Wednesday, July 02, 2008
The Junky Heavens
Anyone flying by must think we are trashy. From the European Space Agency
Looking up at the night sky is an awe-inspiring thing. Seeing the wide open heavens with its stars makes one think of all the wonders floating in the vast nothingness. The view; though, is deceptive. About 13,000 pieces of man made objects orbit the Earth creating a ring and sphere of a junkyard. According to NASA about 95% of objects orbiting the Earth is junk.
There are some neat diagrams and informational sites about space junk. La Cartoteca links to the European Space Agency's website featuring three dimensional diagrams. NASA has a website dedicated to the space junk issue. And Space-Track tries to catalogue all the junk up there.
Space junk is way too small to affect tidal patterns; also since they are in semi-stable orbital patterns space craft and still fly around them with few concerns. However, whenever one falls to the ground there is a chance for damage to property and pollution by hazardous materials. Solving the space junk issue is on the back burner of many minds but still should be considered.