May 18, 2020 - Dust and Sunglint over the Arabian Sea

Dust and Sunglint over the Arabia Sea

A broad blanket of dust stretched southward over the Arabian Sea in mid-May 2020. The dust is thickest south of Pakistan, but some dust appears to drift from Iran, to the west. Although dust appears dull tan, in some areas of this image the dust gleams brightly. This is due to the dust passing over an area of “sunglint”—an optical phenomenon that occurs when the same angle that a satellite sensor views it. The result is a mirror-like reflection of sunlight off the water and back at the sensor.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this true-color image on May 14.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 5/14/2020
Resolutions: 1km (456 KB), 500m (1.5 MB), 250m (3 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC