Asteroid discoveries over past 30 years visualized

This animation by the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center shows a beautiful view of the past 30 years of asteroid discoveries, using data culled by Ted Bowell et al.

View of the solar system showing the locations of all the asteroids starting in 1980, as asteroids are discovered they are added to the map and highlighted white so you can pick out the new ones.

The final colour of an asteroids indicates how closely it comes to the inner solar system. Earth Crossers are Red. Earth Approachers (Perihelion less than 1.3AU) are Yellow. All Others are Green

Notice now the pattern of discovery follows the Earth around its orbit, most discoveries are made in the region directly opposite the Sun. You'll also notice some clusters of discoveries on the line between Earth and Jupiter, these are the result of surveys looking for Jovian moons. Similar clusters of discoveries can be tied to the other outer planets, but those are not visible in this video.