Space Debris Feature Summary

Type:
From Physics Research
Title:
Space Debris
Description:
Before October 4, 1957, when Sputnik was launched, space above Earth was pristine. But now...take a look at the image above (larger version). The green dots show satellites in low Earth orbit in January, 2007. The red dots show debris pieces bigger than 5 cm across from China's 11 January 2007 demolition of its weather satellite in an anti-satellite missile test. To learn more, visit the Wikipedia site Space Debris.

(This feature was updated on July 28, 2011.)
Image:
Reprinted with permission from "Back Scatter," Physics Today, March 2007, page 100. Analysis and images, generated with the STK software package, courtesy of <a href="http://www.centerforspace.com" target="_blank">CSSI</a>.  Object sizes magnified for visibility. <a href="http://www.physicstogo.com/images/features/satelliteChinalarge-2-26-08.jpg" target="_blank">larger version</a>
Reprinted with permission from "Back Scatter," Physics Today, March 2007, page 100. Analysis and images, generated with the STK software package, courtesy of CSSI. Object sizes magnified for visibility. larger version
Image URL:
http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/satelliteChinalarge-2-26-08.jpg
Featured:
March 1, 2008 - March 16, 2008