With every new satellite that reaches orbit, the space above our heads becomes more crowded. There are around 3,000 active satellites in use today, but that number is changing rapidly, especially with companies like Starlink Send up to 60 satellites in one launch. Add 20 thousand or so parts of orbital debris that authorities are actively tracking, and the image of the infinite extension of space above Earth will begin to feel a little different.
Moriba Jah, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, is on a mission to fully demonstrate the hazards of tropical congestion. He built an imaginary called Astrograph Shows the locations of all active objects in the sky. He also designed an Real-time graph This shows how close objects are to each other as they move around the planet, sometimes as much as 15 times faster than a bullet.
The Big Bad in all of these accounts is a collision: two objects colliding with each other at dizzying speeds, creating many fragments of new debris. Any of these new bits of scrap could threaten other operational devices. Whether such collisions can inflate exponentially and erase entire orbits – the so-called ‘Kessler syndrome“- Under discussion. JAH, for example, does not indicate that the orbital apocalypse is near. But some kind of satellite-making calculation may be required.”
the edge Talk to Jah about his projects and efforts. Check out the video above to see the AstriaGraph and more in action.