The team identifies the parent's body materials from the asteroid Ryugu

The team identifies the parent’s body materials from the asteroid Ryugu

A particle from asteroid Ryugu (named C0009) helps identify the materials of the spacecraft’s parent body. Credit: A. Yamaguchi/NIPR

An international team that includes a researcher from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has determined that a particular particle on the asteroid Ryugu can shed light on the pristine primordial materials of its parent body.

In December 2014, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Hayabusa2 spacecraft to asteroid 162173 Ryugu. In December 2020, the sample return capsule successfully landed back on Earth with clean pieces of Ryugu that it had collected.

Ryugu is an ancient fragment of a larger asteroid that formed very early in the history of the solar system, shortly after the birth of the Sun. The samples from this asteroid represent a unique opportunity to determine not only the material from which the solar system was formed, but also how the solar system evolved.

The solar system formed from a large cloud of swirling gas and dust produced by previous generations of stars. This “stardust” is nanometer- to micrometer-sized particles that are embedded in planetary bodies such as Ryugu when they form.

In the new research, LLNL secondary ion mass spectrometer and cosmochemist Ming-Chang Liu (Division of Nuclear and Chemical Sciences) found that one particle (called C0009) differs mineralogically from other Ryugu particles because it contains a small (~ 0.5 vol%) of anhydrous silicates. Other particles studied to date contained more phyllosilicate and carbonate minerals, suggesting that Ryugu underwent extensive aqueous alteration on its parent body, similar to the rare mineralogically altered but chemically primitive CI chondrites (a group of stony meteorites rare). The research appears in Astronomy of nature.

Through isotopic analysis of magnesium-rich olivine and pyroxene, the data “provide strong evidence that amoeboid olivine aggregates and magnesium-rich chondrules, two types of high-temperature objects that formed in the solar nebula, accumulated in the parent body Ryugu’s,” Liu said. , who is the first author of the paper.

The team analyzed the results of oxygen isotope measurements of Ryugu’s anhydrous silicates, which have strong implications for the origins of Ryugu and, by extension, the parent asteroids of CI chondrite meteorites.

“Oxygen isotope data together with grain morphology allows us to infer the original materials incorporated in the Ryugu protolith, as it reveals a potential relationship between anhydrous silicates in C0009 and other known high-temperature components found in non-CI carbonaceous chondrites,” said Liu . .

Dust grains from asteroid Ryugu older than our solar system

More information:
Ming-Chang Liu et al., Incorporation of 16O-rich anhydrous silicates in the protolith of the highly hydrated asteroid Ryugu, Astronomy of nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41550-022-01762-4

Provided by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Citation: Team identifies parent body materials in asteroid Ryugu (2022 September 23) Retrieved September 23, 2022 from

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