Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft has taken some new images which reveal the place of a new crater imprinted from the rough terrain of the Ryugu asteroid by an explosive charge, recently targeted on the Ryugu’s rocky surface. The spacecraft has passed the mid mark in its one and a half year-long study of the asteroid. In February, after gathering its initial sample from the Ryugu’s surface, Hayabusa 2 spacecraft has maneuvered into place over many parts of the asteroid and unconfined an impactor on April 4 to make an imitation of the crater to uncover original subsurface rocks for the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to inspect and recover in the imminent weeks.
A fiery charge drove the 30-centimeter copper impactor into the Ryugu at a very fast speed, hitting the asteroid’s surface with sufficient energy to leave marks of around 20 meters in diameter. The marks are almost double the size of the crater that the researchers have projected from the impact. Pictures downlinked by the spacecraft have unveiled the affected site for the very first time. Earlier this month, after positioning the impactor, Hayabusa 2 spacecraft primarily soared behind the Ryugu to dodge any wreckage thrust up by the crater-forming crash, then came back to a home position which is about 20 kilometers from the Ryugu. Hayabusa 2 spacecraft has also revealed a camera for keeping an eye on the impactor. Images transmitted from the camera over the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft back to our planet has unveiled a granular outlook of a burst of particles thrown away from the Ryugu by the impactor.
The pictures showed that the impactor collided with Ryugu, but researchers did not recognize the size of a crater that has been created. Last week, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s ground controllers, instructed the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to go closer to the asteroid to hunt for the new crater. Hayabusa 2 measured the affected place from a space of about.1.6 kilometers.