Japanese Probe Photographs Target Asteroid Ryugu for Sample-Return Mission | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Japanese Probe Photographs Target Asteroid Ryugu for Sample-Return Mission

A Japanese asteroid-sampling spacecraft has its target in sight.

The Hayabusa2 probe has photographed Ryugu, the space rock it's scheduled to start orbiting late this month.

One newly released image, which was captured on Sunday (June 10) by Hayabusa2's Optical Navigation Camera-Telescopic (ONC-T), shows the 3,000-foot-wide (900 meters) Ryugu shining like a star against the blackness of space. [Photos: Japan's Hayabusa2 Asteroid Mission in Pictures]

Another Sunday ONC-T shot, which featured a much shorter exposure time (0.09 seconds versus 178 seconds), suggests that the asteroid is not significantly elongated, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) officials said.

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