A dust storm spanning hundreds of kilometers stretched from northern Afghanistan into neighboring countries in early October 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on October 5.
In places, the dust is thick enough to completely hide the land surface below, especially over southern Tajikistan and northeastern Afghanistan. In northeastern Afghanistan, dust-clogged air infiltrates valleys while skies over the mountain peaks remain clear.
Sandy deserts extend from Turkmenistan into Uzbekistan and northern Afghanistan, providing material for dust plumes. Clouds—perhaps from the same weather system that stirred the dust—fringe the eastern margin of this dust storm.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.
- Aqua - MODIS