Status Report

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: March 5, 2009 – Dust South of the Sahel

By SpaceRef Editor
March 5, 2009
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NASA MODIS Image of the Day: March 5, 2009 – Dust South of the Sahel
NASA MODIS Image of the Day: March 5, 2009 - Dust South of the Sahel

Images

At the beginning of March 2009, a combination of dust and clouds hovered just south of the African Sahel, the semiarid band of land south of the Sahara.

The MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture on March 1, 2009.

In this image, dual dust plumes blow out of the Bodele Depression, on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, toward Lake Chad (located near image center). An area of relatively clear skies separates these plumes from larger dust plumes in the south and west. A large, amorphous plume hangs over much of Nigeria and Cameroon. Particularly thick plumes of dust hover over the Central African Republic (image lower right). The dust plume in the northwestern part of that country shows a distinct boundary along the plume’s southern margin. South of that dust plume, diminutive clouds fill the sky. North of the dust plumes hovering over Cameroon and the Central African Republic, long, thin clouds apparently hover above the dust. Tiny red dots appear throughout the lower half of this image. These dots are hotspots where MODIS has detected unusually hot surface temperatures associated with wildfires or agricultural fires. These fires may contribute smoke to the hazy mass over the region, but the particles suspended in the skies between Nigeria and Sudan probably consist primarily of dust.

SpaceRef staff editor.