Simon Scarr is doing some great work as the Graphics Director at the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Last month he designed Close Encounters, the full-page visualization of the Near-Earth-Objects that have passed within the Moon’s orbit (or will pass by) from 1910-2189.
A 45-metre-wide asteroid came remarkably close to Earth on Friday, even closer than communication and weather satellites. It was be the nearest known close miss for an object of its size.
When this story was first mentioned in the newsroom, a few days before the incident, it sparked debate. People were intrigued as to how close these objects come to Earth. How many pass by? And how fast or large are they? A perfect opportunity for an interesting graphic.
As usual, NASA had every piece of information we needed. Their Near-Earth Object Program was established in 1998 to help coordinate, and provide a focal point for the study of comets and asteroids that can approach the Earth’s orbit. They have data sets on all close approaches to Earth since 1900 and projected forward to 2200.
This is a beautiful design that shows the distances to scale by placing them in between the Earth and the Moon, and the horizontal lines show the relative speeds of all the objects. Orange lines are future, predicted passes.
Simon has posted more behind the scenes information about putting this infographic design together on his own blog. I highly recommend the post, and you can check out his other work.
Found on Visual Loop.