Examining samples from asteroid Ryugu, scientists made an amazing discovery. They have discovered tiny particles of ancient matter even older than our own Solar System. Located in the Sun’s near-Earth orbit, asteroid Ryugu is shaped like a gyro and orbits the Sun every 16 months. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was tasked with exploring the asteroid Ryugu (162173) from June 2018 to November 2019. Maneuvered a series of landers and Intruder spacecraft, spacecraft collected a sample from Ryugu and sent it back to Earth in 2020. In the new analysis of this sample, scientists detected presolar matter in it and believe that the Studying them may shed light on some of the phenomena behind the formation of our solar system.
According to space chemist Jens Barosch of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, the different types of protopole particles are the result of different types of stars and stellar processes. This can be determined using their isotope signature, he added. The isotopes are considered crucial to understanding the chemistry of distant stars and the processes taking place in them.
“The opportunity to identify and study these particles in the laboratory can help us understand the astrophysical phenomena that have formed our Solar System, as well as other cosmic objects,” speak Barosch. He is also the lead author of the study.
In the study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the team was able to detect 57 particles of prepolar matter. Previous studies have also discovered some pre-polar materials in Ryugu. The team compared the newly discovered particles with those found in meteorites and observed that Ryugu’s composition was similar to CI chondrites. This is a rare subtype of carbon chondrite, similar in composition to that of the Sun.
“Samples returned from asteroid Ryugu by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft contain pre-polar stardust particles. The researchers wrote in their paper that their abundance and composition were similar to the pre-polar material found in CI chondrites. They added that the results provide evidence that the asteroid Ryugu is closely related to chondrite.