Dust from Gobi Desert over the Sea of Japan
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Dust from Gobi Desert over the Sea of Japan

November 15, 2010
A large dust and sandstorm whipped the Gobi desert in early November 2010. Two days later the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured this true-color image as the storm blew over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, bringing an unusual late-fall yellow sand event to the nation of Japan. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, this is the first time since 2005 that Japan has experienced yellow sand in the month of November. Such storms usually occur in the spring.

In the image, the arc of dust can be seen to extend hundreds of kilometers from the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. In the northeast, clouds hide part of the dust plume from view. The nation of Japan also appears heavily veiled in dust. Although the skies over the Korean Peninsula appear relatively dust-free, weather reports from November 11 and 12 reported widespread dust over Seoul, as the Group of 20 (G-20) met for the final summit of 2010.

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