A visualisation of Earth’s first geologic eon – four billion years ago – named after the Greek god Hades on account of the ‘hellish’ cratered, magma-strewn conditions that prevailed when the first pre-biotic compounds formed.
Photographer Martin Rietze’s extraordinary photos of the Sakurajima volcano in southern Kyushu, Japan as it disgorged smoke, fire and lava bombs in January, culminating in a violent 20 second lightning show.
The exact cause of volcanic lightning remains unclear. It could be caused by electrically charged volcanic dust or the motion of electrically charged magma bubbles as they are catapulted upward. Or lava pixies. Maybe not lava pixies.