Status Report

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: May 6, 2011 – Persian Gulf

By SpaceRef Editor
May 6, 2011
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NASA MODIS Image of the Day: May 6, 2011 – Persian Gulf
NASA MODIS Image of the Day: May 6, 2011 - Persian Gulf


Dust blew off the coast of Saudi Arabia and over the Persian Gulf on May 4, 2011.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image the same day.

The dust forms a counter-clockwise swirl northwest of Qatar, passing over Bahrain. West of Qatar appears thin breaks in the dust resembling comb marks. These separations between dust plumes, which have not yet coalesced into a single plume, suggest that some of the dust might have arisen near the coast. A large veil of dust from farther inland, however, partially obscures land surface features along the shore. Sand seas spread over most of the Arabian Peninsula. One such sea, the Empty Quarter, or Rub’ al Khali, contains about half as much sand as the Sahara Desert. Not surprisingly, the peninsula provides ample material for dust storms. This is especially true in the summer, when high temperatures cause the air near the ground to become unstable, enabling even light winds to stir dust particles. Black lines have been overlaid on the image to represent country borders. The country in the upper right corner (northeast) is Iran. To the west the small country is Kuwait and Saudi Arabia comprises the majority of the land on the left of the image. Bahrain, an archipelago of 33 islands, lies in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and the Qatar Peninsula.

SpaceRef staff editor.