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NASA Goddard Releases New Images of Red Sea Island

At year's end a new island emerged in the Red Sea. But it is unclear how long it will survive.

NASA Goddard has released updated images of the new island that formed near Rugged Island in the southern Red Sea following a volcanic eruption.

Goddard released its first images of the island on Dec. 23, four days after local news reports said fisherman saw an eruption in the sea on Dec. 19, with lava rising up to 90-feet in the air, according to NASA.

The latest image shows plume from the new island that was captured by the Aqua Satellite on Dec. 31 in its afternoon overpass.

Thus 2011 comes to a close with the birth of an island that arose from cooling lava in the aftermath of explosive volcanic activity.

It's not clear how long into the new year the young island will last.

Islands that emerge from volcanic eruptions sometimes don't survive beyond three years because waves can break them apart, Global Vulcanism Program volcanologist Rick Wunderman reported, according to CNN. Although it's not clear whether the new island will last, Wunderman said the material that emerges from the Red Sea is typically more structurally sound than it is in other areas.

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