Ever since rockets have been made capable of breaking through the Earth’s atmosphere, mankind has been sending countless space junk just above the Earth. As a result, not only did we pollute the Earth, we have also caused space pollution. It gets worse according to scientists, as that space pollution is capable of making skies dark and blocking sunlight.
A study conducted by the Moscow Institute of Geosphere Dynamics has proposed that the numerous floating space junk or debris orbiting Earth could very well pose a slow-burn calamity. Since the amount of space junk keeps growing every day, it’s not unlikely that most of them will collide with one another.
This is a scenario known as the Kessler syndrome– a chain reaction of exploding space junk, spreading debris all over Earth and potentially overwhelming low Earth orbit with opaque garbage. Not only would such an event make space exploration impossible, but it would also disrupt GPS, television signals, radio and anything that depends on satellites.
That means space junk would not only cause artificial nighttime but will also bring about a digital blackout.
At the moment, the number of space junk is not big enough to cause the Kessler syndrome or even threaten the solar flux. However, the situation can rapidly change with a few more years of satellite launches along with other space debris that got sent up there.
As of now, there are around 22,300 floating objects orbiting Earth (not counting the moon). Their weight all add up to 8,400 tons and only 1,950 of those are functioning spacecraft, everything else is a byproduct of space exploration launches, collisions, and explosions.
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