Credit: Stuart Grey/The Royal Institution

Credit: Stuart Grey/The Royal Institution

Think of it as nearly 20,000 points of light – and that’s not a good thing.

That is roughly the number of tracked pieces of space junk orbiting the Earth – there’s lots of smaller stuff!

A visual story of space debris since October 1957 — with the launch of the former Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1– has been captured by Stuart Grey, lecturer at University College London and part of the Space Geodesy and Navigation Laboratory.

Grey’s work involves precise orbit determination and force modeling of spacecraft and space debris.

His visualization, depicting the menacing build-up, was published on December 20, and tells the story of how all that clutter has accumulated over the decades.

Take a look at this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPXCk85wMSQ

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