An illustration of our Milky Way galaxy noting its mass distribution. Scientists suspect a recent collision with a dwarf galaxy possibly as recent as 100 million years ago, created a mysterious wave in our galaxy.
On August 26 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of a spiraling dust storm in eastern Kazakhstan. Whirling clouds surround an arc of tan dust north of Lake Balkhash. The dust likely arises for the Saryeski-Atyrau Desert, a sand desert which stretches for about 250 mi (500 km) south of Lake Balkhash and between the Ili River (west) and Karatal River (east). Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team