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Orbital Debris   Graphics

The following graphics are computer generated images of objects in Earth orbit that are currently being tracked. Approximately 95% of the objects in this illustration are orbital debris, i.e., not functional satellites. The dots represent the current location of each item. The orbital debris dots are scaled according to the image size of the graphic to optimize their visibility and are not scaled to Earth. These images provide a good visualization of where the greatest orbital debris populations exist. Below are the graphics generated from different observation points.


Low Earth Orbit

LEO images

LEO stands for low Earth orbit and is the region of space within 2,000 km of the Earth's surface. It is the most concentrated area for orbital debris.

LEO 256 x 256 (26 kb)
LEO 640 x 640 (100 kb)
LEO 1280 x 1280 (257 kb)


GEO Orbit

GEO images

The GEO images are images generated from a distant oblique vantage point to provide a good view of the object population in the geosynchronous region (around 35,785 km altitude). Note the larger population of objects over the northern hemisphere is due mostly to Russian objects in high-inclination, high-eccentricity orbits.


GEO 256 x 205 (17 kb)
GEO 640 x 512 (54 kb)
GEO 1280 x 1024 (125kb)

GEO Polar Orbit
GEO Polar images

The GEO Polar images are generated from a vantage point above the north pole, showing the concentrations of objects in LEO and in the geosynchronous region.

GEO - Polar 256 x 256 (23 kb)
GEO - Polar 640 x 640 (62 kb)
GEO - Polar 1280 x 1280 (146 kb)

Debris in Motion movie

Debris in Motion ~40mb

(to save right click on ~40mb and select "Save Target As...")



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Last Updated: 10/02/2012