Pebbles and sand on asteroid (162173) Ryugu: In situ observation and particles returned to Earth

S. Tachibana, H. Sawada, R. Okazaki, Y. Takano, K. Sakamoto, Y. N. Miura, C. Okamoto, H. Yano, S. Yamanouchi, P. Michel, Y. Zhang, S. Schwartz, F. Thuillet, H. Yurimoto, T. Nakamura, T. Noguchi, H. Yabuta, H. Naraoka, A. Tsuchiyama, N. ImaeK. Kurosawa, A. M. Nakamura, K. Ogawa, S. Sugita, T. Morota, R. Honda, S. Kameda, E. Tatsumi, Y. Cho, K. Yoshioka, Y. Yokota, M. Hayakawa, M. Matsuoka, N. Sakatani, M. Yamada, T. Kouyama, H. Suzuki, C. Honda, T. Yoshimitsu, T. Kubota, H. Demura, T. Yada, M. Nishimura, K. Yogata, A. Nakato, M. Yoshitake, A. I. Suzuki, S. Furuya, K. Hatakeda, A. Miyazaki, K. Kumagai, T. Okada, M. Abe, T. Usui, T. R. Ireland, M. Fujimoto, T. Yamada, M. Arakawa, H. C. Connolly, A. Fujii, S. Hasegawa, N. Hirata, N. Hirata, C. Hirose, S. Hosoda, Y. Iijima, H. Ikeda, M. Ishiguro, Y. Ishihara, T. Iwata, S. Kikuchi, K. Kitazato, D. S. Lauretta, G. Libourel, B. Marty, K. Matsumoto, T. Michikami, Y. Mimasu, A. Miura, O. Mori, K. Nakamura-Messenger, N. Namiki, A. N. Nguyen, L. R. Nittler, H. Noda, R. Noguchi, N. Ogawa, G. Ono, M. Ozaki, H. Senshu, T. Shimada, Y. Shimaki, K. Shirai, S. Soldini, T. Takahashi, Y. Takei, H. Takeuchi, R. Tsukizaki, K. Wada, Y. Yamamoto, K. Yoshikawa, K. Yumoto, M. E. Zolensky, S. Nakazawa, F. Terui, S. Tanaka, T. Saiki, M. Yoshikawa, S. Watanabe, Y. Tsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft investigated the C-type (carbonaceous) asteroid (162173) Ryugu. The mission performed two landing operations to collect samples of surface and subsurface material, the latter exposed by an artificial impact. We present images of the second touchdown site, finding that ejecta from the impact crater was present at the sample location. Surface pebbles at both landing sites show morphological variations ranging from rugged to smooth, similar to Ryugu's boulders, and shapes from quasi-spherical to flattened. The samples were returned to Earth on 6 December 2020. We describe the morphology of >5 grams of returned pebbles and sand. Their diverse color, shape, and structure are consistent with the observed materials of Ryugu; we conclude that they are a representative sample of the asteroid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1016
Number of pages6
JournalScience (New York, N.Y.)
Volume375
Issue number6584
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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