A Japanese Probe Is Closing in on an Asteroid 180 Million Miles from Earth | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


A Japanese Probe Is Closing in on an Asteroid 180 Million Miles from Earth

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft is closing in on its asteroid target ahead of a planned rendezvous just a few days from now.

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). [Photos: Japan's Hayabusa2 Asteroid Mission in Pictures]

"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."

Comments

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA