On April 25, 2011, the dust storm off the coast of Libya intensified. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image the same day.
A thick dust plume extends from the coastline near Banghazi (Benghazi) over 200 kilometers (120 miles) toward the northwest. Farther west along the coast, another plume stretches northward, spanning over 100 kilometers (60 miles). Clouds float overhead, casting shadows onto these plumes. Even farther to the west, a thick, dusty haze hangs over Tripoli (Tarabulus).
Sand sprawls across northern Libya, some of the sand masses nearly reaching the coast. The dust plumes in this image likely arose from these sand seas, and the cloud cover appearing over central Libya may be related to the same weather system that stirred the dust.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.