A massive dust storm swept through the western half of the Sahara Desert on October 10, 2008. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture the same day.
In this photo-like image, the dust plume appears as a tan veil that blows over the slightly darker desert floor in a clockwise direction. The source of the dust is not obvious in this image but likely arose from the sand seas in Algeria, and perhaps Mauritania. A thin line of clouds mirrors the plume’s movement from Algeria through Mali and Mauritania. Likewise, a bank of clouds in the northeast appears to move in the same direction as the dust.
NASA images created by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.