30 Dec '15, 9pm

This simulation shows how much space junk is orbiting Earth

This simulation shows how much space junk is orbiting Earth

We’ve known for a while now that Earth is the Pig-Pen of our solar system. There are more than 20,000 pieces of space junk currently orbiting the planet, and that number is only going to grow. But like any respectable dirty kid, the filth doesn’t really bother us (well, it bothers some of us ). In fact, we revel in it. And now, thanks to Stuart Grey of University College London, we can watch it all accumulate in this interactive visualization that the aerospace engineer made for the Royal Institute’s “A Place Called Space ” advent calendar. The whole visualization is basically a lesson on space exploration told through the junk that it left behind. It begins on Oct. 4, 1957, when Russia launched the first piece of space junk, known as Sputnik 1. The following year, the U.S. tossed out its own bit of space junk — a little satellite called Explorer 1. By the time Yuri Gagari...

Full article: http://grist.org/article/this-simulation-shows-how-much-s...

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