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Study Based on Observation Data from Asteroid Explorer
“Hayabusa2” Published in Nature Astronomy

September 22, 2020 (JST)

National Research & Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
The University of Tokyo
Nagoya University
Chiba Institute of Technology
Kochi University
Rikkyo University

We hereby announce that a paper presenting the results of research based on asteroid Ryugu exploration activities by Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” was published in the UK online journal Nature Astronomy on September 21, 2020 (September 22, JST).

The following shows the outline of the paper.

Collisional history of Ryugu’s parent body from bright surface boulders


Hayabusa2’s optical navigation camera (ONC) found many anomalously bright boulders on the dark surface of C-type asteroid Ryugu. Observations with the ONC and near-infrared spectrometer (NIRS3) indicate that at least six of those bright boulders exhibit reflectance spectra consistent with exogeneous origin; their spectra are similar to those of S-type asteroids. This means that the bright boulders resulted from collisional mixing between Ryugu’s parent body and one or more S-type asteroids. On Bennu, the asteroid explored by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx, bright boulders with spectra similar to those of V-type asteroids were found. This suggests that Ryugu and Bennu might have different collisional histories. Moreover, the majority of bright boulders on Ryugu have spectra similar to those of C-type asteroids. This type of bright boulders are likely endogenic and they may have been from different parts of Ryugu’s parent body, which would have experienced different thermal histories. Because the samples collected from Hayabusua2 may contain those bright materials, we may be able to gain detailed knowledge on Ryugu’s collisional and thermal history from the analyses of the Hayabusa2 samples.

Original article

Author: Tatsumi et al.
Journal: Nature Astronomy
DOI: 10.1038/s41550-020-1179-zExternal Link