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“Located just north of the equator (3.85° North, 154.9° East), this
classically shaped atoll is part of the Caroline Islands, which stretch
northeast of Papua New Guinea in the western Pacific. (The islands are
roughly north of Guadalcanal, and southeast of Guam and Truk Islands.)
Nukuoro Atoll is one of 607 islands that make up the Federated States
of Micronesia, a United Nations Trust Territory under U.S.

The image shows the sandy atoll with 42 distinct patches of vegetation.
These patches are located on the northeast and east portions of the
atoll that face the dominant easterly winds. The detailed image (white
box indicates area shown) shows the larger fields and settlements,
which are on the inland side of the largest forest patch, protected
from the wind. The land surface is probably slightly higher above sea
level here because dunes build up preferentially on wind-facing slopes
where beach sand is mobilized by wind. Swells driven by these winds
approach from the east-southeast (right) and wrap around the atoll to
produce an interference pattern on the downwind side. Water in the
lagoon is notably calm in comparison. Coral heads appear in the lagoon,
including one in the center of the image.

About 900 people live on Nukuoro, whose lagoon is 6 kilometers (about
3.7 miles) in diameter. Fishing, animal husbandry, and agriculture
(taro and copra) are the main occupations. Nukuoro is remote. It has no
airstrip, and a passenger boat calls irregularly only once a month. The
tiny population speaks its own unique language.

Astronaut photograph ISS013-E-28610 was acquired May 31, 2006, using a
Kodak 760C digital camera with an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the
ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis
Group, Johnson Space Center. The image in this article has been cropped
and enhanced to improve contrast. The International Space Station
Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of
Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public,
and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional
images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC
Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.”

Salt Dome “Craters” on Melville Island
Hurricane Ileana
Rock Glacier on Mount Sopris
Smoke Over the Aegean Sea
Mass Concentration in Antarctica
Oil Spill Near Beirut
Ash Cloud from Mount Ubinas, Peru
Garig Gunak Barlu National Park
Eruption of Tungurahua
Charleston Fire, Northern Nevada
Oil Spill Along the Lebanese Coast
Hurricane-Ready Sea Surface Temperatures
The Strait of Dover
Mount Etna, Sicily
Shiretoko National Park
Oppressive Heat Wave Moves across United States
Typhoon Saomai
Sea Ice off Greenland Coast

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