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July 19, 2011
One of the astronauts onboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis exposed this image of Mount Egmont Volcano, New Zealand. Sometimes referred to as Mount Taranaki, the land feature is a young stratovolcano that began to form 70,000 years ago, according to volcanists. Located in southwest North Island, New Zealand, Mount Egmont, at 8,261 feet (2,518 meters) is the second tallest volcanic mountain in New Zealand. Perpetually snow-capped, the volcano last erupted in 1755. Mount Egmont has a history of a major size eruption occurring every 340 years, with numerous minor ones in between. The volcano has had three major cone collapses in the last 25,000 years with the last collapse occurring 6,970 years ago. With each collapse, thick layers of ash and lava crumbled into thick, muddy avalanches called lahars. These lahars have reached the coastline 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the west and north of the volcano (bottom center and left center). The volcano is surrounded by forest, especially on its lower flanks, which is part of a National Park. The pastureland that circles the park is used for dairy farming.

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