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October 23, 2004
Malta, an independent republic, consists of a small group of islands—Malta, Gozo, Kemmuna, Kemmunett, and Filfla—located in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily, with a total area of 316 square kilometers. The capital and leading port of the country is Valletta, which appears as a gray patch around the two deep inlets on Malta's northern coastline. About 400,000 people live on this island nation. The islands of Malta consist of low-lying coralline limestone plateaus surrounded by impermeable clay slopes. The highest point is 239 meters above sea level. This natural-color image was acquired on July 29, 2001, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) aboard NASA's Terra satellite.

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