Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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June 5, 2017
Great Barrier Reef



The Great Barrier Reef was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 and is the world’s most protected marine area. (Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA)

The European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite collected an image of part of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s northeast coast on April 1, 2017.

Extending more than 2,000 kilometers and covering an area of some 350,000 square kilometers, it’s the planet's largest single structure made by living organisms, called coral polyps.

Despite its name, it’s not a single reef but contains nearly 3,000 different reefs, which are home to more than 1,500 tropical fish species, 400 types of coral, more than 200 species of bird, 5,000 species of mollusk, 500 species of seaweed and six species of sea turtle. It’s also a breeding area for humpback whales.


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