NASA has discovered a new island that’s only days old – but already has a tragic history.
The US space agency used powerful satellite cameras to photograph a lonely rocky outcrop created by volcanic eruptions.
It is located in an area of the southwest Pacific known for its underwater volcanoes.
“On September 10, 2022, one of them woke up,” NASA said.
“In the past few days, the Home Reef seamount in the central Tonga Islands has repeatedly erupted lava, plumes of steam and ash, discoloring the surrounding water.”
The island was estimated at 33 feet above sea level and about an acre in size as of Sept. 14, according to Nasa and Tonga Geological Services.
However, it has now grown to six acres – around 24,000 square meters.
The island was formed in an area of seafloor ridge stretching from New Zealand to Tonga – with the world’s highest density of underwater volcanoes.
Nasa suggests the new island rose as early as 11 hours after the eruption began.
Images show plumes of “superheated, acidic seawater” spreading from the island, containing volcanic rock fragments and sulphur.
Nasa says the island is southwest of Late Island, northeast of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, and northwest of Mo’unga’one.
It is located on Home Reef, where three tectonic plates collide at relatively high speeds.
But there’s bad news for new island fans: their existence might be short-lived.
Volcanic islands often disappear very quickly, even if they are quite large.
So the new island could come to a tragic end in the near future.
However, there is hope: some new volcanic islands exist for years.
“Home Reef has had four recorded eruption periods, including events in 1852 and 1857,” NASA said.
“Small islands formed temporarily after both events, and eruptions in 1984 and 2006 produced ephemeral islands with cliffs 50 to 70 meters high.
“An island created by a 12-day eruption of nearby Late’iki volcano in 2020 was washed away after two months, while a previous island created by the same volcano in 1995 survived for 25 years.”
It’s unclear how long it will be before this new island breaks apart.
Luckily, satellite images give us a clear view of his majesty – lest history forget her.
But while island fans will love the news, officials are warning ships to stay away from the area because of the ash fall.
“The volcano poses a low risk to the aviation community and residents of Vava’u and Ha’apai,” the Tonga Geological Service warned.
“However, all seafarers are advised to sail more than 4 kilometers from Home Reef until further notice.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9454927/nasa-new-island-pacific-ocean/ Nasa has discovered a NEW island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a tragic secret