Dust Storm in Egypt and Libya. Also A thick and massive cloud of Saharan Desert dust filled the skies over most of Egypt and eastern Libya on January 22, 2004. Roughly the size of the U.S. state of Texas, the tan-colored blanket of dust almost completely obscures the view of the surface in this true-color image of the area, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite. Blowing northeastward over the southeastern Mediterranean, toward Israel and Lebanon, the dust is so thick in some places it gives the appearance of a solid land mass extending out into the water when seen from above. The bright white patches in this scene are clouds, which are higher in elevation than the dust.
Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest.
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC