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'Unnerving' animation shows number of satellites orbiting the Earth by country

'Unnerving' animation shows number of satellites orbiting the Earth by country

The sheer number of satellites orbiting Earth is quite shocking.

An unnerving animation shows the number of satellites orbiting the earth by each country.

The clip posted on Reddit reveals just how many satellites each country has in space - the most being the USA, with a whopping 3,433 satellites.

The country with the second largest amount of satellites is China with 541 - 2,892 less than the US.

The video - posted on the subreddit Damnthatsinteresting - has shocked viewers, with one person saying: “This is weirdly unnerving to me.”

Another worried commenter wrote: “This [is] ridiculous! Shouldn’t there be some restrictions on how many satellites can be in space. By the time our grandkids look up at night they will see all these up in space whereas before all we saw was stars. Very sad. Where do we draw the line?”

Meanwhile another person joked: “United Satellites of America. I like the ring of that.”

Other countries have far fewer satellites orbiting the Earth, with Japan having 97, the UK with 52 and Germany with just 36.

Viewers were surprised to see that Luxembourg made the top 10 list, placing in eighth with 38 satellites them orbiting in space.

“What’s Luxembourg up to?” one commenter asked, with another replying: “My thoughts too! Suspicions arising!”

There have been concerns recently about the number of satellites in space after a controversial new paper suggested that metal pollution from dead satellites could weaken our planet’s magnetic field.

Anton Petrus / Getty
Anton Petrus / Getty

The metal could essentially create an invisible shield around the earth and the paper, written by Seattle-based scientist Sierra Solter-Hunt, said ‘megaconstellations’ orbiting Earth, like SpaceX’s Starlink network, might generate enough magnetic dust to cut our planet’s protective shield in half.

Solter-Hunt told Live Science in the worst-case scenario this could lead to "atmospheric stripping", which has already happened naturally on planets like Mars and Mercury, making them uninhabitable - although this would take centuries or millennia to occur.

The paper also warned that 500k to one million private satellites could be orbiting the Earth in the coming decades. This is a huge jump considering that just 9,494 active satellites were listed as orbiting the planet on March 7.

However, other experts were skeptical of these worries - John Tarduno, a planetary scientist and magnetosphere expert at the University of Rochester in New York, told Live Science a “continuous conductive shell like a true magnetic shield” is unlikely.

Featured Image Credit: u/God_Kratos_07 / Reddit / Adastra/Getty