Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Caption: Great Barrier Reef and Australian coast, seen from the International Space Station (ISS). The reefs form shallow seas and small islands (white/green) surrounded by deeper water (dark blue). The land (brown) is mostly arid or semi-arid. Reefs form as microscopic animals called coral produce calcium minerals. The outer reefs are called ribbon reefs, forming a chain along the edge of the continental shelf, a shallower area between land and the ocean depths. Princess Charlotte Bay (top right) is in Northern Queensland. North is at lower right. This area is some 320 kilometres across. The ISS orbits about 380 kilometres above the Earth. Photographed on 18 January 2003.

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Keywords: 2003, 7, aerial view, arid, australia, australian, chain, continental shelf, coral, desert, earth observation, environment, expedition seven, from, geography, great barrier reef, international space station, islands, iss, january, land, line, margin, ocean, pacific, photography, princess charlotte bay, queensland, reefs, ribbon, satellite, sea, tropical, tropics

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