Breathtaking video shows discovery of every asteroid 1980-2010

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

Turns out the skies are a lot more crowded than we used to think! Back in 1980, we were aware of fewer than 9,000 asteroids. Today, we know about more than half a million of them. Check out a hypnotic video that captures the discovery of every one of them in three minutes.

It'll be tough to tear your eyes away from the orbiting rocks, we know, but keep a watch on the numbers in the lower left, which detail both the year and the number of asteroids we were aware of at the time, with the rate of discovery increasing quickly as automated sky-scanning systems come online.

Check out szyzyg for more information on the creation of the clip.

(via huffingtonpost)