Whether it's the noxious gases rising from the Kilauea volcano, or the lively coral reefs that sprawl across the seafloor around the island chain, Hawaii's ecosystems are under some serious scientific scrutiny this month. Researchers are here gathering data using NASA's high-altitude airplanes, outfitted with cameras that capture visible light as well as infrared radiation. One airplane, the ER-2, can soar to 67,000 feet, or "the edge of space," as NASA systems engineer Michael Mercury put it.
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