mariano sardón

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"orbiting objects - Buenos Aires - latitude -34.6 and longitude -58.4.".
6 minutes excerpt. Data visualization, infinite duration. 2021



Orbiting Objects
data visualization of orbiting objects in space in real time.

“Orbiting Objects” is a data visualization of the number of objects appearing and passing above in sky at a specific latitude and longitude position.
Each sensed orbiting object, like spaceships, small devices and waste, is visualized using objects of mass consumption, industrial manufactures, technological devices, among others.
A software calculates and animates the items as if it were floating in microgravity generating multiple and dense patterns of movement of all kinds of floating objects.

Our society needs to be rethinked in many diverse aspects, mostly our consumption attitudes and our relationship with Nature and Cosmos. We, as humankind, have extended our consumption and pollution wherever on our planet, extending not only on the Earth surface and the deep of seas, but also in our outer space as a continuum of our production system associated with our exploitation and pollutional attitude.

Since 1957 the atmosphere has become a place where humanity dreamed to stay due to the special era. Since then the space race between USA and URSS have populated spaceships and satellites for all kind of purposes. Many other countries have added their endeavor not only by means of gouvernamentall space programs but also by private companies in recent times.
At this point, we humans have built a museum collection of spacecrafts, misiles, satellites and all kinds of space debris in different orbits in space. According to Space-track.org; and Space Surveillance Network (1) (2), around 40.000 objects are cataloged that orbit the Earth at different altitudes.
There exist orbits for dead spaceships where the satellites are deviated. Other spaceships are forced to decay in the atmosphere. (3). Nevertheless, space activity has increased over the years and space pollution has become a problematic risk. (4) The International Space Station has to make maneuvers to avoid debris. Some spaceship crashes are especially dangerous because they produce an incredible amount of waste of different sizes, all of them dangerous for objects and people in orbit. According to Kessler theory, (5) there exists a theoretical scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth Orbit is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade effect generating space debris that increases the likelihood of further collision. If this were to occur, the distribution of debris in orbit could render space activities and the use of satellites in specific orbital ranges economically impractical for many generations.
According to this, I wanted to make such a situation visible by sensing the number of objects in space passing above specific locations of the Earth in real time. Taking information from In-the-sky.org site (6); I visualize each space object that appears in the sky at each time by an animated object as if it were floating in microgravity. The number of objects visualized depends on the space objects that cross the sky above a specific latitude and longitude position, so the visualization generates multiple patterns of movement of all kinds of floating objects.