La Palma turns into open-air lab for tech-savvy volcanologists

  • A scientist from IGME-CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) collects samples of volcanic ash Nov. 18 on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain. (AP Photo/Taner Orribo)

  • Scientists from CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) take geophysics measurements Nov. 13 on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain. (AP Photo/Taner Orribo)

LAS MANCHAS, Canary Islands — They come with eagle-eyed drones and high-precision instruments. Aided by satellites, they analyze gas emissions and the flows of molten rock. On the ground, they collect everything from the tiniest particles to “lava bombs” the size of watermelons that one of nature’s most powerful forces hurl as incandescent projectiles.