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The Sinai
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The Sinai

October 28, 2010
Multiple fires burn in the green and fertile Nile Delta as a cloud of tan dust from Saudi Arabia blows over the Red Sea just south of the Sinai Peninsula on October 13, 2010, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured this true-color image as it passed overhead.

The fires are most likely agricultural in origin, as October is fall harvest time in the region. Smoke plumes from these fires can be seen sweeping to the northwest, leaving gray tendrils across the Mediterranean Sea. To the north, a wide ribbon of thin haze overlays the deep blue water of the Mediterranean. It is possible that smoke from the fires may contribute to this haze, but the primary source is most likely dust blowing north and east from the deserts of Egypt, which lie to the west. A phytoplankton bloom brings milky swirls of turquoise blue and peacock green to the waters just off the northern Egyptian coast.


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