Scientists predict Earth will develop Saturn-like rings made of garbage

HERE’S THE SCOOP:

  • Scientists say “Earth is on course to have its own rings. They’ll just be made of junk.”
  • NASA says the Department of Defense is tracking more than 27,000 pieces of space junk.
  • With a growing commercial space industry, the colume of space junk will likely grow significantly.

As more and more debris accumulates in space and surrounds Earth’s orbit, one researcher believes our planet will eventually develop rings made completely of space junk.

“Earth is on course to have its own rings. They’ll just be made of junk,” said Jake Abbott, a robotics professor at the University of Utah.

Abbott was part of a team of researchers that recently published a report detailing how nonmagnetic space junk can conduct electricity. The team believes to have found a way by using controlled force and torque to slow spinning objects, move them around and eventually collect them. Abbott believes the findings could relate to collecting space junk orbiting Earth’s atmosphere.

Space junk is a growing problem. NASA reports the Department of Defense is tracking more than 27,000 pieces of debris.

NASA said there’s likely more debris in space that’s too small to track but still large enough to present a threat. Space debris travels at extremely high speeds, so even a tiny piece can impact a spacecraft and create big problems.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune

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