We have an idea how badly we have polluted our home planet. Now, a viral video is giving us an idea of how badly we are polluting space, too.
Dr. Stuart Grey, a lecturer at University College London and part of the Space Geodesy and Navigation Laboratory, said some 20,000 pieces of space debris were now orbiting Earth.
Using data on the location of each piece of junk via space-track.org, Grey prepared the video showing the amount of space debris around Earth from 1957 to 2015.
His video posted on YouTube last December 20 has gained at least 571,096 views as of Dec. 27.
Grey also created an interactive version of his presentation on the website of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
“Since Sputnik 1, we’ve been littering the space around our planet with debris. This interactive visualization tells the story of how it has accumulated,” he said.
He added more debris were created every day, with the 20,000 pieces of tracked debris today ranging from the size of an apple to the size of a bus.
A separate article on Mashable said space junk has become a major problem for space agencies and governments worldwide.
“Even the millions of tiny bits of debris that aren’t currently tracked could potentially wreak havoc if they collide with communications satellites and other spacecraft orbiting Earth,” it said.
Even the International Space Station has to move sometimes to get out of the way of some space junk, it added.