Volcanoes have been crucial to life on earth. Oozing lava helped form our planet's land masses. Gases from volcanoes helped create our atmosphere. But despite the growing field of volcanology, there's still a lot we don't understand about volcanic eruptions.
That's partly because volcanoes aren't easy to study. Getting the right equipment into remote locations under unpredictable circumstances can be difficult. More important, studying active volcanos can be dangerous.