Space images: The best of 2020

There was stunning cosmic imagery to feast on over the past year - here's our pick of the offerings.

Dec. 29, 2020 ~6 min

Hayabusa-2: Pieces of an asteroid found inside space capsule

Scientists in Japan open the Hayabusa-2 space capsule that landed just over a week ago.

Dec. 15, 2020 ~3 min

Asteroid capsule landing point detected

A search is under way for a capsule carrying the first large quantities of rock from an asteroid.

Dec. 5, 2020 ~2 min

Rocks from an asteroid set for delivery to Earth

A Japanese spacecraft is set to deliver its precious sample cache to the Australian outback.

Dec. 4, 2020 ~3 min

Hayabusa 2: returning asteroid sample could help uncover the origins of life and the solar system

If the building blocks of life were present at the time that Earth was born, this could mean life is common in the universe.

John Bridges, Professor of Planetary Science, University of Leicester • conversation
Dec. 4, 2020 ~7 min

Hayabusa-2: Japan spacecraft leaves asteroid to head home

Hayabusa-2 will return with samples of the asteroid after its yearlong journey back to Earth.

BBC Science News • bbcnews
Nov. 13, 2019 ~2 min

Hayabusa-2: Japanese probe set to 'bomb' an asteroid

The Japanese Hayabusa-2 spacecraft is about to detonate an explosive charge on the asteroid it is exploring.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
April 4, 2019 ~3 min

Hayabusa 2: Asteroid image shows touchdown marks

A new image from Japan's Hayabusa-2 spacecraft reveals a dark splodge where it touched down on the surface of an asteroid last week.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
Feb. 25, 2019 ~2 min

Hayabusa-2: Japan mission set to 'bite an asteroid'

The Hayabusa-2 probe is ready to descend to the Ryugu asteroid to collect a sample from its surface.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
Feb. 21, 2019 ~7 min