Just eleven hours after the volcano began to erupt, a new island had emerged above the water’s surface, says NASA, which captured images of the nascent island with satellites.
The newborn island grew quickly in size, according to NASA. On September 14, researchers at Tonga Geological Services estimated the island covered just 4,000 square meters — around one acre.
The new island sits on the Home Reef seamount in the Central Tonga Islands, southwest of the archipelago’s Late Island.
You might not want to get too attached to the baby island: islands created by underwater volcanoes “are often short-lived,” says NASA. But sometimes the ephemeral islands can persist for years or even decades.
“No visible ash in the past 24 hours was reported,” added the agency. “All Mariners are advised to sail beyond 4km away from Home Reef until further notice.”