Japan releases beautiful first images of asteroid Ryugu monsters

On December 6 a piece of asteroid was found in the middle of the Australian desert.

But it was not an act of nature. It was a well-choreographed, meticulous transaction that took years of planning and execution.

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2, which traveled nearly six years in space to mark and collect a sample of the asteroid Ryugu, unloaded a small capsule containing pieces of the space rock for analysis here on Earth. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) opened the capsule last week and announced the precious space charge to the world for the first time. And there was a surprise in store.

JAXA posted the images on its website and on Twitter.

Just as incredible as this moment is for science, the shrewd among you may notice something strange in the image above. You are not mistaken.

There’s something definitely ‘down’ on the rocks encased in room C of the sample collection capsule.

It looks like there is tin foil in it.

Here is the background – The images are the culmination of the Hayabusa2 mission, which ended a five-year journey when it landed on the asteroid on February 21, 2019. The spacecraft arrived inside Ryugu in June 2018 and spent more than a year orbiting its rocky companion. , collected observations and images of Ryugu before its final touch.

The spacecraft collected a small sample of the asteroid and unloaded it in the Woomera-banned area in southern Australia. The 40-centimeter capsule landed on Earth on December 4 and the team behind the mission tracked it down and tracked it down two days later.

The capsule containing a piece of the space rock was found in the Australian desert.JAXA

After heading to a lab in Japan, scientists finally opened the precious cargo on December 14 and looked into a rare sample from the cosmos.

Why it’s newsworthy – Inside the capsule was only the second asteroid monster that humans could get their hands on throughout history. By studying the sample, scientists hope that it will help them better understand the origin of the Solar System.

Asteroids formed from the same material that formed the solar system, and may contain clues as to how water and other biological materials moved to Earth, and sparked life as we know it.

Most of what we know about asteroids comes from meteorites that rain on Earth as their parent comets and asteroids pass our planet. But this material can change significantly based on the earth’s atmosphere, water or weather.

To fly a piece of asteroid through space, scientists offer pristine material from billions of years ago when the Solar System was in its infancy.

What’s new – As seen in the images, the capsule contains small, serious pieces of the asteroid collected by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft.

Many particles larger than 1 mm were found in both chambers A and C.JAXA

There were a total of three capsule chambers with the asteroid samples in them. The samples inside Room C were larger than those found in Room A, and the scientists behind the mission believe that Room C samples were collected during the spacecraft’s second attack on the asteroid.

Another strange finding in Room C is an artificial object that looks like a kind of tin foil.

According to JAXA, the small pieces of aluminum may have been scratched off the spacecraft during the landing. But the jury still knows exactly what this material is and where it comes from. However, it appears to be artificial and therefore potentially space debris.

What’s next – Now that the capsule has been opened, scientists will spend years analyzing the samples to try to find out the origin of the asteroid Ryugu, as well as the origin of our own world.

According to JAXA, it appears that the spacecraft has created more than enough dirt for initial analysis, suggesting that it may contain a lot of new information about asteroids.