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Dust over the Canary Islands
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Dust over the Canary Islands

May 14, 2013
Saharan dust swept over the Canary Islands in early March 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on March 12, 2009. In this true-color (photo-like) image, beige plumes of dust form arcs and swirls over the Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Morocco and Western Sahara. Dust appears especially thick over parts of the Canary Islands. Around La Palma Island, air currents moving the dust appear to encounter an obstacle (perhaps the island itself) that causes them to change direction. Southwest of the archipelago, a dust plume arcs in a counter-clockwise direction, missing a formation of clouds farther southwest. Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.