Asteroid Discovery From 1980 – 2010 [Time-Lapse]
As in this time lapse of nuclear detonations worldwide, this video of asteroid discovery since 1980 starts off slow, but builds up serious momentum by the ’90s, corresponding with the rise of automated sky-scanning systems.
The video’s creator explains the color coding of the asteroids:
- The final colour of an asteroids indicates how closely it comes to the inner solar system.
- Earth Crossers are Red
- Earth Approachers (Perihelion less than 1.3AU) are Yellow
- All Others are Green
Notice now the pattern of discovery follows the Earth around its orbit, most discoveries are made in the region directly opposite the Sun. You’ll also notice some clusters of discoveries on the line between Earth and Jupiter, these are the result of surveys looking for Jovian moons. Similar clusters of discoveries can be tied to the other outer planets, but those are not visible in this video.