Space Rocks!

I came across this visualization via Flowing Data.  It was generated by Scott Manley at the Armagh Observatory and shows the discovery of new asteroids between 1980 and 2010. Whenever a new asteroid s discovered it is shown in white and usually fades to green but remains in orbit. The ones that fade to yellow are so-called earth approaching asteroids – those who are near earth’s orbit but do not intersect it. The ones that fade to red are the ones that cross earth’s orbit and could one day kill all of us once and for all in a fiery cataclysm. As a result of automated sky scanning projects in the 1990’s the rate of asteroid discovery greatly increases. The caption states that there are currently of half a million known asteroids orbiting the sun, and many more are expected to be discovered. It’s amazing how so much stuff is just floating around in the solar system, and amazing we’re all still here.

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2 Responses to Space Rocks!

  1. Nat says:

    This is great. And especially coincidental as I’m (re)reading Dave Raup’s short book “The Nemesis Affair” on the early days of asteroid/comet impacts as a force in biological extinctions. It’s a very interesting account of what is truly paradigm shifting science.

    Don’t forget though that we have Bruce Willis to save us from any wayward planetary bodies that are stupid enough to head Earth’s way.

    Right? cause that’s all that lets me sleep at night.

  2. Arlenna says:

    Hahaha, a guy I’ve known since elementary school posted this on Facebook saying “Sometimes I find things I would rather just not know.”

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