The Saharan Air Layer over the eastern Atlantic, containing dust from the Sahara Desert, is seen clearly in this montage of three passes taken by the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument on July 31, 2013. The plume extends approximately 3100 kilometers, or 1900 miles, out into the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Africa. Since Suomi NPP passes over any given area in the afternoon it captures readings in full sunlight. Over the ocean, the overhead sun angle results in the brighter reflections seen in this image. Suomi NPP's increased spatial coverage also reduces the gaps between passes, a substantial improvement over older-generation polar-orbiting satellites.