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The Earth is surrounded by thousands of orbiting objects collectively called space debris, including now-defunct spacecraft, artificial satellites, and rocket parts. Currently about 8,000 sizeable pieces of space debris are being tracked. However, there are countless numbers of smaller objects that are harder to detect, but still orbiting at fantastic speed. Scientists, governments and businesses alike are concerned that these objects could crash into the International Space Station or currently operational satellites, possibly causing significant damage.
At BSGC, optical observation of artificial satellite surrounding the Earth is performed in two ways. Photos of celestial objects in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) or Transfer Orbit (GTO) are taken by fixed telescope, while photos of artificial satellites or space debris at low altitude are taken by a moving telescope programmed to track the motion of the objects. Photographing low-altitude objects can be very difficult due to their speed.
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|LRE satellite launched from H2A.(Photographed on September 4, 2001) || ||Russian spacecraft, Mir.(Photographed on January 30, 2001) |
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|Distribution of space debris surrounding the earth. || ||Distribution of space debris surrounding the earth. Please click the figure provided by CRL (Communications Research Laboratory). |
Download player for watching the movement of debris.