NASA Releases Satellite Images Of California Superbloom From Space


Flowers across the world bloom during a specific season throughout the year, however, most of the flowers bloom during Springtime. Because these flowers bloom during the Spring, they’re called Spring flowers. However, depending on which hemisphere you’re located at, Spring can be either between March and May (Northern Hemisphere) or between September and November (Southern Hemisphere). The division between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere is made with the equator line across our planet with the Northern Hemisphere being north of the line and vice versa.

Blooming Season in California

Entire North America is located in the Northern Hemisphere which is why the bloom season in California is during March and May. For some wildflowers in California, the blooming season can start as early as late February. Generally, the blooming time changes every year depending on different factors such as rain and temperatures. Because of the weather changes, it’s impossible to know the exact day of the months the wildflowers will bloom.

California Droughts and Their Effects

Droughts have been a constant problem for flowers, especially in California. California’s droughts have occurred multiple times and have lasted many years. The most recent California drought was the longest one and it lasted more than 7 years starting from late 2011 to mid-2019.

Water is a crucial element in the growth of plants and droughts can have serious effects on them. The drought can lead to the destruction of habitats due to wildfires resulting in the migration of wildlife. California’s wildfires that happened lately left lots of animals without a habitat in the State. It also damaged lots of plants such as flowers and trees and even reached some cities.

After a huge drought in the State, the people of California were anticipating rain as soon as possible. Luckily, this spring, the State experienced around 10.5 inches of rain which is about 4 inches more than the normal amount.

Superbloom of the Orange-Hued Poppy

On April 14, NASA was able to take a photograph using its satellite to capture the bloomed orange-hued poppies. Poppies are the State’s most iconic flower and in 1903, this flower became the official state flower of California. The poppies are located in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve which is located near the Mojave Desert. The reserve reigns in 1,800 acres or 7 km2. The location is in the remote northeastern hills of LA County and it gives it the ideal microclimate for its vivid color of California poppies.

Because of the extra rain, experts are expecting the flowers to stay much longer than normal. These rains were completely unexpected since they came late in the season. Additionally, the extra rain will result in a super bloom of wildflowers. Superbloom of flowers occurs when the perfect combination of conditions in the environment is met and it results in enormous amounts of wildflowers blooming at the same time. The super bloom began in the southern part of the state and continued to bloom to the north.

Satellite Images of the Flowers

The private satellite startup Planet was able to capture before and after photographs of the landscape in California. The before photographs were made during the drought months whereas the after photographs were when the blossoming had started. The foothills began to transform into different varieties of colors such as yellow, green, and orange.

NASA was able to release newly made images that show the landscape filled almost entirely with the color orange. However, the fields still contain some of the yellow goldfields, purple bush pines, and the lavender-colored forget-me-nots.

According to NASA, these flowers can vary in appearance which depends on the hour or day. Sometimes the flowers can be seen when they “open their petals during sunny periods, appearing like a large blanket over the landscape.” During windy or cold periods, the poppies close their petals.

As of now, most parks across the United States are closed because of the pandemic, however, the Department of Parks and Recreation in California still urges people to visit. However, instead of visiting them in real life, the department urges people to do so through its online designated camera and virtually experience the bloom of the state’s flower.


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