So did our detection systems get remarkably better around 2007, or did ET toss his garbage out the airlock while doing a fly-by??
Ohh.... blame the Chinese for blowing up one of their satellites.
BTW: While I recognize (and hope everyone else does as well) that some of the suggestions and comments here are intended to be anectodal and (I HOPE) really don't need the lessons in physics to explain why big fishing nets will be useless against micro-particles travelling so fast that they can puncture metal [ but just in case: a) they'll pass though the gaps in the net, and b) if they manage to hit part of the netting they'll just puncture right through, make more debris, and keep on going] BUT...
Just for fun... (and as an exercise for your kids) If we consider low earth orbit to be 500 miles and lower, figure out how big of a "net" you would need to launch to be able to adequately cover that much area. For bonus points, figure out how much it would weigh.
(Consider that the oversized dry-cleaner's garment bag that took "Fearless Felix" up to 24 miles weighed in at over 4000 pounds empty.)
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