Saharan dust cloud over Cuba Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency features a massive Saharan dust cloud over Cuba.
Every summer, large amounts of dust are picked up by winds in the Saharan desert in northern Africa and transported across the Atlantic Ocean.
The dust can float through the air for days, or even weeks, depending on atmospheric conditions.
This year’s dust plume carried the most dust in recorded history, earning it the nickname “Godzilla.”
According to NOAA, the 2020 Saharan dust cloud contained 60 to 70 percent more dust than the annual average.
The image was captured on June 23, 2020 by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission.The territory that is now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BC until Spanish colonization in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States and gained nominal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902. As a fragile republic, in 1940 Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in a coup and subsequent dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Open corruption and oppression under Batista’s rule led to his ousting in January 1959 by the 26th of July Movement, which afterwards established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro
Image Credit: ESA