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Painted stone: asteroids in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

3 minutes

Experience the eerie serenity of 100,000 asteroids in orbit

Located at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has collected imaging data for more than 3 million astronomical objects since it began operating in 2000. Created by the US planetary astronomer Alex H Parker using data from the SDSS, this intricate, awe-inspiring visualisation reveals the colours, relative sizes and orbital paths of more than 100,000 asteroids located in our solar system. Learn more about the research behind the visualisation here.

Video by Alex H Parker

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Essay/
Physics
Out of nowhere

Does everything in the world boil down to basic units – or can emergence explain how distinctive new things arise?

Paul Humphreys

Essay/
Cosmology
How cosmic is the cosmos?

Ever since Heisenberg and Tagore, physicists have flirted with Eastern philosophy. Is there anything in the romance?

Zeeya Merali