October 26, 2004
East of Australia and part of the tiny island nation of New Caledonia, the Iles Chesterfield (Chesterfield Islands) float in the Coral Sea. This true-color Aqua MODIS image from October 7, 2004, shows the pale coral islands against calm deep-blue waters. The islands of New Caledonia were settled by both Britain and France in the early 1800s, though once controlled by the French in the latter half of the century the islands were made into a penal colony. New Caledonia remains an overseas territory of France, though today the main industries are tourism and nickel mining.
Topics: Chesterfield Islands, Melanesia, New Caledonia, Environment, Hospitality Recreation, Outline of New Caledonia, Penal colony, Communes of New Caledonia, Coral reefs, Politics