The Kerguelen Islands
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The Kerguelen Islands

February 26, 2007

Patterned clouds surround the Kerguelen Islands, in the southern Indian Ocean in today's image. The clouds parted enough for the MODIS on the Terra satellite could capture this view, from February 15, 2007.

The main island in this archipelago is called "Grande Terre", though it was originally called Desolation Island, perhaps a more appropriate name for it, as the climate is very cold and the seas surrounding it are very rough.

Grande Terre is surrounded by 300 smaller islands, which were discovered by the French in February of 1772, which is 235 years ago, this month. The island remains a French territory today.

The islands once had a seal population, though hunting has eliminated them. Since 1949, the Kerguelen islands have been used for science teams and there is now a satellite tracking station present.

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