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10 dust storms as seen from space

By: Katherine Butler on Aug. 14, 2012, 6:04 p.m.
dust storm off coast of Patagonia

Photo: NASA images courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

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Patagonian dust over the Atlantic Ocean

On Jan. 24, 2010, a thick cloud of dust was spotted swirling off southern Argentina into the Atlantic Ocean. Here we see it imaged by MODIC onboard the Terra satellite. Air turbulence is the reason the plume rippled across the ocean, inciting a phytoplankton bloom feeding off the iron in the dust. Later that day, the Aqua satellite photographed the same area, showing the dust concentrated over the Atlantic.