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BLOWIN' IN THE WIND

Earth’s fiercest dust storms, as seen from space

Johnny Simon
By Johnny Simon

Deputy Photo Editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

While no where close to the planet-sized storm that’s been kicking up dust across Mars this last month, the sand and dust storms—sometimes known by their Arabic name, “haboobs”—that have occured in recent years on Earth are still terrifying. They can create swirling, gurgling walls of sand, creeping across the desert, making it impossible to see 20 feet in front of you.

From space, they look a bit less menacing. Though they blanket huge swaths of land, making invisible normal features and landmarks, they often appear in images taken from space as almost gentle, just wisps of sand lightly floating off the ground.

Unless otherwise indicated, these images were taken by satellites:

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