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Dust over the Red Sea
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Dust plumes blew off the coast of Sudan and across the Red Sea on August 3, 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture the same day.
Two distinct plumes arise not far from the coast of Sudan and blow toward the northeast. The northern plume almost reaches Saudi Arabia. North of these plumes, a veil of dust with indistinct margins extends from Sudan most of the way across the water.
This image shows more than just dust. Just northeast of the Sudan-Eritrea border, wave patterns, which may be atmospheric gravity waves, appear alongside the dust plumes. Likewise, irregularly shaped patches of white occur off the coasts of Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. These light-colored areas may result from sunglint—the reflection of sunlight off the water surface and into the satellite sensor.