Nikumaroro Atoll in the South Pacific Ocean • Earth.com

Last update: April 6th, 2020 at 5:00 am

Today’s Image of the Day comes from the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at the Nikumaroro Atoll in the South Pacific Ocean.

The Nikumaroro Atoll can be found halfway between Hawaii and Australia about 1,000 miles from Fiji and is a sandbar built on a coral reef that sits on top of a volcano. It measures roughly 4.7 miles by 1.6 miles and is surrounded by very deep ocean water.

This image was captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on board the Landsat 8 satellite.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth’s oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

At 165,250,000 square kilometers (63,800,000 square miles) in area (as defined with an Antarctic southern border), this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth’s water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth’s land area combined. The centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North(ern) Pacific Ocean and South(ern) Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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