Diamond shaped asteroid one of 29k+ NEO’s detected

Japan’s space agency is preparing to attempt two landings on a diamond shaped asteroid called Ryugu. It is one of over 18,000 Near Earth objects that have now been detected.

Image result for ryugu asteroid

900 metre wide Ryugu asteroid

Ryugu has been described as ‘unusually shaped’ but I think it has become obvious that asteroids are a wide variety of seemingly random shapes, so no particular shape should be seen as unusual. It would be very unusual if they all looked similar,

Ryugu is a C-type asteroid. Asteroids (NASA):

C-type (carbonaceous): Includes more than 75 percent of known asteroids. Very dark with an albedo of 0.03-0.09.
Composition is thought to be similar to the Sun, depleted in hydrogen, helium, and other volatiles. C-type asteroids inhabit the main belt’s outer regions.

S-type (silicaceous): Accounts for about 17 percent of known asteroids. Relatively bright with an albedo of 0.10-0.22. Composition is metallic iron mixed with iron- and magnesium-silicates. S-type asteroids dominate the inner asteroid belt.

M-type (metallic): Includes many of the rest of the known asteroids. Relatively bright with an albedo of 0.10-0.18. Composition is apparently dominated by metallic iron. M-type asteroids inhabit the main belt’s middle region.


Japan’s space agency will attempt to land a robotic unmanned landing craft on the surface of an asteroid 300 million-kilometers (186.4 million-miles) away from Earth next month.

The Hayabusa-2 spacecraft is currently orbiting around the diamond-shaped asteroid Ryugu, which it reached in June after a three-and-a-half year journey.

On September 21, the spacecraft will deploy the first of two landers onto the asteroid itself, where they will gather samples and conduct experiments. A second lander will be launched on October 3.

Later in the mission, the spacecraft itself will land on the asteroid after blowing a small crater in it using explosives, so samples can be gathered from below the object’s surface which have not been exposed to space.

JASA’s Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” descended from its orbiting position (at a 20km altitude from Ryugu) to a minimum altitude of 851 m, on 6 -7 August 2018.

NASA has detected more than 29,000 Near Earth Objects, most over the last ten years, so the number is likely to keep increasing.


Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighborhood. Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

On a daily basis, about one hundred tons of interplanetary material drifts down to the Earth’s surface. Most of the smallest interplanetary particles that reach the Earth’s surface are the tiny dust particles that are released by comets as their ices vaporize in the solar neighborhood.

With an average interval of about 10,000 years, rocky or iron asteroids larger than about 100 meters would be expected to reach the Earth’s surface and cause local disasters or produce the tidal waves that can inundate low lying coastal areas. On an average of every several hundred thousand years or so, asteroids larger than a kilometer could cause global disasters.

No one should be overly concerned about an Earth impact of an asteroid or comet. The threat to any one person from auto accidents, disease, other natural disasters and a variety of other problems is much higher than the threat from NEOs. Over long periods of time, however, the chances of the Earth being impacted are not negligible so that some form of NEO insurance is warranted.


Leave a comment


  1. Corky

     /  2nd September 2018

    If we can land probs on an asteroid, why don’t we start investigating along the lines of harvesting drones who’d mine these space objects for any detectable rare minerals..known, and unknown?

    • Gezza

       /  2nd September 2018

      We could and that is talked about from time to time. Too costly at the moment.

      (Unless you know of someone who’s supposedly done it but was killed or disappeared or ‘died young’ & all their data and equipment and space vehicles have since ‘vanished’ and never been heard of again ? o_O )

      The thing that worries me is that animation of every known & tracked asteroid. We still get news every year of ones that weren’t known and will come near. We’re fucken doomed, mate. Doomed. 😮

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  2nd September 2018

        ‘We’re all doooooooommmmmed !’

        It’s quite likely that all that happened and has been suppressed by the Powers That Be for their own nefarious reasons, it’s now only known to and by a select few.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  2nd September 2018

          Good luck catching an asteroid as it passes…..any volunteers ?

          • Gezza

             /  2nd September 2018

            Actually Corks seems to have been suggesting we can send our probs to them. No probs with that.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd September 2018

              He doesn’t recognise a well-known quotation, does he ? (sigh)

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd September 2018

              He can be the first prob sent.

              😀 😀 😀

              He has a prob with the idea of lateral thinking, poor chap, no idea what it means.

      • Corky

         /  2nd September 2018

        Oh, dear. A couple of sarcastic comedians..short on a little lateral thinking. But not bad considering.

        So, lets give then something to worry about.:😃😃😃



        ”We’re all doooooooommmmmed !’

        ”It’s quite likely that all that happened and has been suppressed by the Powers That Be for their own nefarious reasons, it’s now only known to and by a select few.”


        • Corky

           /  2nd September 2018


        • Kitty Catkin

           /  2nd September 2018

          ‘Them’ was not included in my post.

          If I had meant it, I would have said it.

          I said and meant that it was only now known to and by a select few because I meant that it was known TO and BY the select few.

          Oh, forget it. It’s a waste of time explaining these things.

          • Corky

             /  2nd September 2018

            You got that right. What a pathetic reply. Living off other peoples posts again.

            Yes, please forget me. Engaging you is a waste of space. Your general knowledge is appalling.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd September 2018

              It was good enough for Mastermind, something that you will never be on, I suspect.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd September 2018

              I agree, your reply WAS pathetic.

              If you don’t want people to respond, why bother to post in the first place ? You must know that those who know more than you will read your posts and refute the wrong ‘information’ in them.

              If your general knowledge is better than mine, who was Queen Victoria named after ?

              What is the little groove under a person’s nose called ?

              What does a noctambulist do ?

              Where would you find a marigeonus object ?

              What is euphuistic writng ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd September 2018

              * marigenous.

            • Corky

               /  2nd September 2018

              ”If you don’t want people to respond, why bother to post in the first place ? You must know that those who know more than you will read your posts and refute the wrong ‘information’ in them.”

              Yes, refute is right.

    • Griff.

       /  2nd September 2018

      Financial times .
      Interplanetary players: a who’s who of space mining.
      ispace, a Japanese company founded in 2013, specialises in robotic rovers weighing just 4kg, whose dainty proportions make them relatively cheap to deliver into space.

      Planetary Resources
      It will be a decade or so before any minerals are extracted from an asteroid, acknowledges Chris Lewicki, chief executive of Planetary Resources.

      The former Nasa engineer remains optimistic, however. “We’re entering a phase of the industrial development of the economy [in which] space becomes a place where we can do business

      Deep Space Industries
      Peter Stibrany, chief business developer at Deep Space Industries, says company focus is on lowering the cost of deep space exploration. Today, a mission costs $500m to $1bn. Mr Stibrany’s hope is to reduce it “by a factor of 20 times or better” to make asteroid exploration possible.
      Mr Stibrany says it could take as “little as three to five years” for private companies to demonstrate the ability to prospect on asteroids.

      Kleos Space
      Space miners are unlikely to be human. Several smaller companies are producing robotic prospectors and explorers to dig the final frontier.
      “Space mining is a long game,” says Andrew Bowyer, co-founder and director of Luxembourg-based Kleos Space. “In my personal opinion, it’s probably a good 15 years off revenue.”
      Kleos is working on precision robotics that will allow for the manufacture of tools and replacement parts in space — helping future miners avoid a costly delivery from Earth.

      OffWorld, led by space industry veteran Jim Keravala, is a Los Angeles-based robotics company. It is at the prototype stage of its artificially intelligent industrial modular robot systems that are designed to operate autonomously.

      After his previous space project, Shackleton Energy, failed to secure sufficient investment to pursue large-scale lunar water extraction, Mr Keravala decided to focus on robotics, which also has customers on Earth.

      Space mining aims to exploit Earth-threatening asteroids


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