After the return of the “abbird” 2 probe, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) displayed a series of samples of the asteroid Ryugu on Thursday.
The finishing work of Ryugu samples is progressing steadily. On December 21, sample collection chambers B and C were opened, and then the contents of chambers A and C were moved to the collection container in the photo. The largest particle in chamber C is about 1 cm! pic.twitter.com/yWO15cKhG9
— HAYABUSA2 @ JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) December 24, 2020
The black gravel sample from Ryugu contains a pile of small debris collected from the asteroid underground. The photo on the right side of the Capsule C sample has graphics indicating man-made metal objects. JAXA explained that it was possible that the aluminum in the probe horn had fallen off from the projectile explosive used to enter the ground.
At the beginning of December, samples from Room A were also shared, giving another angle to the space rock.
Usually, such space rocks are collected after they enter the Earth’s atmosphere at the hot speed of the surface. A report by NPR shows that these samples from Ryugu are the first samples in history that can be inspected without damage during entry, which is essential for clear observation and a better understanding of these celestial rocks.
Asteroids such as Ryugu, which are about one kilometer in diameter, orbit the sun, allowing us to gain insights into the formation of planets and the early history of solar systems like ours.