The Mesmerizing Texture of Asteroids

Over the weekend, a pair of robots, each about the size of a frying pan, tumbled out of a spacecraft and landed on the surface of another world.

The robots are part of a Japanese mission to visit an asteroid, collect some of its rocky material, and then return it to Earth. In late 2014, Japan launched the Hayabusa2 spacecraft bound for Ryugu, a small asteroid that measures just over half a mile and orbits near Earth. The spacecraft caught up with Ryugu in June after a three-year chase....

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