Ever since drones became popular, amazing photos and video footage of beautiful locations and events have been shared online. Just take a quick look at our Instagram account, if you’d like to see some of the beauty our planet has to offer and the unique perspective drones can provide. Since drones are unmanned and relatively affordable, they also allow us to go places where we’d otherwise wouldn’t dare to go, like to the edge of an erupting volcano for instance.

DJI Mavic Pro

Mavic Pro drone does the dirty work

Wednesday morning, October 11, volcano Kirishima in Japan started spewing ashes from the Shinmoe-dake cone on the North end of Kagoshima Bay. This is the first time that the volcano has come back to life since September 2011.  According to Erik Klemetti from DiscoverMagazine, this has been relatively small ash-and-gas plumes that reached less than 1 kilometer (~3,200 feet) over the volcano and spread shards of volcanic glass (aka ash) across the area. The latest explosions did prompt the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) to raise the alert status to Level 3 and declare an exclusion zone around the active vent.

James Reynolds, a stay-at-home dad, and documenter of Nature’s violent tantrums was at the location and sent his Mavic Pro up in the air on October 12.

James Reynolds, a stay-at-home dad, and documenter of Nature’s violent tantrums was at the location and sent his Mavic Pro up in the air on October 12. Reynolds was able to take some dramatic footage while staying safely outside the exclusion zone.

According to Klemetti who is a volcanologist, there are:

Two things that really stand out in the footage: (1) the volcano’s roar — you can really hear that low, growling sound of the ash emissions from the vent and (2) the pulsing nature of the eruption, as ash and hot volcanic gases issue from the vent. You can also see how fine the ash looks in that has fallen inside the crater, which reminds me of eruptions where mostly old volcanic materials is being pulverized. Some other fumaroles (gas vents) can be seen to the left of vent in the footage as well. The ash quickly loses buoyancy and falls to the ground, showing there isn’t a lot of “oomph” behind the eruption at this point.

According to us two other things stand out: (1) drones allow you to create amazing photos and video footage, even of dangerous events like volcanic eruptions and (2) while you as the pilot stay at a safe distance.

All photos are screenshots from James Reynolds’ twitter video.

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