Dust from the Gobi Desert blew eastward in late April 2011. Arising from sources both north and south of the Mongolia-China border, the plumes merged into a veil of dust spanning hundreds of kilometers. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on April 29, 2011.
The sparsely vegetated grasslands of the Gobi frequently give rise to dust storms, especially in springtime. The same desert, however, provides something more fun: fossils. South of the Mongolia-China border lie large expanses of sandy desert, including the Badain Jaran Desert, home to some of the world’s most complex sand dunes.