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Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai is the first island of this type to erupt and persist in the modern satellite era, it gives scientists an unprecedented view from space of its early life and evolution. The new study offers insight into its longevity and the erosion that shapes new islands. Understanding these processes could also provide insights into similar features in other parts of the solar system, including Mars.

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Music: La Grange by Hans Engstrom. Complete transcript available.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/LK Ward

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