Meet Ryugu: Close Up And Personal

_103600101_mediaitem103600100Japan’s space agency (Jaxa) has released incredible images from its robot rovers of the asteroid Ryugu. I know that I go all squealy over NASA and space pictures, but this is amazing.  It is difficult to get one’s mind around the fact that we are looking at the surface of an asteroid that has been moving through space since before the advent of mankind.


The rovers were released by the “mothership”, Hayabusa 2 after a three-and-a-half-year journey.  The rovers actually hop in the low gravity to get around.



RyuguImage copyright JAXA
RyuguImage copyright JAXA


The asteroid is 900m wide and is believed to have been around since the early stages of the galaxy.


11 thoughts on “Meet Ryugu: Close Up And Personal”

  1. It’s hard to imagine the eons of total silence on that rock. No wind. No sound. It formed and cooled and remained frozen and unchanging in a way that a planet with atmosphere never could. That particular formation has looked exactly the same for billions of years.

    Life is change. This asteroid is the opposite. Stillness.

  2. I’m with you L.E.M.
    Though it’s a shame that it had to be you.
    The mother ship is just a blip
    From your trip made for two.
    I’m with you boys, so please employ just a little extra care.
    It’s on my mind I’m left behind
    When I should have been there.
    Walking with you.

    Ian Anderson

  3. Nice to see the photos, especially as these have no American political content.

    However, the rock itself is unlikely to have been around since “the early stages of the galaxy”. The thought is “the early stages of the solar system”, a much, much later stage.

    As this is to be a sample return mission, be patient for the determination of the age of this rock.

  4. Hasn’t every molecule in the universe been “moving through space since before the advent of mankind”? You don’t get all squealy over a Pet Rock do you? 😀

    1. mespo727272 — No, molecules are being formed all the time. For example, your food is converted into non-food molecules, including the carbon dioxide which you exhale.

      1. Well they’re converted all the time, but aren’t they all — even the converted ones that aren’t actually new — moving through space before the advent of mankind.

        I thought matter is neither created nor destroyed per Antoine Laurent Lavoisier. Energy neither (Mayer)!

        1. At the Big Bang all matter/atoms were H, some HE and a little Lithium. Anything heavier is created when a Supernova blows and squeezes the H and He together to create all the other atoms up to Uranium, every second a supernova explodes in the observable universe, every 50 yrs in the Milky Way. And the radiation pulse is powerful enough to fry all life on a planet light years away. The supernova that supplied the solar system with the heavy stuff is estimated to have occurred 5-6 billion yrs ago no further than 10 light years away. Nature’s awesome

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