May 2005

Night of 30/31 May - The clouds parted just after 23:00 last night and the glow from the lavadome was visible on and off for the entire night. There was a series of outbursts, indicating on-going fracturing of the lavadome and associated landslides exposing hot lava to the surface.  The anomalous glow on the left flank was not visible in any images from last night. The movie below was processed to remove noise and enhance the brightness of the images.
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glow(s) superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference (size 192 kB)

Night of 28/29 May - Mount St Helens was obscured by clouds for most of the night, but the two glows made a few brief appearances last night, an image is available here.

Night of 27/28 May - The main glow from the lavadome was visible all night and there were a couple of brief outbursts of activity during the night, most likely due to the on-going fracturing of the lavadome. The anomalous glow on the western flank of the mountain was also visible and it varied considerably in intensity over the course of the night. Below are three movies generated from last nights images. The first shows the glows from the mountain, the second was enhanced further to maximise the brightness of the glows and the third shows an enlargement of the anomalous glow on the west flank of the crater.
Flash movie - showing just the glows (size 161 kB)
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glow(s) superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference (size 351 kB)
Flash movie of the 'mystery' glow on the west flank of the crater, enlarged 1600%. (size 388 kB)

Night of 26/27 May - The glow from the lavadome was visible from sunset to sunrise, the glow on the western flank also made a few appearances and there was a brief outburst of activity around midnight. The movie below was processed to remove noise and enhance the brightness of the images.
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glow(s) superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference (size 337 kB)

Night of 25/26 May - The glow from the lavadome was once again visible from sunset to sunrise, although quite dimly. The mystery glow on the western flank was also intermittently visible in the processed images. Below are two movies, the first was processed to remove noise and slightly enhance the brightness of the images, the second is a 1600% magnification of the anomalous glow over the course of the night.
Flash movie - showing the glow (and passing moon)! (size  382 kB)
Flash movie of the 'mystery' glow on the west flank of the crater, enlarged 1600%. (size 400 kB)

Night of 24/25 May - The glow from the lavadome was visible from sunset to sunrise. More spectacular was the view of the moon passing just over the crater at midnight and illuminating the mountain and passing clouds. (Note the bright hotspot on the lower flanks of the mountain is an internal reflection in the Volcanocam). Below is a movie of the entire night, which was processed to remove noise and enhance the brightness of the images.
Flash movie - showing the glow (and passing moon)! (size  530 kB)

Night of 20/21 May - There was no sign of any glow on the images from last night until a bright outburst at 04:13 this morning - presumably from a large landslide/rock fall from the increasingly fractured lavadome. The movie below shows the events as seen by the Volcanocam, except the night time images were processed to remove the noise (and I have included the sunrise for a change!).
Flash movie - showing the glow and the sunrise! (size 323 kB)

Night of 14/15 May - The glow from the lavadome brightened around 22:30 and midnight last night, but was otherwise very faint. The anomalous glow on the west flank was intermittently visible until clouds obscured the crater.
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glow(s) superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference (size 356 kB)

Night of 13/14 May - The glow from the lavadome was faintly visible from sunset until about 22:30 in the enhanced images. The anomalous glow on the west flank wasn't visible in any of the processed or enlarged images. The movie below was processed to remove noise and enhance the brightness of the glow.
Flash movie - showing just the enhanced glow. (size 224 kB)

Night of 12/13 May - The mountain was relatively free of clouds and the glow from the lavadome was visible for most of the night. The anomalous glow on the west flank also made an occasional appearance. Below are two movies - both were processed to isolate and enhance the brightness of the glow(s).
Flash movie - showing just the enhanced glow(s). (size 333 kB)
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glows superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference. (size 203 kB)

Night of 11/12 May - The mountain was covered by varying levels of clouds during the night, but the anomalous glow on the west flank of the crater and the main glow from the lavadome appeared intermittently. I have received some advice from one engineer who works with CCD cameras and it seems unlikely that the anomalous spot is due to a defective pixel on the CCD in the Volcanocam. More info soon...
Below are two movies - the first was processed to isolate and enhance the brightness of the glow(s). The second is another enlargement of the region of the glow on the west flank of the mountain.
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glows(!) superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference. (size 244 kB)
Flash movie of the 'mystery' glow on the west flank of the crater, enlarged 1600%. (size 291 kB)

Night of 07/08 May - The glow from the lavadome was visible from just after sunset until a little after midnight. There was no sign of the hotspot on the west flank of the carter in the processed images. The movie below was processed to remove the noise from the Volcanocam images and enhanced to isolate and maximise the brightness of the glow.
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glow superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference. (size 148 kB)

May 7 - The consensus view seems to be that the most likely explanation for the mysterious glow on the west flank of the crater on Tuesday and Wednesday night (see below), was a faulty pixel in the Volcanocam camera. To check out this possibility, I have enlarged the view by 1600% to reveal the nature of the glow images. I am not an expert on the behavior of CCD cameras, so I don't know if the images are indicative of a faulty pixel or not. I can only say that the bright spot varies from a few pixels to dozens of pixels over the course of the two nights. I would welcome comments from anyone who has experience in this area on what you think about these images...
Flash movie of the 'mystery' glow on the west flank of the crater, enlarged 1600%. (size 185 kB)

Night of 04/05 May - Well, the mystery glow on the west flank of the crater was back last night and the main glow from the lavadome was also intermittently visible. It's still not obvious what the new hotspot on the images actually is - a faulty pixel on the Volcanocam, illegal climbers with a big campfire or a genuine hotspot on the side of the crater... Hopefully this will become clearer in the next day or so. In the meantime, its an intriguing little mystery.
Below are two movies - the first was processed to remove the noise and shows the brightness of the events as seen on the Volcanocam images. The second was processed to isolate and enhance the brightness of the glow(s).
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glows(!) superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference. (size 306 kB)
Flash movie - showing just the glow(s). (size 173 kB)

Night of 03/04 May - The usual glow from the lavadome made a brief appearance between 22:00 and 23:00 last night. But of much more interest is the bright spot that appeared on the west flank of the mountain from 22:43 until sunrise. It appears as a small bright spot on the right hand side of the frame. It doesn't appear to be a reflection of the glow from the lavadome - especially as it appears to originate from the outside of the crater. A defective (hot) pixel in the Volcanocam camera itself is another possibility, although this seems unlikely as the brightness varies over time. It could be a campfire, although it would have to be a rather large campfire and the mountain is closed to the public. The only other explanation that comes to mind is that it could be a new volcanic vent appearing on the side of the crater. Probably unlikely, but this is quite intriguing and so far unexplained. Stay tuned for updates.
Below are two movies - the first was processed to remove the noise and shows the brightness of the events as seen on the Volcanocam images. The second was processed to isolate and enhance the brightness of the glow(s).
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glows(!) superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference. (size 498 kB)
Flash movie - showing just the glow(s). (size 454 kB)

Night of 02/03 May - The glow was visible from midnight until dawn. The movie below was processed to remove the noise from the Volcanocam images and enhanced to isolate and maximise the brightness of the glow.
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glow superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference. (size 136 kB)

Night of 30/01 May - The glow was visible from sunset for about a couple of hours then appeared intermittently over the course of the night. The movie below was processed to remove the noise from the Volcanocam images and enhanced to isolate and maximise the brightness of the glow.
Flash movie - showing the enhanced images of the glow superimposed on a background image of the mountain for reference. (size 157 kB)