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Glowing sulfur stumps brains at volcano site

LIGHT-ENHANCED PHOTO COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

Hawaii, USA

In the 96-year-history of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, geologists have NEVER SEEN ANYTHING EXACTLY LIKE WHAT APPEARED IN THE VENT that broke open in Halemaumau Crater last week: sulfur that glows in the dark. Scientists plowed through old records of sulphur vents (solfataras) at Kilauea going back to the founding of the observatory in 1912. If previous observers ever saw them glow, they did not mention it. What does it mean? Not an eruption. The right signs are not there. But beyond that, the scientists just are not sure. Instruments are recording tremors, jiggling of the ground, but it is disorderly. An eruption would show harmonic tremors. That is the orderly "sound" of lava moving through a tube.

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