Science

Like Saturn, Earth could have rings … of surprising composition

Space, a trash can? In just 65 years of conquering space, man has polluted space in dazzling proportions. Outcome? Hundreds of millions of debris orbit Earth and would soon form rings similar to those on the planet Saturn.

Dangerous risk of collision

9,600 tons is the amount of waste that travels at a speed of several thousand km / h around the Earth. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), no less than 170 million space debris larger than one millimeter are currently in orbit. There would be 670,000 additional waste, less than three centimeters in size.

This finding is even more concerning as they pose real risks of collisions with the tens of thousands of satellites sent into space. However, the risk of collision increases with the number of satellites. And neither states, nor billionaires in search of space adventures, intend to stop there. Recall that Elon Musk, with his Starlink project, has sent 12,000 satellites into space by 2025, and eventually … 42,000. Last May, 153 satellites were propelled aboard the Falcon 9 rocket, in one day.

Astrophysicists have been warning for decades about the threat this space debris poses to the planet, but no space regulations have been adopted to address it. In this uplifting video, we get to see the extent of the damage we’ve been causing off-planet since (only) 1957.

Also read: Why do the SpaceX satellites pose a threat to the planet?

Scrap rings around the earth

Thus, satellites, ships, probes and other materials resulting from space and tourist missions revolve around the Earth. Which, according to University of Utah professor of mechanical engineering Jake Abbott, is not without consequences for the environment of our blue planet.

“The Earth is about to have its own rings. They will just be made of rubbish,” he told British media. According to the scientist, our planet will gradually resemble the planet Saturn, with one difference: the composition of its rings. If Saturn’s rings are made of asteroid debris and rocks, Earth’s will be made of… debris. Thank you, WHO? Humanity!

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