Lead author James Blake, a PhD student in the University of Warwick Department of Physics, said: “It’s important that we continue to observe the geosynchronous region with large telescopes wherever possible, to start to build up a more complete feel for the faint debris environment.
“With this survey, we’ve probed deeper than ever before, and still the population appears to be climbing as our sensitivity limit is reached.
“While we’re dealing with small number statistics here, it’s unsurprising that we see many more small, faint objects than large, bright ones.”
The astronomers surveyed the so-called geosynchronous region, which extends about 22,000 miles (36,000km) above Earth’s equator.
Satellites in geosynchronous orbits match the Earth’s rotation in perfect sync.