Northwestern Australia
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Northwestern Australia

September 26, 2008

This view of northwestern Australia was captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on September 19, 2008. The coastline in this region is interesting. Near the center of the image, Australia's coastline curves into a long, smooth arc. This is Eighty Mile Beach, which is named for its length; it is located between the towns of Broome and Port Hedland. The coastline also has green and blue blooms of phytoplankton along it. Phytoplankton are tiny marine organisms.

The region has various salt lakes and rivers, which appear white against the reddish terrain of the surrounding desert. The sinuous white curvy line located in the lower right corner of the image is a chain of salt lakes called the Percival Lakes, which runs for hundreds of miles. South of Percival Lakes is Lake Disappointment, visible as a large white patch. It was named by the explorer Frank Hann in 1897 because of his disappointment at finding that the lake was salt water, not fresh.

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