were fairly bright and easily seen in the enhanced images of the crater. There's still really no explanation for the bright spot on the western flank of the mountain, and so far the USGS hasn't posted any new images of the area.

One thought does occur to me though. Looking at the clear daytime images from late April (before the anomalous glow appeared) the area where its located seemed to have less snow cover than it has on present daytime images. I wonder if a slab of snow/ice has formed that it sitting at just the right angle to reflect light to the Volcanocam? Of course, the real question then becomes, what is the source of bright infra-red light?

16 images from the Volcanocam from last night, combined to show the glow from the lavadome and the anomalous little glow on the western flank of Mount St Helens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect it is ice reflecting light from another source. As to what that source might be ... that is the interesting question. Are there any security lights or other sources of illumination at the observatory or nearby that might be getting reflected back at the camera?

2005-06-04, 4:08 p.m.  

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