The Lagoons and Reefs of New Caledonia {Photo of the Day}

Île Balabio, an island east off the tip of New Caledonia, is seen here surrounded by the beautiful reefs and lagoons in this image taken by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus on NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite.

Added by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to its list of World Heritage sites, the reefs and lagoons of New Caledonia are home to the third largest coral reef structure in the world.

Located 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) east of Australia but governed by the French, New Caledonia is a favourite holiday destination, as can be clearly understood by this stunning natural colour image.

The varying shifts in blue surrounding the main island of New Caledonia are the result of varying depths. According to NASA, coral reef ridges and sand bars, the water is shallowest and palest in color while darker shades of blue characterize deeper waters.

Île Balabio can be seen surrounded by light blue, east of the promontory of the main island. The dark blue immediately between the light blue and the island of Île Balabio is a large lagoon.

Source: NASA Goddard

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