Friday, August 27, 2010

Cool and scary

It's an animation depicting the asteroids in the solar system as they were discovered -- green objects are at some distance, red ones cross earth's orbit (the dot circling 3rd from the yellow dot in the center). Kind of makes you think about the dinosaurs somehow....

From the blurb at YouTube:
View of the solar system showing the locations of all the asteroids starting in 1980, as asteroids are discovered they are added to the map and highlighted white so you can pick out the new ones. 
The final colour of an asteroids indicates how closely it comes to the inner solar system. 
Earth Crossers are Red
Earth Approachers (Perihelion less than 1.3AU) are Yellow
All Others are Green
Notice now the pattern of discovery follows the Earth around its orbit, most discoveries are made in the region directly opposite the Sun. You'll also notice some clusters of discoveries on the line between Earth and Jupiter, these are the result of surveys looking for Jovian moons. Similar clusters of discoveries can be tied to the other outer planets, but those are not visible in this video.
 Thanks to io9 and Scott Manley

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