17/03/2014 11:02 GMT | Updated 17/03/2014 11:59 GMT

Space Junk Video Shows What 500,000 Objects In Orbit Really Looks Like

How much stuff is orbiting the Earth?

Well, there's the Moon, for starters. Then the Space Station. After that you've pretty much got a few communication satellites, some mysteriously empty space suits and George Clooney. That's it right?


In fact there is an incredible amount of stuff orbiting Earth, and it's becoming a serious problem for existing space craft and new launches. Last month the European Space Agency announced a new mision - e.DeOrbit - designed to capture debris with nets or harpoons in order to send it back down to Earth.

"Decades of launches have left Earth surrounded by a halo of space junk: more than 17,000 trackable objects larger than a coffee cup, which threaten working missions with catastrophic collision," ESA said.

"Even a 1 cm nut could hit with the force of a hand grenade."

To prove it they sent out this video of more than 500,000 pieces of debris orbiting the Earth. It's an amazing insight into the scale of the problem.