[Skip to content]
Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
1000 x 1016 pixels 540 x 549 pixels 1276 x 1296 pixels 540 x 540 pixels 640 x 480 pixels 1296 x 1276 pixels 1276 x 1296 pixels 512 x 509 pixels 644 x 631 pixels 400 x 400 pixels

latitude/longitude of image
Spacecraft nadir point: 26.6° N, 65.3° W

Photo center point: 23.5° N, 71.0° W

Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 160 nautical miles (296km)
Click for Google map
features and other details
information about camera used
additional formats
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
1000 pixels 1016 pixels No Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
540 pixels 549 pixels Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
1276 pixels 1296 pixels NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
540 pixels 540 pixels Yes Yes NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
640 pixels 480 pixels No No ISD 1 Download Image
1296 pixels 1276 pixels No No Download Image
1276 pixels 1296 pixels No No Download Image
512 pixels 509 pixels Yes No Download Image
644 pixels 631 pixels No No Download Image
400 pixels 400 pixels Yes Yes Photographic Highlights Download Image
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Image Caption: Shuttle astronauts frequently track Saharan dust storms as they blow from north Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. Dust palls blowing from Africa take about a week to cross the Atlantic. Recently, researchers have linked Saharan dust to coral disease, allergic reactions in humans, and red tides. This classic photograph of African dust over the Caribbean was taken at a time when few scientists had considered the possibility of transatlantic dust transport. The image was taken by Space Shuttle astronauts on July 11, 1994. This photograph looks southwest over the northern edge of a large trans-Atlantic dust plume that blew off the Sahara desert in Africa. In this view, Caicos Island in the Bahamas and the mountainous spines of Haiti are partly obscured by the dust. Closer to the foreground, (about 26 degrees north latitude), the skies are clear.

During STS-65 a significant dust pall that originated in western Africa was recorded by a series of low oblique color photographs as it continued its westward trek across the Atlantic Ocean and then the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico area. This particular view captures the northern edge of the dust, positioned just slightly north of the Bahama Islands. This major transport of African dust to the western hemisphere has been recorded periodically by other Shuttle astronauts and earlier Shuttle missions. Scientifically, there is evidence that some of this African dust even reaches the Amazon rainforest and serves as a source of airborne nutrients for rainforest vegetation. This photograph was taken aboard Columbia, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102.