Dust stretched from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean on March 19, 2010, as a massive dust storm swept across the southern Sahara Desert. This image is made up of seven separate satellite overpasses acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites throughout the morning and early afternoon. Small gray triangles cover areas where the satellites did not collect data. The image spans more than 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles).
The pale tan dust blurs the southern edge of the Sahara Desert across the entire continent. The front edge of the dust storm extends just past the Cape Verde Islands in the west. The widest part of the dust storm, in the center of the image, is over Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon. In the east, a thick wall of orange-tan dust extends into the green Sahel region. A separate dust storm was also blowing across the Arabian Peninsula in the upper-right corner of the image.
NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.