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Most Isolated Islands of the Planet: Earth Image of the Week February 22, 2013
Satellite image of Britain under snow.
Steep cliffs along the island's northwest coast provide a dramatic landscape for residents of the main settlement of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.
An astronaut orbiting aboard humankind’s most isolated outpost in space in early February photographed its island counterpart on Earth — Tristan da Cunha.

Located roughly midway between South Africa and the coast of South America, Tristan da Cunha is the main island in a small archipelago of the same name.

The island is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

It is also the most remote inhabited island in the world with a permanent population of less than 300. Its closest land neighbor is Capetown, South Africa, about 1,750 miles to the east.

The photo to the right of Tristan da Cunha was taken on February 6, 2013, from aboard the International Space Station.

The most prominent feature is the summit of a dormant volcano, known as Queen Mary Peak. An eruption in 1961 forced the evacuation of the entire population until it subsided and most of the families returned in 1963.

Fishing is a key industry and is centered around the main settlement of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, located on the island’s north coast.

Despite the remoteness, the stouthearted islanders do have access to two live satellite television channels that relay programs from BBC, ITV and Sky News in the U.K.

But lacking an airport, access to the island is only by the handful of ships that visit the island each year.

Tristan da Cunha was in the news two years ago when a freighter ran aground on nearby Nightingale Island, spilling tons of heavy crude into the ocean. The pollution threatened the population of rockhopper penguins, which were transported to the main island for cleaning.

In 2001, an extratropical cyclone lashed the island with 120 mph winds, killing a large number of cattle and inflicting severe damage to many structures.

Full story and image: NASA