Saturday, April 12, 2008

Space Litter

We humans have been unconcernedly lofting machinery into space for 50 years, and now we're beginning to have a litter problem. What goes up doesn't necessarily come down, in fact, in space it tends to zip around on it's own orbit. You have got to click on the picture above to see how much stuff is up there!

Many abandoned satellites break up, either due to collisions or explosions, increasing the amount of litter, and decreasing our ability to track it all. If a satellite orbiting the earth explodes, you end up with a debris cloud orbiting the earth. The picture above shows the debris cloud after two days of orbiting.

This great article from Universe Today has the details of this ongoing problem, but doesn't address how to clean up this litter. Anybody have any ideas? Found at Neatorama.

No litter on Whidbey Island, but above us?


Bunk said...

Little bit of PhotoShoppery there? I notice a lot of "satellites" that don't change size with distance...

Serves the story I guess.

Dan said...

I believe it's a graphic, not a photo. Most of the satellites would not be visible at that scale.

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