RYUGU – The high road and the low road !


I have two 3-D Movies to share today – of that fine asteroidal body known as Ryugu – a piece of rock – or an agglomerate of small rocks – in a near-Earth orbit which at present has a visitor: – the probe launched by Japanese JAXA Space Agency known as Hayabusa2. It’s sitting there, parked about 40 km from Ryugu, which itself measures only about 1 km across.

My passionate obsession with 3-D led me to pair up the first images sent back to make the first stereo views as such of Ryugu. The European arm of the Hayabusa team, in the shape of Dr Patrick Michel, were kind enough to give me the two shots taken at a 10 minute interval that I cheekily asked for – and the result was a very nice high quality stereo view (see following image below) – the first official 3-D view of one ‘hemisphere’ of Ryugu.

RYUGU stereo 2 (IG format)
RYUGU stereo 2 (IG format)

But what of the rest of the asteroid ? It rotates once every 7 hours, so obviously there was an exciting opportunity coming, to show the whole ‘planet’ in 3-D.

But, as I completed the Queen and Adam tour, the extra images never arrived. So, being of an impatient nature, and inspired by the possibility, I went back to the low quality images published while the probe was in approach phase. I put together every possible combination of stereo pair of these, and assembled them in order of rotation, with a little bit of enhancement. I then asked my great pal Paul Crook to put them in an a images GIF – which he did with outstanding success !!! This is how it looks !

Ryugu Rotation 2
Ryugu Rotation 2


We didn’t post it, because I’m always careful not to assume I have permissions from a team that’s creating the source material.

But this morning … hey presto ! An official rotation vid (a red and green ‘anaglyph’) appeared on the Hayabusa site – using all the lovely hi-res images I hadn’t had access to. It’s great – and really makes my effort redundant, but my amateur version was still a nice fun thing to create. Hayabusa2 are evidently well capable of making 3-D images on their own !!!

You’ll need red and green 3-D glasses to view this.


Ryugu anaglyph rotation
Image credit: JAXA, Aizu Univ, Tokyo University, Kochi Univ, Rikkyo University,
Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji Univ, AIST

My friend and colleague (and a vital part of the team that produced our forthcoming Mission Moon 3-D book) Claudia Manzoni, converted the published anaglyph version of the JAXA movie into parallel format for our enjoyment !

Ryugu rotates fast
Ryugu rotates fast
Ryugu rotates - slow"> Onwards ! There's lots to get excited about ! Cheers ! Bri PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT © brianmay.com MORE SOAPBOX
Ryugu rotates – slow

Onwards ! There’s lots to get excited about !

Cheers !


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