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Queen guitarist Brian May makes stereo image of Ryugu asteroid

Brian May's video message on a stereo image of the Ryugu asteroid that JAXA's Hayabusa 2 probe reached, is shown at the JAXA Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on June 27, 2018. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Brian May, lead guitarist of the rock band Queen, has made a stereo image of the Ryugu asteroid that Japan's Hayabusa 2 space explorer reached on July 27.

The image, consisting of two photos of the asteroid said to be separated by 13 minutes, was released on the guitarist's website BrianMay.com and was described as the "very first (official!) stereo close-up of Asteroid 162173 RYUGU."

"I was honoured to have the opportunity to make this very first stereo compilation -- not only of Ryugu, but of any C-type asteroid -- in history," a message on the site read.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced on the morning of June 27 that its Hayabusa 2 probe had arrived at the asteroid Ryugu some 280 million kilometers away from Earth after a 3.5-year journey.

Hayabusa 2 mission manager Makoto Yoshikawa, far right, explains a video message from Brian May at the JAXA Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on June 27, 2018. (Mainichi)

May's site said the stereo image was released "to coincide with the JAXA official announcement that the probe has reached its destination."

May was awarded a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the Imperial College London in 2007. He was later also added as a "science collaborator" for NASA's New Horizons Pluto mission. (By Aaron Baldwin, Staff Writer)

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