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STS100-708-78
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STS100-708-78

June 30, 2011
Southwest of the Bahamas and north of Hispaniola lie the Turks and Caicos Islands, photographed by the astronaut/cosmonaut crew aboard the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Endeavour. In this view, the extensive shallow water areas of Caicos Bank (turquoise blue) dominate to the south of the Caicos Islands. Caicos Bank covers an area of 7,680 square kilometers (1.9 million acres). The coral reefs of Caicos are primarily along the north deep water edge of the islands, and in a barrier along the south margin of the bank. The area is known for its marine caves and blowholes. To the east of Caicos Bank, near the tail of the Shuttle, is the island of Grand Turk, part of the much smaller Turks Bank. The channel that runs between the two banks is more than 2,200 meters (1.4 miles) deep.