Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. Prime Day Deals
    09:43 Deals

    These early Prime Day deals have prices so low, it’s like Amazon made a mistake

  2. Prime Day Deals
    07:58 Deals

    Amazon has 10 new early Prime Day deals you need to see to believe

  3. amazon nest thermostat 3rd generation
    14:02 Deals

    Newest Nest Thermostat gets a rare Amazon discount ahead of Prime Day

  4. Best Amazon Deals Today
    07:58 Deals

    15 hidden Amazon deals that are so exclusive, they’re only for Prime members

  5. Amazon Deals
    10:18 Deals

    Today’s best deals: Early Prime Day deals, $15 Echo Auto, $4 smart plugs, $50 off Ai…

Japanese probe sends back stunning new images from asteroid’s surface

September 27th, 2018 at 1:46 PM

It’s only been a couple of days since Japanese space agency JAXA showed off the very first images taken from an asteroid’s surface, but we’re already getting more. JAXA’s Hayabusa-2 probe and its army of unusual rovers are delivering all kinds of awesome photos from the surface of the Ryugu asteroid, and this history-making mission is just getting started.

The latest photos are actually even better than the first ones the Hayabusa spacecraft sent back. They’re a lot more clear and look less like a bad sci-fi horror movie. JAXA even took the time to sync up a little animation using several of the photos taken in sequence.

As you can see from the photos, the asteroid is a dry, rocky object with plenty of rubble littering its surface. It might look boring, but Ryugu is an interesting body for a number of reasons, not least of which is its peculiar shape. The rock is shaped like a giant dumpling, and scientists hope that there’s something it can teach us about itself and other asteroids like it.

Asteroids are organized into classes based on what they look like and what they’re probably made of. Ryugu is unique in that it seems to straddle the line between the C-type and G-type space rocks.

Hayabusa-2 launched way back in 2014 and spent roughly four years making its way to Ryugu before entering orbit around the asteroid in late June of this year. It deployed its first pair of rovers to the surface of the object earlier this month and sent back the initial landing images on September 21st.

Eventually, the spacecraft will send more rovers to the asteroid’s surface as well as a cube-shaped instrument packed with tools to take readings and send data back to Earth. Later, the Hayabusa-2 “mothership” will touch down on the rock, snag a sample, and then fly back to Earth where it is expected to arrive in late 2020. That will be a truly momentous occasion, but for now we’ll just have to soak up the glorious photos.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today,, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.

Popular News