On May 16, 2005, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying onboard the Aqua satellite, captured this image of a dust storm off the West Coast of Africa sprawling toward the Cape Verde Islands. Dust storms often cross the Atlantic entirely, bringing mixed blessings to the Americas. Residents of Florida may suffer more respiratory illnesses, and the dust sometimes carries microorganisms that harm Caribbean coral reefs. However, the dust also brings iron and other nutrients that benefit marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
NASA image courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.