Since Sep 6, 2000

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Ascension Island (7.95°S, 14.37°W) is possibly one of the loneliest places on earth. It is located just South of the Equator in the Atlantic and is almost equidistant between Africa and Brazil. The nearest land is another lonely island, St Helena, which is 750 miles to the South East. Ascension is just 35 miles square and the highest point is 2817 feet high.

Being close to the Equator the climate is warm all year round. The lowest temperatures are in October and November, averaging 25 C. The highest temperatures, around 30 C, are experienced in March and April. According to statistics, it rains on 280 days of the year, but most of the rain falls on the mountain and the lower coastal strip of the island is dry and barren.

The highest peak is called Green Mountain and is covered in rain forest. Green Mountain is one of 44 volcanic peaks on the island, but, don't worry, the last volcanic eruption was some 700 years ago. The rest of the island is covered in rocks, scrub and dried lava flows.

During the Second World War, the US of A set up an air force base here and at that time it had its greatest population of 4000 people. Britain also has an air force base here, which became one of the busiest airports in the world during the Falklands conflict in 1982. Now there is a population of some 1000 people, mostly contract workers and St Helenians. Until recently, Ascension Island was closed to tourists