APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

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APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:12 am

[img]https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/calendar/S_181101.jpg[/img] Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu

Explanation: Will spacecraft Hayabusa2 be able to land safely on asteroid Ryugu? Since arriving in June, pictures show that the surface of kilometer-sized Ryugu is covered with boulders, so that finding a flat enough area for the bus-sized spacecraft to touch down is proving a challenge. In the featured video, the shadow of Japan's robotic Hayabusa2 can be seen on the rugged face of Ryugu while ascending last week from a touchdown rehearsal only 20 meters over the surface. Previously, small frisbee-sized landers detached from Hayabusa2, made contact with the diamond-shaped asteroid's surface, and started hopping around. Studying Ryugu could tell humanity not only about the minor planet's surface and interior, but about what materials were available in the early Solar System for the development of life. The touchdown of the Hayabusa2 mother ship is slated for early next year, hopefully followed by a soil sample collection for return to Earth.

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DomeLord
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Re: APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by DomeLord » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:46 am

A kilometre sized boulder is now a minor planet? That only makes sense to me if the asteroid belt is indeed the remnants of a 'minor planet' but isn't that too early to pass into settled science?

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Re: APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:58 pm

DomeLord wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:46 am
A kilometre sized boulder is now a minor planet? That only makes sense to me if the asteroid belt is indeed the remnants of a 'minor planet' but isn't that too early to pass into settled science?
The term "minor planet" includes asteroids. So yes, Ryugu is a minor planet.

It is settled beyond reasonable doubt that the asteroid belt is not derived from the remnants of some other, larger body, although there are certainly groups of bodies in the belt that all originated from individual asteroids that broke up in collisions.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by E Fish » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:00 pm

The definition of "minor planet" is pretty much anything that isn't a planet or a comet but is in orbit around the Sun, so yes, any asteroid, no matter the size, would be considered a minor planet. In fact, if you look up minor planet in the dictionary (at least in the one that comes up with a Google search), asteroid is the definition.

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Re: APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:26 pm

Whenever I get lost in space; my wife tells me to "wake up!" Keeps me from becoming a minor planet! :lol2:
Orin

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Re: APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by RJN » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:17 pm

The "Credit" line on the main NASA APOD has now been shortened to just "JAXA". This was done at the request of JAXA's Public Information Officer. We apologize for the oversight. - RJN

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Re: APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by DomeLord » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:16 am

E Fish wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:00 pm
The definition of "minor planet" is pretty much anything that isn't a planet or a comet but is in orbit around the Sun, so yes, any asteroid, no matter the size, would be considered a minor planet. In fact, if you look up minor planet in the dictionary (at least in the one that comes up with a Google search), asteroid is the definition.
For a moment there I thought that this must therefore include showers of hapless minor planets burning up in our atmosphere as meteors but then of course the get-out clause would be that these are merely ex-comet dust particles & not stately minor planets.

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Re: APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:59 pm

DomeLord wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:16 am
E Fish wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:00 pm
The definition of "minor planet" is pretty much anything that isn't a planet or a comet but is in orbit around the Sun, so yes, any asteroid, no matter the size, would be considered a minor planet. In fact, if you look up minor planet in the dictionary (at least in the one that comes up with a Google search), asteroid is the definition.
For a moment there I thought that this must therefore include showers of hapless minor planets burning up in our atmosphere as meteors but then of course the get-out clause would be that these are merely ex-comet dust particles & not stately minor planets.
Well, since we now nominally classify asteroids as bodies larger than 1 meter in diameter, and such bodies fairly commonly burn up in our atmosphere as meteors, some such objects might be called minor planets. Even in cometary debris streams there are bodies larger than a meter (and comets, themselves, are minor planets).
Chris

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Re: APOD: Hayabusa2 Ascends from Asteroid Ryugu (2018 Nov 01)

Post by DomeLord » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:32 am

Thanks for clearing that up! :ssmile: