June 8, 2024 - North West Cape Peninsula, Australia

North West Cape Peninsula

A rocky, rugged, and totally spectacular peninsula juts into the Indian Ocean on the western coast of the state of Western Australia, Australia. Known as the North West Cape, the peninsula is fringed on the west by jewel-toned reefs, on the east by Exmouth Bay, and crossed by the limestone Cape Range.

The peninsula’s arid coastal plain creates a sharp contrast to the bright colors of Ningaloo Reef, which is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef. It is also the world’s only large reef located so close to a landmass. At its closest, the reef is only 330 feet (100 meters) away from shore.

The reefs belong to the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area, which stretches more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) along the coast. Inscribed in 2011, the Area also includes the Muiron Islands to the north, the Bundegi and Jurabi coastal parts at the tip of Cape Range National Park, the adjoining Learmonth Air Weapons Range, and the Ningaloo Marine Park (which extends 22 kilometers/13 miles) offshore. When combined with the Exmouth Gulf, which is a unique intact arid-zone estuary lined with magnificent mangrove forests, the region supports more than 2,000 species of fauna—many of which are threatened or endangered.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a true-color image of the North West Cape peninsula on June 7, 2024. The gorgeous bright blues of the Ningaloo Reef which hug the starkly arid coast creates a dramatic contrast in colors and habitat.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 6/7/2024
Resolutions: 1km (25.8 KB), 500m (44.6 KB), 250m (53.9 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC