Finally we have the first analysis of stardust retrieved from the Ryugu asteroid

Credit: Yada et. al., Nat. Astron., 2021
Credit: Yada et. al., Nat. Astron., 2021

News! The first analysis of the star dust on the asteroid Ryugu has arrived! Scientists have recently announced the contents of this dust, which has been on Earth for more than a year. Hayabusa2 is the probe that delivered this dust from a space rock, and a year after Hayabusa2 collected it, scientists released the first analyzes and data on this dust. First of all, scientists have concluded that this asteroid is a very dark, porous asteroid, and in addition it is one of the most primitive asteroids we have ever dealt with in the Solar System. 

These statements came from two papers published by scientists who worked on these analyzes. The data that scientists have shown shows that since this asteroid is (4.5 billion years ago), it has not changed much. "The evidence returned by Hayabusa2 ... seems to be one of the most important materials available in our laboratories," the scientists said. They continued with "Evidence is a unique valuable collection that can help review the paradigms of the origin and evolution of the Solar System." 

These detailed analyzes by scientists are very important to understand how celestial bodies formed in the Solar System, and then to know exactly how the Earth formed. The dust they study contains "an immense history" of this asteroid. Under the scientific name, 1999 JU3, Ryugu is only the second asetroid from which a sample was taken and brought to Earth. But the first one was partially failed, it was Itokawa, and the sample was more of a failure in 2010 when it was brought, it was very small. So this market on Ryugu is the only one that has reached approx. perfect on Earth. It is known for the first time that the spacecraft that collected this dust from the asteroid returned 5.4 grams of it to Earth. And now, Hayabusa2 is not bored, but begins his next missions to other asteroids. 

Questions and answers: 

Why the asteroid and how is it so dark? 

It is dark because the white level, which is a measure of the amount of solar radiation reflected on a body, is very low. Rygu is only 0.02 white. And it's a C-type asteroid, which means it should be between 0.03 and 0.09 white, and it's below that. Think how dark it is if the asphalt is 0.04 white. To know how much it reflects from the solar radiation, this albeo multiplies by 100%, so it will give us that Rygu reflects only 2% of the solar radiation falls on it.

What is the porosity of the asteroid? 

According to the two published papers, the porosity is 46% (very high for such an asteroid). 

What makes the asteroid so black? 

According to two papers published under the guidance of astronomer Cédric Pilorget of the University of Paris-Saclay in France, he writes that the asteroid is so dark because it is made of extremely dark matter. They most likely consist of some minerals, very dark rocks or even phyllosilicates.

"Our data support and extend remote-sensing observations that suggested that Ryugu is dominated by hydrous carbonaceous chondrite-like materials, similar to CI chondrites, but with a darker, more porous and more fragile nature. This inference should be further corroborated by in-depth investigations hereafter by state-of-the-art analytical methods with higher resolution and precision." - Yada's team  (in their papper).

If you want, you can go and see the pappers here : -


We wish success to all those who work for the discovery and analysis of this asteroid dust, to discover as many things as possible. 

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 21 December 2021, at 12:05 pm Los Angeles time

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