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Dust over the Mediterranean Sea

Dust over the Mediterranean Sea

Dust mingled with clouds over the Mediterranean Sea in late November 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on November 24, 2010.

The origin of the dust plume is not clear from this image, but the dust likely arose from one of the vast sand seas of the Sahara. The light beige dust is only slightly darker than the nearby clouds, some of which fringe the dust plume. The plume stretches from the border between Egypt and Libya northeastward toward Turkey.

East of the dust plume, another plume extends northward from the Nile Delta. This plume’s blue-gray color and indistinct margins suggest that it consists of smoke, but no hotspots—areas of unusually high surface temperatures—are apparent in the delta.

NASA images courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.