Rob and I were lucky enough to visit the Big Island of Hawaii for a few days. We were even more lucky because Kīlauea had resumed erupting a few days before, and had a lovely lava lake in the crater!
We got up well before dawn to see it before dawn, and it was well worth the effort. It truly felt like looking into the heart of the earth.
Note that we didn’t have a good camera, so this was taken with my iPhone. It gives the right impression, but doesn’t do it justice. In reality, the “cracks” in the cooled surface lava are crisper and cleaner, but the incandescent light tends to overwhelm even a decent camera.
It probably takes a really good camera and maybe some filters to really capture it. As dawn broke, it was easier to catch a somewhat representative picture.
This was at 6:42 a.m., well into dawn. I’m really glad we arrived in full dark, but people arriving at this point still got a good show.
However, people arriving after full light got a completely different experience!
It was still amazing, but not nearly as awe-inspiring as clearly seeing the liquid lava.
Highly recommended, if you are lucky enough to get the chance!