Samples of Asteroid Ryugu suggest that it’s leftover from the formation of the sun billions of years ago.
Hayabusa2, an asteroid sample-return mission operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), was launched on December 3, 2014. Reached its target near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu on June 27, 2018. After a year and a half of research. The asteroid and sample collection began its journey back to Earth in November 2019.
After Hayabusa2’s six-year voyage, the plucky spacecraft returned to Earth’s atmosphere in late 2020 and landed in rural Australia. When researchers from the Japanese space company JAXA opened it, they discovered that its paid value was closed and unchanged: a small amount of pollution that Hayabusa2 could pick up on top of a high-speed sky.
Scientists have now begun announcing the first results of the analysis of this unusual sample. Their findings suggest that the asteroid is a fragment of the same thing that met in our Sun four and a half billion years ago.
“Previously we had a handful of these rocks to study, and they were all meteorites that fell to Earth and were kept in museums for decades to centuries, which changed their naming,” said geologist Nicolas Dauphas, one of the three University University students. Chicago researchers have worked with a team of international scientists led by Japan to analyze the fragments. “Having clean samples from space is amazing. They are witnesses from parts of the solar system that we have never explored in any other way. ”
In 2018, Hayabusa2 landed on a moving asteroid called Ryugu and collected particles from above and below its surface. After a year and a half of circling the asteroid, it returned to Earth with a closed capsule containing about five grams of dust and rocks. Scientists worldwide have been eagerly awaiting a unique sample that can help explain our understanding of the evolution of planets and the structure of our solar system.
Scientists are thrilled that these particles would not reach Earth without the protective spacecraft.
“Generally, all we find in the study of asteroids are fragments large enough to reach the ground like meteorites,” said Chicago geochemist Andrew M. Davis, another analytical team member. “If you take your hand and throw it in the air, it will burn. You could lose it, and more evidence of the history of this asteroid will accompany it.