Dust blew off the coast of Oman and over the Arabian Sea in mid-February 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on February 13, 2011.
Dust blows toward the southeast, over the island of Jazirat Masirah. Near the coast of mainland Oman, the dust forms distinct plumes. Farther from shore, it fans out and forms a thin, nearly transparent veil. A long line of small clouds fringes the eastern edge of the dust veil, with clearer skies east of that cloud line.
In the west, cloud- and dust-free skies allow MODIS a view of the sand dunes of the Arabian Peninsula’s Empty Quarter, or Rub’ al Khali. Unperturbed by winds in this image, the Empty Quarter dunes resemble a giant fingerprint.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.