Color photo of the surface of Ryugu taken by the Rover-1B on Sept. 23. The asteroid looks like a total “rubble pile” of uncompacted rock. Notice how dark the rocks are. Ryugu is a rare combination C and G-type asteroid. It’s carbonaceous (C-type) or rich in carbon and also shows the presence of clay-type minerals and mica (G-type). JAXA
At this point you’re probably thinking I’m nuts about asteroids. I am. When was the last time we had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to stand on one? Like never! That’s why I’m hopping happy about the latest images from the Japanese Hayabusa-2 mission to the half-mile-wide asteroid Ryugu. Big things come in small packages — especially when you get right to their surfaces, which practically fill the field of view in these photos.
A few days ago, when the Hayabusa-2 probe descended toward the surface of Ryugu to release the rovers, it took this incredibly detailed photo. One meter (1 m) equals about 3 feet. JAXA
Rover-1B shot a 15-frame movie on asteroid Ryugu’s surface from 8:34 a.m. to 9:48 a.m. Central Time on September 22. JAXA
The latest photos from the MINERVA robots, happily hopping around Ryugu, ...