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Coolest clip I’ve seen in a long time.

As the video moves into the mid 1990’s we see much higher discovery rates as automated sky scanning systems come online. Most of the surveys are imaging the sky directly opposite the sun and you’ll see a region of high discovery rates aligned in this manner.

At the beginning of 2010 a new discovery pattern becomes evident, with discovery zones in a line perpendicular to the Sun-Earth vector. These new observations are the result of the WISE (Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer) which is a NASA mission that’s tasked with imaging the entire sky in infrared wavelengths (red wavelengths are the longest viewable to the human eye, infrared waves are longer and invisible to the humans).

The scale of the video is roughly 1 million kilometers per pixel, and each second of video corresponds to 60 days.

Currently we have observed over half a million minor planets, and the discovery rates show no sign that we’re running out of undiscovered objects, scientific estimates suggest that there are about a billion asteroids larger than 100 meters (about the size of a soccer field).

Orbital elements were taken from the ‘astorb.dat’ data created by Ted Bowell and associates. Music is ‘Transgenic’ by Trifonic.

Earth Crossers are Red. Earth Approachers (which come within less than 1.3 Astronomical Units to the Earth: 1AU = distance between the Earth & the Sun) are Yellow. All Others are Green.

Text edited from post by “syzyg.” Video Created by Scott Manley.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

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