Microstructural and chemical features of impact melts on Ryugu particle surfaces: Records of interplanetary dust hit on asteroid RyuguOPEN ACCESS 

Megumi Matsumoto, Junya Matsuno, Akira Tsuchiyama, Tomoki Nakamura, Yuma Enokido, Mizuha Kikuiri, Aiko Nakato, Masahiro Yasutake, Kentaro Uesugi, Akihisa Takeuchi, […] Yuichi Tsuda

Science Advances
19 Jan 2024
Vol 10, Issue 3


“The Hayabusa2 spacecraft delivered samples of the carbonaceous asteroid Ryugu to Earth. Some of the sample particles show evidence of micrometeoroid impacts, which occurred on the asteroid surface. Among those, particles A0067 and A0094 have flat surfaces on which a large number of microcraters and impact melt splashes are observed. Two impact melt splashes and one microcrater were analyzed to unveil the nature of the objects that impacted the asteroid surface. The melt splashes consist mainly of Mg-Fe–rich glassy silicates and Fe-Ni sulfides. The microcrater trapped an impact melt consisting mainly of Mg-Fe–rich glassy silicate, Fe-Ni sulfides, and minor silica-rich glass. These impact melts show a single compositional trend indicating mixing of Ryugu surface materials and impactors having chondritic chemical compositions. The relict impactor in one of the melt splashes shows mineralogical similarity with anhydrous chondritic interplanetary dust particles having a probable cometary origin. The chondritic micrometeoroids probably impacted the Ryugu surface during its residence in a near-Earth orbit.”