TopicsRyugu seen from a distance of 920km

Hayabusa2 is steadily approaching asteroid Ryugu. Figure 1 shows a photograph of Ryugu taken on June 13, 2018 with the ONC-T (Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic) from a distance of about 920km. The celestial body shining brightly in the center of the frame is Ryugu. The movement of Ryugu (in comparison to the background stars) can be seen by comparing this image with those taken on June 6 and June 10. The brightness of Ryugu is now about -6.6 mag (astronomical magnitude: a logarithmic scale for the apparent brightness for an object).


  • (Large image) Figure 1: Image of Ryugu taken using the ONC-T. The photograph was taken around 13:50 JST on June 13, 2018. The field of view is 6.3 degrees x 6.3 degrees and the exposure time is 178 seconds. From the spacecraft, you see Ryugu in the direction of the constellation, Gemini (Gem).
    Ground observation team: JAXA, Kyoto University, Japan Spaceguard Association, Seoul National University.
    ONC Team: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu and AIST.

Figure 2 shows the photograph taken with an exposure time of about 0.09 seconds. The part of the image that covers Ryugu is now about 10 pixels in diameter. We are describing the shape seen so far as a "dango"-type, as it looks like the round dango Japanese sweet dumpling made from rice flour (they taste delicious and we can recommend trying one). However, the shape does seem a little more angular.


  • (Large image) Figure 2: Image of Ryugu taken with the ONC-T on June 13, 2018 at around 13:50 JST. The field of view is 6.3 degrees x 6.3 degrees and the exposure time is about 0.09 seconds.
    Ground observation team: JAXA, Kyoto University, Japan Spaceguard Association, Seoul National University.
    ONC Team: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu and AIST.

  • (Large image) Figure 3: Image of Ryugu taken with the ONC-W1. The photograph was taken on June 13, 2018 at arond 13:00 JST. The field of view is 65 degrees x 65 degrees and the exposure time is about 0.2 seconds.
    Ground observation team: JAXA, Kyoto University, Japan Spaceguard Association, Seoul National University.
    ONC Team: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu and AIST.

These images were taken on June 13th, the same day that Hayabusa returned to Earth eight years ago. Just eight years later, Hayabusa2 is less than 1000 km from asteroid Ryugu. We are looking forward to seeing what developments come next!

Hayabusa2 project
2018.06.14

Message from Project 一覧

「はやぶさ2」は,人類が訪れたことのない小惑星「リュウグウ」との往復航行をする宇宙船です.どんな冒険が待ち受けているか誰にも分からないけれど,きっと面白い航海になるはずです。どんな旅をするか,楽しみにしていてください。
(プロジェクトマネージャ 津田雄一)