The First Samples Collected From An Asteroid Show The Origin Of Our Solar System

The Hayabusa probe has brought back the samples from the asteroid Ryugu. It is the first time that a feat of this style has been accomplished.

Scientists have finally studied their first full samples returned from an asteroid in space and confirm what you would expect, while also shedding light on some new insights.

The researchers have published two papers revealing their first analysis of samples from Ryugu, the space rock that visited the Hayabusa2 probe in February 2019. 

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The team knew that Ryugu would be a common carbon-rich C-type asteroid, something that shows us some very interesting information about the origins of the Solar System in which we live.

Analysis indicates that Ryugu has a carbon-dominated composition similar to the outer shell of the Sun, much like certain meteorites. It is made from the most primitive materials in the Solar System, emerging from the dusty disk that formed along with the Sun itself.

It is also quite porous, like many asteroids. Most C-type asteroids have a low albedo (reflectivity of solar radiation) of 0.03 to 0.09 due to their carbon, but Ryugu's is 0.02. It is dark even by the standards of its cosmic neighbors.

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The first attempt to bring a sample to Earth, from the asteroid Itokawa in 2010, only allowed us to analyze a small amount of dust as a species.  

On the other hand, we still have a lot to know about Ryugu, so new and interesting news will be revealed soon.

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