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Dust Storm in Northern Mexico
Dust storm in Northern Mexico.
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, NASA.

On Dec. 30, 2010, a dust storm blew from northern Mexico across the borders of Texas and New Mexico, skirting the cities of El Paso and Juarez. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite took this picture the same day.

Dry salt lakes and small sand seas occupy this part of northern Mexico, providing ample material for dust storms when winds are sufficiently strong.

Multiple source points looking like tiny pinpoints of beige fanning out toward the northeast appear in the lower left quadrant of the image. Clouds float overhead, some of them taking linear shapes that run southwest-northeast, all of them casting shadows onto the dust plumes below.