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Tikehau Atoll, French Polynesia

Tikehau Atoll, French Polynesia

The islands and coral atolls of French Polynesia, located in the southern Pacific Ocean, epitomize the idea of tropical paradise: white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, and palm trees. Even from the distance of space, the view of these atolls is beautiful. This image from the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite shows the southern part of Tikehau Atoll, one of the 78 coral atolls that make up the Tuamotu Archipelago. Patches of coral make star-like spots across the turquoise expanse of the lagoon. A line of tree-covered islets encircles the lagoon. At the southernmost tip of the atoll, a large islet accommodates a small village and an air strip.

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.