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.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.