It had to happen sooner or later. There are over 6,000 orbiting satellites and now two of them smashed into one another. A US Iridium active comms polar orbiting satellite clobbered an inactive Russian satelllite around 485 miles up. At nearly a ton each, the debris is considerable. With hardly any air friction up there the debris will be travelling far at great speeds maybe for years. Approximately half will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere, hopefully missing the International Space Station which orbits lower than most comms satellites. It’s likely that debris will pass through the much higher orbit that geosynchronous satellites beam back most TV, and Eurosat images, hopefully without hitting any. There are so many satellites, and lost toolboxes in both 22,000 miles up geosynchronous orbit, mostly paralllel to the Equator, and the sub-1000 miles up polar orbits that we are creating our own Saturn’s rings!
The news item from the BBC is here