The space near Earth is crowded with all sorts of junk, everything from collision debris to spent rocket stages, dead spacecraft to paint flecks from chipped logos. While hazardous to spacecraft, the space junk is certainly pretty against an ocean backdrop with lots of sun-glint.

Image credit: NASA

Image credit: NASA

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Image credit: NASA

Image credit: NASA

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Image credit: NASA

Despite the tranquility of these images, space junk can be seriously disruptive. Just days after the ESA Sentinel satellite launched, it had a close encounter with damaging debris.