June 27, 2016

Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano erupted early Monday morning in a dazzling display of nature’s power. The eruption sent smoke, ash, and lava shooting up over 9,000 feet into the air and lighting up the early morning sky. You can check out the scene under a slew of stars above, or the eruption during the daytime below:

The volcano has been monitored by cameras around-the-clock since it first started rumbling back into life. Then early Sunday morning, over 500 minutes of low frequency tremors were recorded, according to a report posted by Tercermilenio.

As The Guardian reported, authorities quickly set up a security perimeter around the volcano so curious adventurer seekers (and aliens) don’t wander too close to the crater. Luckily, cameras were on hand to capture the eruption so amateur volcanologists could admire the display from a very safe distance.

One of the beautiful time-lapse videos captured by the volcano cams shows Popocatépetl sending up plumes of ash and fire as day turns to night and the moon rises over Puebla. The other video shows the volcanic eruption in action under a starry sky at 4 a.m., clearly proving that Fourth of July fireworks have nothing on Mother Nature.

The volcano sits between the Central Mexican towns of Puebla and Morelos. Light ash falls were reported in both. According to The Guardian, the last time that Popocatépetl had a major eruption was back in 2000, and more than 40,000 people had to be evacuated from the volcano and nearby towns. 

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