Status Report

Hayabusa Closes in on Asteroid Itokawa

By SpaceRef Editor
September 10, 2005
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2005/9/9 Update Itokawa Image on September 7

Hayabusa continues approaching Itokawa and the image of it has grown day by day.

Itokawa : 9/4 02:36 UTC (1), 9/6 03:32 UTC (2). (25 x 25 arc-minutes)

Image of Itokawa : Sept. 7, 16:00

(3: raw, 25 arc-min x 25 arc-min) (4: processed)

The image 3 is what Hayabusa took for Itokawa at 16:00 UTC on September 7 by the Visible Imager, AMICA. The v-band (540nm) filter was used with a horizontal polarizer. Sun light illuminates Itokawa from a little left.

The image 4 was obtained via magnification, interpolation, sharpening and contrast emphasizing technique. The AMICA team today gave no particular comment about terrain or shade as for this image, while they looked at it carefully with calm but hectic discussion. The analysis does continue together with more images taken from now on.

The distance to Itokawa is about 220km and Hayabusa is approaching Itokawa at the speed of about 7 km/h.

SpaceRef staff editor.