Ryugu's surface – just before MASCOT's first contact

Ryugu's surface
Ryugu's surface – just before MASCOT's first contact
DLR’s MASCAM camera took 20 images during MASCOT’s 20-minute fall to Ryugu, following its separation from Hayabusa2, which took place at 51 metres above the asteroid’s surface. This image shows the landscape near the first touchdown location on Ryugu from a height of about 25 to 10 metres. Light reflections on the frame structure or the camera body scatter into the field of vision of the MASCAM (bottom right) as a result of the backlit light of the Sun shining on Ryugu. Ryugu has a coarse textured, extremely dark surface that reflects only about 2.5 percent of the incoming sunlight. The rugged area shown here is about as dark as asphalt. Details of the terrain structures are visible in the MASCAM images thanks to the photosensitive semiconductor elements of the 1000 by 1000 pixel CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) camera sensor, whose dynamics enhance even the weakest light signals and deliver scientifically usable image data.