In December 2020, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft brought back to Earth 5.4 grams of samples from the primitive asteroid Ryugu. These grains were collected in two locations, with one collection after an artificial impact that excavated subsurface material. The entire collection is being analysed at JAXA’s Curation Facility (Sagamihara, Japan), under a controlled atmosphere to prevent contamination of the samples by the terrestrial atmosphere.
Infrared spectra of anhydrous grains from the carbonaceous asteroid Ryugu indicate a connection between one of the reservoirs from which Ryugu's parent body originated and the reservoirs that formed comets and primitive asteroids in the outer protoplanetary disk.
A new study, based on spectral data from the MicrOmega instrument on the samples brought back from the Ryugu asteroid by the JAXA mission Hayabusa2, helped to characterize and map different types of carbonate minerals within the samples, revealing precious information about the early Solar System.
The Japanese Hayabusa2 mission (JAXA) has brought back samples from the carbonaceous primitive asteroid Ryugu. Thanks to the analyses of these samples by an international group led by Prof. Tomoki Nakamura (Tohoku Univ., Japan), it is possible to propose a scenario retracing the history of Ryugu, including its formation after the fragmentation of its parent asteroid.
Water-rock interactions are essential in the formation of planets, especially that of the Earth. In fact, the origin of water in solar system objects has always been extensively studied. The isotopic composition of the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that compose the water molecule is in particular a key tracer of its sources. The hydrogen isotopic composition of the water of telluric planetary objects is intermediate between that of interstellar water very rich in deuterium and that of hydrogen gas depleted in deuterium by nuclear reactions in stars.