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Dust over the Red Sea

Dust over the Red Sea

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.

NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.