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tlr online
10-06-03, 03:28
Dust storms regularly sweep out over the Atlantic Ocean from the Sahara Desert at this time of year, sometimes blowing all the way to North and South America. This Terra MODIS image, acquired on June 4, 2003, shows a large plume of dust billowing over Senegal and Gambia on the West African coastline. In the coastal waters to the north, colorful blooms of marine organisms color the waters a bright aquamarine.

The Sahara Desert is the largest desert in the world, at around 9,065,000 square kilometers (3,500,000 sq mi). It also has one of the harshest climates, with temperatures that on average fluxuate 85 degrees (F) everyday and humidity in the 4 to 5 percent range. Because there is so little moisture in this desert, plant life is scarce, meaning that much of the topsoil has blown away, leaving mostly stone exposed. Contrary to popular belief, sand dunes make up only about 15% of the desert.

http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/images/image06092003_md.jpg

Copyright 2003 NASA