NASA Has A Stellar View Of Volcanoes From Space — Peep The Pics

There's also a dispute over Hawaii's hottest star-gazing real estate.

NASA has friends in high places (And like, super high-tech telescopes, too.) Which is why they have these amazing shots of Hawaii's Mauna Kea (which translates to "white mountain") -- the only volcano on the island that shows evidence of glaciation.

If you check out the image taken by a member of the Expedition 45 crew on the International Space Station (ISS), you can get one of the best glimpses of the volcano's dome shape (because the angle of the sun was low in the evening when the photo was taken), drool over the Instagram-worthy beauty of nature and be reminded of your own mortality.


If you look closely, you can also see tiny white domes (in the shape of a letter "C"): those are a few of the observatories set up by several different countries on the crater's rims, NASA explains, because Mauna Kea (at 4,205 meters above sea level) is a perfect spot for the star-gazing pros to set up shop.

However, that's not something everyone agrees on as State courts recently rescinded permits for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope project -- a $1.4 billion observatory that would house the largest, most powerful telescope in the world.

While part of the lawsuit to pause the project cited the spiritual importance of the land, Kealoha Pisciotta, a spokeswoman for the group behind the lawsuit told the New York Times it's "a very simple case about land use."

“It’s not science versus religion. We’re not the church. You’re not Galileo,” Pisciotta, a former telescope operator told the Times.

The Times reports that Governor David Ige said in May that the project could move forward if at least three of the 13 existing telescopes were removed.