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Micronesia, Federated States of

Classically shaped Nukuoro Atoll is one of 607 islands that make up the Federated States of Micronesia. It is also a municipality of the state of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. The atoll has a population of only several hundred people. The total area, including the lagoon, is 40 sq km, with a land area of only 1.7 sq km, which is divided among more than 40 islets that lie on the northern, eastern, and southern sides of the lagoon. By far the largest islet is Nukuoro islet in the southeast, which is the center of population and the capital of the municipality. Vegetation is most prominent on the northeast and east portions of the atoll that face the dominant Easterly winds. Swells driven by these winds can be seen approaching from the east-southeast (right) and wrapping around the atoll to produce an interference pattern on the downwind side. Water in the lagoon is calm in comparison. A coral head appears dead center of the photo. Image courtesy of NASA.