Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mystery glow on Mount St Helens just dodgy camera

The anomalous glow seen on the Western Flank of Mount St Helens over the last couple of months is finally confirmed to be nothing more than defective pixels on the Volcanocam CCD camera.

On the 12th of September the lens on the Volcanocam was cleaned, and in the process the camera was moved slightly. So by looking at the images from the nights before and after the camera was moved clearly shows that the hot pixels in the image are in the same location in the frame, even though the view of the crater has changed.

The only explanation is that this is due to a defective pixel or pixels in the CCD and not any real hotspot on the crater wall. The evidence was beginning to favour this conclusion, but this now looks like the final word on the issue.


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