The yellow dust that hovered over the Beijing region and pushed out to sea in mid-March 2009 originated in the Gobi Desert. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the Gobi Desert dust plumes on March 14, 2009. In this true-color, photo-like image, two steams of dust appear, the northern plume skirting the Mongolian border. Both contrast slightly with the underlying arid ground surface.
Straddling the border between Mongolia and China, the Gobi Desert sports vast sand seas that periodically give rise to sandstorms. Winds often carry the dust eastward to the populous regions along China’s east coast, particularly in the springtime.