Scientists first look at the sample of the asteroid from space

Japanese scientists got their first look at the sample capsule of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft containing asteroid dust from a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu. As reported by, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft launched in 2014 and arrived in Ryugu in 2018. about a year and a half observing the asteroid and sampling before it leaves to put the sample capsule back into the earth’s atmosphere.

On December 5, the capsule landed in the Woomera-banned area in Australia, and the Japanese Aviation Agency (JAXA) brought the capsule back to Japan.

“We have confirmed that black grains believed to be from Ryugu were inside,” mission representatives said posted on Twitter. “It’s outside the main chambers and probably particles attached to the entrance of the sampler.”

The spacecraft Hayabusa2 was able to obtain these samples by grabbing rocks from the asteroid surface and shooting a copper bullet into the asteroid to expose subterranean material. These two types of samples ‘should enable scientists to understand how the harsh environment of Ryugu affected the surface of Ryugu.’JAXA has not yet announced when scientists will begin analyzing this asteroid, but considering that ‘asteroids are original debris left over from the formation of the solar system, scientists hope that studying these samples from Ryugu will help them understand early days of the solar system. . “

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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.