It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
You have done an amazing job of adding content to this thread, thank you.
originally posted by: wildespace
First true-colour image of Ryugu (next to Earth for comparison in albedo)
I used the colour image together with high-rez b&w image to get this:
(Saturation was slightly increased)
And with levels adjusted to reflect its low albedo. It's like a slightly reddish piece of coal.
originally posted by: Devino
With the looks of the surface texture and albedo it appears more like comet 67P than asteroids that have been imaged in the past.
C-type (carbonaceous) asteroids are the most common variety, forming around 75% of known asteroids. [...] C-type asteroids are extremely dark, with albedos typically in the 0.03 to 0.10 range.
From the "home position" at 20 km away from asteroid Ryugu, Hayabusa2 has been confirming instrument operations in preparation for future observations. The images below show the results of part of this rehearsal observation.
Hayabusa2 arrived at asteroid Ryugu on June 27, after which the spacecraft remained at a distance of about 20km (the Home Position) to continue to observe the asteroid. During this time, the spacecraft was maintaining a hovering altitude of 20km above the asteroid surface. In the week of July 16, operations were begun to lower this hovering altitude, eventually bringing the spacecraft to less than 6km from the asteroid surface.
This spectacular photo shows the view from asteroid Ryugu from the Minerva-II1A rover during a hop after it successfully landed on Sept. 21, 2018. The probe is one of two that landed on Ryugu from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 spacecraft. It's the first time two mobile rovers landed on an asteroid.
originally posted by: charlyv
Is this a retrieval operation as well? Will they get samples, and return them to Hayabusa2 for analysis, or better yet, will they be able to somehow get samples back to Earth?
Also in 2019, the mother ship will send a (nonexplosive) impactor barreling toward Ryugu. The orbiter will then cruise down to the newly created crater and collect a sample of pristine, previously subsurface material, which will come down to Earth in a special return capsule in December 2020, if all goes according to plan.