The live streams below come from the ship and show incredible footage taken by robots sent deep into the Central Pacific Ocean – one of the most mysterious and remote regions of our planet.
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, dubbed America’s Ship for Ocean Exploration, set off on its an expedition from American Samoa to Hawaii about two weeks ago.
Nearly every day scientists have been sending remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) into the depths of the ocean in a bid to find out more about the deep-sea world.
The mission, named Mountains of the Deep, aims to find out more about underwater mountains rising from the ocean seafloor, known as seamounts.
Yesterday the ship posted: “The mapping team has been hard at work all night and will be mapping all day as we transit ~300 nautical miles north from our last dive site towards Palmyra Atoll in the Line Islands.
“We will continue mapping operations through the night until the beginning of our dive tomorrow.”
Palmyra Atoll is located almost due south of the Hawaiian Islands and is roughly a third of the way between American Samoa and Hawaii. The expedition ends on May 15 in Honolulu.
The ROV dives take place most days, usually from 8pm BST (3pm EDT) to 5am BST (12am EDT).
During the dives when the ROVs are in the water, live video will stream off the ship with audio from the ROV pilots and conversations between scientists.
In between the dives, the live streams show footages of sea creatures, the robots in action and scientific data collected as part of the expedition.
The Okeanos Explorer live video webpage says:” When the Okeanos Explorer is underway on an expedition, this page will broadcast streams from the ship.
“What is being shown on the different video streams may change depending on the exploration and operations at hand.”
Explore the ocean live from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer
The mission plan said that a vast majority of the waters have never been properly mapped and “remain unseen by human eyes”.
“The expedition will collect critical data to better understand the origin of seamounts in this area and how the deepwater communities on these seamounts are connected,” it added.
Scientists on the mission are trying to find answers to many unresolved questions such as how seamounts formed, how old they are and what biological communities might exist there.
The plan said: “With so much unknown in this area, it is nearly impossible for one cruise to answer all of these questions, but we plan to bring back the first puzzle pieces to help solve them.
“As with many exploration missions, Mountains in the Deep will likely end with more questions than it started with, hopefully spuring the next round of exploration and scientific research.”