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A discussion about the presence of dust on the asteroid Ryugu

A discussion about the presence of dust on the asteroid Ryugu

Material samples from the asteroid continue to be analyzed Ryugu.

Started in 2014, the mission Hayabooto me 2 From the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) arrived in Ryugu in 2018 with three small robots, a lander, a near-infrared spectrometer (NIRS3) and an optical navigation camera (ONC). samples taken Arrived in Australia At the end of 2020, inside a small capsule, the mother probe launched at a close distance to Earth, and then continued its journey to another asteroid.

The analyzed data confirm the carbon composition of this asteroid as old as our solar system, despite the appearance of Ryugu Among the younger.

However, what open a file A new controversy among scientists is the presence or absence of dust.

“The photos of Ryugu show a very rough, pebble-like surface on a rocky beach,” he said. Deborah Doming, of the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, who conducted a study published in Planetary Science Journal with researchers Faith Villas NS Lucille Le Corrie. “Our spectroscopic analysis shows that There is also a fine-grained component, like dust,” these observations were recorded at a specific moment of the mission, when Ryugu was in opposition to the spacecraft and the sun, as the surface of the asteroid was fully illuminated to show the specific effects of dust interacting with the sun’s light. However, “the Surface Asteroid Traveling Probe (MASCOT) No evidence of dust was found».

“The surface of Ryugu is complicated,” Domingu concluded. “There are differences and these differences result from non-uniform interactions with the spatial environment, from effects on the micro and macro scale as wellThe change that produces the sun. The presence of dust, and its abundance, is a matter of debate.”

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Top photo: Ryugu photographed by ONC at 64 meters on September 21, 2018. Credits: JAXA, University of Tokyo, University of Kochi, Rikkyu University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, Aizu University, AIST