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Hi Ryugu: Japanese spacecraft snaps crazy pictures of asteroid’s surface

Have you ever wondered what the surface of an asteroid looks like? Well, you’re in luck.

The Japanese space agency Jaxa published new pictures taken from an asteroid called Ryugu. The snaps were taken by two little robotic rovers, hopping around on the giant rock’s surface.

The remarkable thing though: you probably wouldn’t know these pictures were from the surface of another space body if we didn’t tell you.

Ryugu’s surface looks remarkably similar to rock formations found on Earth.

It may look like Earth from the surface, but getting to Ryugu wasn’t an easy task.

Jaxa launched the Hayabusa 2 probe — carrying the two rovers — some three years ago. It has been in close proximity to the asteroid since June but only this week released the rovers on its surface.

The asteroid, which was discovered in 1999, is around 800 metres in diameter. It can usually be found following the Sun within Earth and Mars’ orbits.

Expect a number of snaps from the little hopping rovers in the course of the next few weeks, but for now, enjoy these new snaps of the surface of an asteroid taken by human beings.

Feature image: Jaxa’s Hayabusa2 Mission

Author | Andy Walker: Editor

Andy Walker: Editor
Camper by day, run-and-gunner by night, Andy prefers his toast like his coffee -- dark and crunchy. Specialising in spotting the next big Instagram cat star, Andy also dabbles in smartphone, gadget and game reviews over on Gearburn. More

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