Because active volcanoes are much too dangerous and hot to observe in person without the high likelihood of personal injury, volcanologists are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to catch a glimpse of them from up above as they erupt to get close-up footage.
In an attempt to learn more about the Guatemalan Volcan de Fuego, which reportedly erupts every three to four weeks, researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge worked together to take scientific data measurements of the volcano as it erupted.
By flying the UAV well over 12,000 feet above the volcano, they were able to take measurements of the surrounding temperature and humidity from the air that was being vented from it, among other things.
Soon, the UAVs will be equipped with alternative sensors that will measure the chemical composition of the gasses being released.
Since more than 60,000 people live within close proximity of the volcano, and are threatened by its very existence, the researchers intend to learn as much as possible about it.