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Emily LakdawallaSeptember 7, 2005

An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa

This lovely animation of Itokawa represents 20 individual images taken between 18:10 on September 5 and 00:30 on September 6, from a distance of less than 700 kilometers away. The Hayabusa website says that the animation confirms ground-based estimates of its rotation rate, about once per 12 hours.

An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa

ISAS / JAXA

An animation of Itokawa from Hayabusa
This tiny animation of Itokawa represents 20 individual images taken between 18:10 on September 5 and 00:30 on September 6, 2005, from a distance of less than 700 kilometers away. The animation confirmed ground-based estimates of its rotation rate, about once per 12 hours.

Taki Hiroi, a researcher at Brown University, reports that Hayabusa will arrive at "Gate position," a point 20 kilometers from Itokawa, on September 12. Then, it will descend to a 7-kilometer distance, "Home position," from Sept 27 to 30.

Read more: pretty pictures, animation, asteroids, asteroid 25143 Itokawa, Hayabusa (MUSES-C)

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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