Dust mixed with smoke across central Africa in early January 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on January 9, 2011. Red dots indicate hotspots associated with fires.
Dust from the Bodele Depression, northeast of Lake Chad, blew toward the southwest, leaving dust over the lake and parts of Niger and Nigeria. At the same time, fires burned across central Africa (likely set for clearing agricultural land) and mingled smoke with the dust.