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Dust and Smoke over Iraq and the Middle East
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
This true-color SeaWiFS image shows the counterclockwise swirl of a low-pressure system over the Middle East on the morning of March 26, 2003. The system appears to be scooping up dust (light brown pixels) from the deserts beneath it and pushing the dust toward the southeast. This image is composed of data from two consecutive orbits of the OrbView-2 satellite, collected at 8:30 and 10:10 UTC.
There is a different type of aerosol plume which is gray in color in the northwest corner (upper left) of this scene. This is probably pollution blowing into the region from Europe.
The western half of the Sea of Azov, the smaller body of water just north of the Black Sea, looks like it is still covered with large pieces of sea ice. The snow-covered mountains of the Pamirs are visible at the right edge of the image to the north of the dark band of the Indus River valley.
Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE