Earth Matters

Longshot Captures the First Tournament Earth

April 8th, 2013 by Mike Carlowicz

Tournament: Earth 2013 has come to a stunning end. A newcomer to the landscape—a volcano that wasn’t even above the water’s surface at the beginning of 2012—literally came out of nowhere to win our first-ever tournament. The #7 seeded El Hierro submarine eruption from the “events” bracket captured the overall crown.

In a true Cinderella story, the underwater volcano proceeded to knock off four higher seeds before meeting another #7 seed—the crack in the Pine Island Glacier—in the final. The matchup was not even close, as El Hierro romped with 91 percent of the votes.


Perhaps sensing its impending victory, El Hierro began stirring in late March 2013. According to Erik Klemetti’s “Eruptions” volcanology blog, earthquake swarms beneath the island suggested that magma was on the move. Perhaps a volcano will soon be popping some lava champagne to celebrate the win.

Here is a walk through the opponents that El Hierro tossed aside on it’s month-long romp through earthly fame:

ROUND 1: Overnight View of Hurricane Sandy (#2 seed, events bracket)



ROUND 2: GOES View of Hurricane Sandy (#3 seed, events bracket)



ROUND 3: New Volcanic Island in the Red Sea (#5 seed, events bracket)



ROUND 4: Night Lights 2012 – Flat Map (#2 seed, Earth at night bracket)



ROUND 5: Flying Through a Crack in the Ice (#7 seed, data bracket)




30 Responses to “Longshot Captures the First Tournament Earth”

  1. Jesús Barranco Reyes says:

    Outstanding picture of an awesome island. Congrats!

  2. Yanet Gutiérrez says:

    From El Hierro, Congrats to my Island and thank you so much for your votes!!!

  3. Leticia Collado says:

    Congrats 🙂 Really awesome image from a trully beautiful place.

  4. very beautiful image says:

    Very beautiful image. Precious. It looks like a bird volcano in the eye, or a dolphin 🙂 Very nice. And the island is beautiful a lot too.
    And thanks for the nice way to tell the story of its Cinderella walk from the bottom of the sea to the heavens, NASA glory stars.
    And…” Perhaps a volcano will soon be popping some lava champagne to celebrate the win.” Maybe, lets wait. If it becomes true hope it will come to give more splendour to that beautiful little great place on Earth.

  5. pilarviso says:

    Desde Tenerife, ¡¡¡¡¡ Felicidades !!!!!! y gracias por haber escogido a la mejor,es un orgullo para cualquier Canario…

  6. Stuart Frye says:

    I and the entire EO-1 team wants to thank the Earth Observatory staff for their tireless picking through all the images and excellent selection of stunning data products. Their watchfulness has not only put little EO-1 on the all-star satellite list, but has helped us identify data issues and resolve problems quickly before they affected other acquisitions. We appreciate all the votes and look forward to continuing the rewarding relationship we’ve built with EO and its viewers.

    • Mike Carlowicz says:

      Stuart – You give us great material to work with. We just bring it to the world. Thanks to your team, too.

  7. yacine says:

    الله يجيب الخير

  8. Labarradelpuerto says:

    Proud of it. Thank you from Canary Islands.

  9. JR says:

    Thank you very much for putting this fantastic image of the island of El Hierro in the tournament.

  10. Nataly says:

    My friends and I are very happy that won photo El Hierro.
    Congratulations AVCAN experts and NASA.
    Thank you from Israel

  11. Luna says:

    Desde la isla de Gran Canaria,muchas gracias NASA!, este reconocimiento le irá bien para el turismo de la isla del Hierro y para las islas Canarias en general en tiempos de crisis.

  12. Eric Brown de Colstoun says:

    Congrats to El Hierro! Goes to show our planet is truly alive!

    Note: was the seeding done according to scientific principles and/or using the latest coaches poll?

  13. medhat says:

    nice,but I pray that this volcanic island will be far from Hurghada (red sea) , I have many friends there, and I want to ask if this will damage the Coral reefs ?

  14. Gokulraj says:


  15. Teddy says:

    What a great victory!!!
    EL HIERRO our smallest pearl in our beautiful archipel the first winner with 91%!
    After long suffering hopefully a happy end for this authentic canarien island.
    dutch expat Teddy from Tenerife.

  16. Younas Khan says:

    Thank You very much for photos. I am really glad to see photos like this. Please Publish more photos to increase in our information. Thanks

  17. Sergio says:

    Great picture!
    I was so lucky I could witness the whole volcanic process in El Hierro. Each day there was a different event (floating steaming stones, big bubbles, many colors and shapes of the patch on the sea,…). Thanks from El Hierro to NASA and all the participants in this tournament.

  18. Teddy says:

    We zijn trots op de geboorte, maar wat ons betreft hoeft deze zuigeling niet snel van zich doen spreken.
    Een beetje op de achtergrond blijven is wel zo beleefd en in overeenstemming met de hartelijke , maar
    nooit opdringerige mentaliteit van de canarios.
    We hopen nog lang van dit fenomeen getuigen te mogen zijn.

    Dutch expats Teddy + Bert


    In the name of the people of EL HIERRO ISLAND, we reaffirm once again our most sincere gratitude for this award and we wish that you, the best voters from around the world, could visit our beatiful island.

    You´ll be really wellcome !!! 😀
    Follow us…


    • Teddy Oeldrich van Rijn says:

      I voted for EL HIERRO of course and I am happy to be an expat on Tenerife.

      • Teddy Oeldrich-van Rijn8 says:

        I know you invited Barrack Obama and the NASA-director to come to EL HIERRO. If they accept your invitation can you invite me too?
        In the meantime, I hope your critical economic situation will not be worser because of the Spanish crisis and may be less tourism. We know it is safe to come to EL HIERRO.


  20. Mike Carlowicz says:

    Many of you are thanking us, but in reality, you made these selections. We started this tournament with the 32 most popular images of 2012 — as indicated by your site visits and page “hits.” From there, it was your votes…your lobbying with friends…you artistic eye…that led us to a champion.

    So now I ask you: in the first 3+ months of 2013, which image is your favorite so far?

  21. Luz Argentalya says:

    El mejor round de mi historial web, son las mejores fotografìas que siempre quise ver de cerca. Gracias!!! aunque tambien a lo lejos puedo….

  22. lipu says:

    its really so beautiful & amazing

  23. PodhuvanAdigal says:

    கண்கொள்ளாக் காட்சி

  24. Steve says:

    Amazing image and absolutely stunning!

    We know a thing or two about volcanoes and natural disasters over here in the Philippines. Not sure if any will make the Top 10 list for 2013 but surely we have a few contenders.

  25. MAR says:

    Did you consider the Earth’s picture taken on July 22, 2013 from the surroundings of Saturn, for the tournament? It is the most wonderful image of Earth!

  26. ENDD says:

    Very beautiful and rare images!!!