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Image: Dust Storm Strikes Gobi Desert
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of a dust storm in the Gobi Desert on Nov. 27, 2012.
Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response

A dust storm was spotted raging across the Gobi Desert by a NASA satellite Tuesday (Nov. 27).

The desert, which covers parts of southern Mongolia and northern China, is "one of the world's most prolific dust-producing regions," according to NASA's Earth Observatory.

The 800,000 square miles (1,300,000 square kilometers) of the Gobi are not just one big sand sea — they include grasslands, bare rock and ephemeral lakes. Some of the dust from the dust storm captured by NASA's Aqua satellite apparently came from the fine sediments around just such a lake along the China-Mongolia border, called Gaxun Nu, the Earth Observatory said. Those sediments are lighter in color that the dust further to the east.

The Gobi is the largest desert in Asia and the fourth largest desert in the world.

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