This Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) image shows the cities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Palm Desert, California, located 160 km east of Los Angeles. The scene is 22 km wide by 24 km high, and was acquired on May 10, 2000. The false-color image combines near-infrared, red, and green wavelengths of light, resulting in vegetation that appears red, while bare ground is represented by varying shades of blue-green.
A verdant oasis in the desert of southern California, Palm Springs is a fashionable residential community and winter resort noted for its fine golf courses. The lush grass of the heavily irrigated courses acount for most of the bright red areas in this image. In the southwest (lower left) corner of the image are the flanks of Mount San Jacinto (3,301 meters/10,831 feet). Alpine plants--such as douglas fir--thrive at high elevations here. Interstate 10 cuts across to the north of Palm Springs, heading northwest/southeast. In the southeast (lower right), nestled against the mountains, is the Living Desert Wildlife and Botanical Park.
Originally called Agua Caliente (Spanish for "warm water"), the site of present-day Palm Springs was selected in 1863 as a stop on the stagecoach line between New Mexico Territory and Los Angeles. It was developed as a residential community in the 1880s.
Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team