Dust blew over the Taklimakan Desert for the third consecutive day on March 14, 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture the same day. A nearly uniform veil of translucent beige hovers over the desert, especially its western half. The thin haze of dust along the desert’s western margins—with well-defined valleys discernible underneath the dust—suggests that shifting wind patterns blew some of the dust back toward the west after it was airborne.
The abundant sand dunes of the Taklimakan Desert provide ample material for dust storms. The dust often blows eastward over China, sometimes traveling as far as the Pacific Ocean.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.