Dust Storm over Middle East
A bright band of dust sweeps down the center of ancient Mesopotamia in this October 25th, 2008, Envisat MERIS image.
The dust is blowing north out of the Syrian Desert in Iraq, Syria and Jordan. Though the color matches the ground, the airborne dust is brighter and smoother in texture, which makes it stand out in the image. The dust blankets the land between the Euphrates River in the east and the Tigris River in the west – the region that nurtured some of the earliest human civilizations.
A green band of vegetation makes the Euphrates River easy to see in modern Syria at the center of the image.