Image to be used with red/blue stereo glasses.
Credits: Yoshiro Yamada, credit for the original stereoscopic image is Brian May and credit for the images of Ryugu is JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, Aizu University.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 has been busy reconnoitering its target asteroid, Ryugu.

Brian May, the lead guitarist from the British rock band, Queen, has created a stereoscopic image of Ryugu from photographs captured with the Optical Navigation Camera onboard Hayabusa2, so that the asteroid can be viewed in three dimensions.

Planetary defense

Brian May is an astronomer, with a doctoral degree in astrophysics from Imperial College London. He has a strong interest in planetary defense or space guard, which considers the potential threat to the Earth from meteorites.

May is a core member of “Asteroid Day”, that began about three years ago to increase awareness of asteroids and action that can be taken to protect the Earth.

In particular, the two asteroids explored by Japan’s Hayabusa and Hayabusa2 missions, Itokawa and Ryugu, both have orbits that approach the Earth, and data from these missions is also being used to better understand planetary defense.

Brian May has previously created images to sterescopically view celestial bodies, and approached the Hayabusa2 Project to propose a stereoscopic image of Ryugu.


Go to this video for May’s explanation of the stereo imaging of the asteroid at:

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