A week after giving us the first photo from the surface of asteroid 162173 Ryugu, Japan’s MINERVA rovers have just sent back new views of the asteroid’s surface, including the first video ever from an asteroid’s surface.
MINERVA-II2 (AKA Rover 1B) captured 15 frames over 74 minutes on September 23rd of the sun “traveling” across the “sky.” When played back in sequence, the images become a video of the rover’s view, captured 174 million miles (280M km) away from Earth.
The rover also shared photos of the rocky asteroid surface in between hops:
The rovers are moving around the asteroid in 15-meter (49ft) hops that each take 15 minutes due to the ultra-low gravity on the asteroid. Here’s an artist’s illustration of what the rovers look like on the asteroid:
Image credits: Asteroid video by JAXA and reprocessed by Gizmodo