Dust off Egypt and Libya

Dust off Egypt and Libya

Dust blew off the coast of northern Africa and over the Mediterranean Sea for the second consecutive day on February 19, 2011. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image, the dust was thick enough to completely hide the coast along the Egypt-Libya border. (Black outlines show coastlines and borders.)

East of the Egypt-Libya border, dust is thinner but still substantial. A translucent haze of dust hangs over the region, extending from the Nile Delta northward near Cyprus. The veil of dust forms an arc immediately east of a similarly shaped cloudbank. The clouds may be related to the same weather system that caused the dust storm, and the fine particles may have arisen from the vast deposits of sand in Libya and Egypt.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    February 19, 2011
  • Visualization Date:

    February 21, 2011
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration