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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS018-E-24351 Date: Jan. 2009
Geographic Region: SOCIETY ISLANDS

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  Tetiaroa Island, French Polynesia

Tetiaroa Island is part of the Society Islands archipelago in the southern Pacific Ocean, one of several island clusters in French Polynesia. Tetiaroa is an atoll comprised of thirteen small islets (or motus). This astronaut photograph illustrates the typical circular appearance of a fully developed atoll.

The ring of islands--covered in green vegetation and white-to-tan sandy beaches--develops on coral reefs, which originally form around a volcanic island. As the volcanic island gradually disappears due to subsidence and erosion, the coral reefs continue to grow upwards. Over time, the central volcanic island is completely submerged, leaving a ring of coral reefs and islands that surround a lagoon. The shallow lagoon waters appear blue-green in this image, and contrast with darker and deeper Pacific Ocean waters surrounding the atoll.

One of the motus in the southern portion of the atoll, Tahuna Rahi, is a protected bird sanctuary, and it is the nesting site of red- and brown-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and terns (among other species). Access to the atoll is via boat, as the airstrip was closed in 2004 due to safety and security concerns.

Tetiaroa Island is also known as "Marlon Brando's Island." The late film star purchased the atoll from the French Polynesian government between 1966 and 1967. While the motus were his property, the government retained the rights to the coral reefs and lagoons to preserve control of marine resources. Following Brando's death in 2004, ownership of the approximately 8-kilometer-wide atoll passed into other private hands, and there are now plans to build a luxury resort among the islets.
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 248k
Mission: ISS018  
Roll - Frame: E - 24351
Geographical Name: SOCIETY ISLANDS  
Center Lat x Lon: 17S x 149.5W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 25
Camera: N2
Camera Tilt: 27   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 180  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: W   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number: 2387  
Date: 20090127   YYYYMMDD
Time: 205028   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 16.4S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 148W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 99   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 191   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 72   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views: ATOLL, ISLAND  
Water Views: LAGOON, OCEAN  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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