A veil of dust blurs the surface of the Thar Desert on the border between India and Pakistan in this photo-like image. The tan dust matches the brown desert below, and it is discernable more by what it hides than by its appearance. The shape and texture of the desert is distinct on the right side of the image, but hidden by airborne dust on the left. In some places, the cloud of dust is visible. Along the southwest front of the storm, the thick dust rises and falls with turbulence in the atmosphere, creating a rippled texture that makes the dust easier to see. In the north, the dust is distinct because it is much paler than the underlying land.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on April 20, 2010. The large image is the highest-resolution version of the image, but the image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response System.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.