Movies set in space paint a pretty picture of a pristine cosmos. However, in real life, space is basically the Recycle Bin of our known universe, around our planet anyway, and no one’s hit the ‘Empty’ button since the space race began in the 1960s.
In fact, there are an estimated 21,000 bits of debris orbiting Earth, according to NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office, and those are only the ones larger than 10 centimeters (4 inches).
You can see all these floating particles on the website Stuff in Space, designed by programmer James Yoder, which monitors the looping routes of these leftovers in real time.
Speaking to Popular Science, Yoder explains that the website only shows the paths of anything “currently trackable – low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous, and anything else there is.”
[H/T: Popular Science]