Skip to comments.A Japanese Probe Is Closing in on an Asteroid 180 Million Miles from Earth
Posted on 06/25/2018 8:14:11 PM PDT by BenLurkin
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) released several new images that Hayabusa2 snapped recently of the asteroid Ryugu, whose shape has now become clear. "From a distance, Ryugu initially appeared round, then gradually turned into a square before becoming a beautiful shape similar to fluorite (known as the 'firefly stone' in Japanese)," Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda wrote today (June 25) in a description of the newest photos, which the probe took Saturday and Sunday (June 23 and 24), from as close as 25 miles (40 kilometers).
"Now, craters are visible, rocks are visible and the geographical features are seen to vary from place to place," Tsuda added. "This form of Ryugu is scientifically surprising and also poses a few engineering challenges."
Hayabusa2 left Earth in 2014 and is scheduled to arrive at Ryugu which is about 180 million miles (290 million km) from Earth at the moment Wednesday (June 27) or thereabouts.
Other touchdown operations are planned in February 2019 and in April or May 2019. Additionally, Hayabusa2 will generate a crater with an impactor in March or April 2019, and do a second rover deployment in July. (Eventually, the mothership will deploy a total of three rovers and a lander onto Ryugu's surface.)
Hayabusa2 will also spiral down to collect samples from the fresh crater. If all goes according to plan, these samples will come down to Earth in a special return capsule near the end of 2020.
Such operations will be complicated somewhat by Ryugu's distinctive shape...
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
Looks like KIX, to me.
I as thinking a charcoal briquette.
Looks sweet and crunchy to me, and the name seems rather appetizing.
It’s a Borg Cube!!
Looks like it formed as a giant crystal.
Google octohedral fluorite crystal images.
Rather interesting, actually.
It does have the shape of a fluorite crystal. As Mr. Spock would say, “interesting.” It is not a fluorite crystal but the shape is unusual.
Oh....its that thing that fell off the top of the lamp.
What do they call those things?
Apologies to MST3K
How will the rovers rove on the asteroid? Its gravity must be negligible.
The Japanese have gone into space to probe an asteroid.
Is that our payback for aliens coming here and probing us?
What is also interesting, is the fact it appears to also bring revolving on an axis, with the “poles” remaining up and down.
(be). Sorry not bring.
Its one of those spaceships with a bunch of Japanese women in it coming to take control of Godzilla!!!
Get those little twin Japanese women to sing that awful song so Mothra can come and spit silly string on Godzilla!!!
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