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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Off the southeast tip of Papua New Guinea lies a string of small volcanic
islands and coral reefs collectively called the Louisiade Archipelago. This
true-color MODIS image from September 11, 2002, is centered on the island
chain, with Papua New Guinea at the left edge. Moving westward from eastern
end of the chain are the islands of Rossel and Tagula. (Misima Island, which
harbors the largest village in the region, is obscured by a patch of clouds
northeast of image center.) To the north of the chain lies the Solomon Sea,
and to the south is the Coral Sea. Most of the undisturbed land is covered
by tropical rainforest, and despite their small size, the islands harbor a
number of plant and animal species found nowhere else.