Dust off Western Africa

Dust off Western Africa

Dust from the Sahara Desert blew over Cape Verde and the North Atlantic in early February 2012. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on February 7, 2012, a day after dust began blowing off Africa’s west coast.

Ghostly outlines of the islands appear through a thin veil of dust that hangs over the region. To the southwest, von Karman vortices stream away from the archipelago. These lines of swirling eddies result from the islands’ disturbance of air flow. The eddies are apparent in cloud formations as well as the dust.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 7200x9400
  • JPEG 9 MB
  • GeoTIFF 90 MB
  • KML 55 KB


  • Data Date:

    February 7, 2012
  • Visualization Date:

    February 9, 2012
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration