This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the sensor on the Aqua satellite shows different types of aerosols (particles suspended in the atmosphere) over India and Pakistan on December 1, 2004. In the center of the image, the Indus River runs in a sinuous, thick green braid from the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains (top right, hidden by clouds) to the Arabian Sea (bottom left). Backed up against the mountains, a grayish pall is likely human-made particle pollution, from vehicles, energy production, and household heating and cooking fires. At the mouth of the Indus, a tan-colored cloud of aerosols is probably blowing dust from the region’s arid landscapes. To the west of the Indus, a rugged line of mountains separates Pakistan from Afghanistan. The large roan-colored desert is the Margo Desert of southern Afghanistan.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.