Animated Visualization of All Asteroids from 1980 – 2011May 16th, 2013
This animated graphic is a depiction of the solar system showing the locations of all the asteroids starting in 1980 through 2011. As asteroids are discovered they are added to the map and highlighted white so you can pick out the new ones. The final color of an asteroid indicates how closely it comes to the inner solar system: Those that cross Earth’s orbit are red; those that approach Earth’s orbit (perihelion less than 1.3AU) are yellow; all other are green. The pattern of discovery follows the Earth around its orbit because most discoveries are made in the region directly opposite the Sun.