Watching a wildfire from within—seeing the flames fly above, below, and for 360 degrees all around—can offer scientists and firefighters valuable information about how these increasingly threatening blazes behave and spread. But the average forest fire sends temperatures rocketing up past 800 degrees Celsius (1,472 degrees Fahrenheit), hot enough to cremate a human or melt a camera. So, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently surrounded their equipment with a coolant that also happens to filter damaging infrared light: water. This let them capture completely surrounding footage of fires like the controlled burn in the video featured here, in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Viewers can simply click the screen and drag the cursor to shift their viewpoint.
In the NIST setup, a waterproof camera sits in a liquid-filled bulb made of heat-resistant glass. “It’s exactly like a snow globe with a camera in the