Rocks on the Move

Is this the best asteroid visualization yet?

A tweet from science fiction writer David Brin alerted me to some of the fun and innovative things people are doing with space-y graphics and visualizations—everything from a weightless Google page to an animation of the Sun and planets moving together through the Milky Way.

My favorite is this simulation, created by software engineer Ian Webster, of all the asteroids orbiting the Sun in Earth’s vicinity. The simulation is designed for Chrome, but works in some other browsers, too. (If you don’t see a giant swarm of asteroids, you’re not getting the full effect.)

Webster even lets you sort the rocks by their accessibility and economic value. Watching all these would-be impactors crossing Earth’s orbit makes me glad that asteroids are small and space is big.

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