German photographer Martin Rietze had a unique opportunity to be in Japan as the Sakurajima Volcano in southern Kyushu erupted with forth smoke, fire, and lava. The images present a phenomenal juxtaposition of a rain of fire and flashes of lightning sparking through a billowing cloud of black smoke.
The Japanese volcano was caught in its magnificent burst of activity between February 21st and 26th by the photographer. His grit and fearlessness landed one of his photos a feature on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day earlier this week. According to NASA, it is not fully understood what causes volcanic lightning. Although lightning in general occurs somewhere on Earth roughly 40 times per second!