NASA releases video study of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai island

New Pacific Volcanic Island is Like the Planet Mars

The Earth's newest landmass could give scientists interesting insights about Mars' topography.

Dan Slayback, a remote-sensing specialist at NASA, said: "If we fit all of our data to date, we get a 26 to 30-year lifetime".

If some of the volcanic shapes on Mars matched an intermediate state of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, that could suggest that the water disappeared and the erosion stopped.

The Tongan island, which is unofficially known as of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, formed as recently 2015 following the violent eruption of an underwater volcano.

NASA scientist Jim Garvin stated that when the island was first formed, it was expected to erode back into the ocean within a few months.

Garvin said such spots may be prime locations to look for evidence of past life because they combined a wet environment with heat from volcanic processes.

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The new island is perched on the north rim of a caldera on top of an underwater volcano that stands almost 4,600 feet (1,400 meters) above the surrounding the sea floor, according to seaborne bathymetry measurements made by geologist and co-author Vicki Ferrini at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in Palisades, New York, NASA said.

It's not often that a whole new chunk of land just comes jutting out of the ocean, but that's just what happened with a new island in the South Pacific.

Researchers are still working to understand the exact chemical conditions that helped the island, and its surrounding landforms, to become resilient against erosion. This makes studying the evolution of the newly formed island crucial to understanding Martian topography. Scientists believe that these reactions could have occurred at both Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai and Mars. While the island continued to evolve, it was more stable by late 2016.

Despite the estimate, it is still hard for scientists to determine exactly how long the island has left.

He said Mars had many similar volcanic islands that appeared to have been surrounded by water when they were created.

"Islands like this might have worked on Mars two or three billion years ago - lakes and small seas filling depressions, persistent surface waters", he said.

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