Space pollution: Here's every known piece of space debris orbiting Earth
In space, no one can hear you litterThe image above was created by German photographer Michael Najjar, a "certified civilian astronauts" who has a ticket to go to space on board Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo in 2014. He titled the piece "Space Debris I", and created it with the help of the Institute of Aerospace Systems at the Braunschweig University of Technology, the world leading institute for space debris tracking. “Based on a data archive, each spherule in the picture represents a real existing object orbiting in space," Najjar says. As you can see, space isn't so empty, at least not in Earth's orbit.
All this debris isn't just a problem because it can make environmentalists cry, though....
It could also lead to the kinds of problems depicted in the film Gravity (which I saw and loved, by the way). The film is fiction, of course, but the more crap is in orbit, the more chances there are that it could become reality.