Worldview Image of the Week

Northern African Dust Blows into Europe

Image captured on Apr 24, 2024, by the VIIRS instrument aboard the joint NASA/NOAA NOAA-20 satellite.

True-color corrected reflectance image animation sequence of dust from northern Africa blowing into Europe. Press the blue Play button in the lower left corner of the embedded map above to view the animation. The images are from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the joint NASA/NOAA NOAA-20 satellite.

The dust, a light sandy brown color in contrast to the white clouds, is first evident in northeastern Libya on April 22, then moves toward Greece on April 23, and then is visible over Ukraine on April 24. Dust can affect human health and safety by reducing visibility, carrying pollutants, and contributing to breathing difficulties. In addition, dust storms can cool or warm Earth as well as enhance or prevent cloud formation.

An ongoing NASA mission to measure and track atmospheric dust and other aerosols is the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT). Mounted on the International Space Station, EMIT collects data over Earth’s dust-source regions—namely, the arid regions of Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Australia—between 52° north and south latitude. These data (available through Earthdata Search) are being used to globally map areas producing mineral dust and the composition of this dust, which will advance our understanding of dust's effects throughout the Earth system and to human populations. An Earthdata article has more information about the EMIT mission and data products.

Visit Worldview to visualize near real-time imagery from NASA's EOSDIS; find more imagery in our Worldview weekly image archive.


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