April 22, 2021

NASA Releases Incredible Satellite Images Of California Superbloom From Space

If you’ve ever imagined what a field of bright orange poppies looks like from space – specifically, a California superbloom – I’ve got just the thing for you.

Well, NASA does anyway because the space agency has released images showing exactly that, using satellites deployed by its Space Observatory.

The pictures captured using the agency’s Operational Land Imager on April 14 show the flowers at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in all their glory, with the poppies thought to be at or near their peak at the time the images were taken.

A spring super bloom at the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Wild flowers cover the vast 50 mile long plain in various vivd colors and sizes. This year’s bloom was brought on by heavy rainfall during last winter. Carrizo Plain National Monument, California, USA. (Photo by Ted Soqui/Sipa USA)

According to a statement released by NASA, the flowers bloomed after Southern California received ‘significant’ rainfall in both March and April this year.

The statement continued:

This spring, Lancaster received around 10.5 inches (27 centimetres) of rain — almost 4 inches (10 centimetres) above normal. The extra rain may cause the poppies to stick around longer than usual and result in an above-average wildflower year.

Park officials called this bloom an ‘unexpected’ surprise due to the late season rains.

You can check out the satellite images below:

Image credits: NASA

Images show the massive orange poppy superbloom in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve as seen from space. “The flowers bloomed after Southern California received significant rainfall in March and April 2020,” wrote NASA.

Image credits: NASA

Image credits: NASA

They also said that the region received more rains than usual this year. “This spring, Lancaster received around 10.5 inches (27 centimeters) of rain—almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) above normal,” wrote the space agency.

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a state-protected reserve of California, harboring the most consistent blooms of California poppies – the state flower – each year.

Image credits: NASA

Park officials call this superbloom a surprise since it wasn’t expected due to the late-season rains

Image credits: NASA

The bright orange of poppies dominates the color palette of images shared by NASA, but the fields of Antelope Valley are taken over not only by them. Purple forget-me-nots and bush pines are also blooming right now, as are yellow goldfields.

Image credits: NASA

 

The mesmerizing shots were taken from a NASA aircraft T-34, which is seen flying over Antelope Valley in California in this image

Image credits: NASA

Image credits: elliotmcgucken

State park interpreter Jean Rhyne stated that generally, the bloom in the park happens in early April, yet it varies every year. “The bloom time changes every year,” she said. “Generally, it happens early in April, but it can take place any time between mid-March and early May.”

The poppy superbloom is a prized shot to many landscape photographers

Image credits: _805_photography

State park interpreter Jean Rhyne has previously said the bloom time changes every year, adding: ‘Generally, it happens early in April, but it can take place any time between mid-March and early May.’

While a bloom occurs each year, a superbloom – a rare phenomenon in which an unusually high proportion of wildflowers blossom at roughly the same time – does not, making these images all that more special.

NASA also wrote that “depending on the day or even hour, the orange patches may change in appearance. The poppies open their petals during sunny periods, appearing like a large blanket over the landscape. The flowers tend to close during windy, cold periods.”