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SPACE: NASA SATELLITE IMAGE OF SANDSTORM

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A giant sandstorm the size of Spain has been spotted off the African coast.

A special wide view NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) satellite first captured the image on Saturday.

Scientists believe the storm won't threaten humans, but sea coral may be endangered.
A massive sandstorm blowing off the northwest African desert has blanketed hundreds of thousands of square miles of the eastern Atlantic Ocean with a dense cloud of Saharan sand.

The magnitude of the sandstorm was first seen in a Sea Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) image on Saturday when it reached over a thousand miles into the Atlantic.

The storm, combined with rising warm air, can lift dust 15-thousand feet above the Atlantic deserts and then out to the Atlantic itself.

Recent studies by the U-S Geological Survey have linked the decline of the coral reefs in the Caribbean to the increasing frequency and intensity of Saharan Dust storms.

Studies indicate that a particular species of coral has been devastated by a fungus normally found in soil.

Scientists say dust deposited by sandstorms may be an explanation for the plight of coral reefs throughout the Caribbean.


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