The Earth atmosphere-like bulk nitrogen isotope composition obtained by stepwise combustion analyses of Ryugu return samplesOPEN ACCESS 

Ko Hashizume, Akizumi Ishida, Ayano Chiba, Ryuji Okazaki, Kasumi Yogata, Toru Yada, Fumio Kitajima, Hisayoshi Yurimoto, Tomoki Nakamura, Takaaki Noguchi, Hikaru Yabuta, Hiroshi Naraoka, Yoshinori Takano, Kanako Sakamoto, Shogo Tachibana, Masahiro Nishimura, Aiko Nakato, Akiko Miyazaki, Masanao Abe, Tatsuaki Okada, Tomohiro Usui, Makoto Yoshikawa, Takanao Saiki, Fuyuto Terui, Satoshi Tanaka, Satoru Nakazawa, Sei-ichiro Watanabe, Yuichi Tsuda, Michael W. Broadley, Henner Busemann, the Hayabusa2 Initial Analysis Volatile Team

MAPS, Version of Record online: 30 April 2024


“The nitrogen isotope compositions of two samples returned from the asteroid Ryugu were determined using a stepwise combustion method, along with Ivuna (CI) and Y-980115, a CI-like Antarctic meteorite, as references. The two Ryugu samples A0105-07 and C0106-07 showed bulk δ15N values of +1.7 ± 0.5‰ and +0.2 ± 0.6‰, respectively, significantly lower than Ivuna with +36.4 ± 0.4‰, but close to Y-980115 with +4.0 ± 0.3‰. The Ryugu samples are further characterized by C/N and 36Ar/N ratios up to 3.4× and 4.9× the value of Ivuna, respectively. Among all Ryugu samples and CI chondrites, a positive correlation was observed between nitrogen concentrations and δ15N values, with samples with lower nitrogen concentrations exhibiting lower δ15N. This trend is explained by a two-component mixing model. One component is present at a constant abundance among all CI-related samples, with a δ15N value around 0‰ or lower. The other varies in abundance between different samples, and exhibits a δ15N value of +56 ± 4‰. The first 15N-poor endmember is seemingly tightly incorporated into a carbonaceous host phase, whereas the 15N-rich endmember can be mobilized and decoupled from carbon, potentially because it is in the form of ammonia. Asteroid materials with volatile compositions that are similar to those reported here for the Ryugu samples are attractive candidates for the volatile sources among Earth’s building blocks.”