Only slightly lighter than the tan and orange desert beneath it, a dust storm sweeps over much of southern Iraq and part of Saudi Arabia in this image from January 25, 2010. The dust appears to be carried on wind blowing from the west ahead of a storm, heralded by the clouds on the left edge of the image. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image, and fires are outlined in red. Since the fires are aligned vertically in southern Iraq near the Persian Gulf, they are most likely gas flares in oil refineries, not fires. Plumes of black smoke from burning oil rise from some of the refineries.
The highest resolution version of the image is provided above. The image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response System.