The 600,000 asteroids that we've discovered so far is one scary view

Looking at this animation—which shows the discovery locations of around 600,000 asteroids spotted in the inner solar system since 1980—I seems like a miracle that we're still around. It's incredible to see how the number detected has increased so rapidly in recent years thanks to new tracking technology.

Some estimates suggest this figure is still only around 1% of the total out there, but take some comfort that the scale of the asteroids in the video has been exaggerated many billions of times over to occupy a single pixel. Should we panic or is the threat overblown?


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Scott Manley

In a very meta way your comment about the scale of the asteroids being exaggerated has been exaggerated about 10,000 times! So not quite as comforting any more.

(In the 4K resolution video most asteroids occupy a single pixel, which is 500,000km on a side)