Image taken at E01 ePSIC of Ryugu serpentine and Fe oxide minerals. Credit: ePSIC/University of Leicester
The information collected at Diamond contributed to a broader research study of the area weathering signatures on the asteroid. The beautiful asteroid samples enabled the partners to check out how area weathering can change the physical and chemical composition of the surface of carbonaceous asteroids like Ryugu.
The researchers found that the surface of Ryugu is dehydrated and that it is most likely that area weathering is responsible. The findings of the research study, just recently released in Nature Astronomy, have actually led the authors to conclude that asteroids that appear dry on the surface area may be water-rich, possibly needing modification of our understanding of the abundances of asteroid types and the development history of the asteroid belt.
Ryugu is a near-Earth asteroid, around 900 meters in diameter, very first discovered in 1999 within the asteroid belt in between Mars and Jupiter. It is named after the undersea palace of the Dragon God in Japanese folklore. In 2014, the Japanese state space company JAXA launched Hayabusa2, an asteroid sample-return mission, to rendezvous with the Ryugu asteroid and collect material samples from its surface area and sub-surface. The spacecraft returned to Earth in 2020, releasing a capsule containing valuable pieces of the asteroid. These little samples were distributed to laboratories around the world for scientific research study, including the University of Leicesters School of Physics & & Astronomy and Space Park where John Bridges, among the authors on the paper, is a Professor of Planetary Science.
John said: “This unique objective to collect samples from the most primitive, carbonaceous, building blocks of the Solar System needs the worlds most detailed microscopy and thats why JAXA and the Fine Grained Mineralogy team wanted us to analyze samples at Diamonds X-ray nanoprobe beamline. We helped expose the nature of space weathering on this asteroid with micrometeorite effects and the solar wind producing dehydrated serpentine minerals, and an involved reduction from oxidized Fe3+ to more reduced Fe2+.
Its essential to develop experience in studying samples returned from asteroids, as in the Hayabusa2 mission, because soon there will be brand-new samples from other asteroid types, the Moon and within the next 10 years Mars, went back to Earth. The UK neighborhood will be able to carry out a few of the vital analyses due to our facilities at Diamond and the electron microscopic lens at ePSIC.”
The structure blocks of Ryugu are residues of interactions in between water, minerals, and organics in the early Solar System prior to the formation of Earth. Comprehending the composition of asteroids can assist describe how the early planetary system established, and consequently how the Earth formed. They might even assist describe how life in the world came about, with asteroids thought to have provided much of the worlds water along with natural compounds such as amino acids, which supply the basic foundation from which all human life is built.
The information that is being gleaned from these small asteroid samples will help us to much better comprehend the origin not only of the worlds and stars but likewise of life itself. Whether its pieces of asteroids, ancient paintings, or unidentified virus structures, at the synchrotron, researchers can study their samples using a maker that is 10,000 times more powerful than a conventional microscopic lense.
Reference: “A dehydrated space-weathered skin cloaking the hydrated interior of Ryugu” by Takaaki Noguchi, Toru Matsumoto, Akira Miyake, Yohei Igami, Mitsutaka Haruta, Hikaru Saito, Satoshi Hata, Yusuke Seto, Masaaki Miyahara, Naotaka Tomioka, Hope A. Ishii, John P. Bradley, Kenta K. Ohtaki, Elena Dobrică, Hugues Leroux, Corentin Le Guillou, Damien Jacob, Francisco de la Peña, Sylvain Laforet, Maya Marinova, Falko Langenhorst, Dennis Harries, Pierre Beck, Thi H. V. Phan, Rolando Rebois, Neyda M. Abreu, Jennifer Gray, Thomas Zega, Pierre-M. Zanetta, Michelle S. Thompson, Rhonda Stroud, Kate Burgess, Brittany A. Cymes, John C. Bridges, Leon Hicks, Martin R. Lee, Luke Daly, Phil A. Bland, Michael E. Zolensky, David R. Frank, James Martinez, Akira Tsuchiyama, Masahiro Yasutake, Junya Matsuno, Shota Okumura, Itaru Mitsukawa, Kentaro Uesugi, Masayuki Uesugi, Akihisa Takeuchi, Mingqi Sun, Satomi Enju, Aki Takigawa, Tatsuhiro Michikami, Tomoki Nakamura, Megumi Matsumoto, Yusuke Nakauchi, Masanao Abe, Masahiko Arakawa, Atsushi Fujii, Masahiko Hayakawa, Naru Hirata, Naoyuki Hirata, Rie Honda, Chikatoshi Honda, Satoshi Hosoda, Yu-ichi Iijima, Hitoshi Ikeda, Masateru Ishiguro, Yoshiaki Ishihara, Takahiro Iwata, Kousuke Kawahara, Shota Kikuchi, Kohei Kitazato, Koji Matsumoto, Moe Matsuoka, Yuya Mimasu, Akira Miura, Tomokatsu Morota, Satoru Nakazawa, Noriyuki Namiki, Hirotomo Noda, Rina Noguchi, Naoko Ogawa, Kazunori Ogawa, Tatsuaki Okada, Chisato Okamoto, Go Ono, Masanobu Ozaki, Takanao Saiki, Naoya Sakatani, Hirotaka Sawada, Hiroki Senshu, Yuri Shimaki, Kei Shirai, Seiji Sugita, Yuto Takei, Hiroshi Takeuchi, Satoshi Tanaka, Eri Tatsumi, Fuyuto Terui, Ryudo Tsukizaki, Koji Wada, Manabu Yamada, Tetsuya Yamada, Yukio Yamamoto, Hajime Yano, Yasuhiro Yokota, Keisuke Yoshihara, Makoto Yoshikawa, Kent Yoshikawa, Ryohta Fukai, Shizuho Furuya, Kentaro Hatakeda, Tasuku Hayashi, Yuya Hitomi, Kazuya Kumagai, Akiko Miyazaki, Aiko Nakato, Masahiro Nishimura, Hiromichi Soejima, Ayako I. Suzuki, Tomohiro Usui, Toru Yada, Daiki Yamamoto, Kasumi Yogata, Miwa Yoshitake, Harold C. Connolly Jr, Dante S. Lauretta, Hisayoshi Yurimoto, Kazuhide Nagashima, Noriyuki Kawasaki, Naoya Sakamoto, Ryuji Okazaki, Hikaru Yabuta, Hiroshi Naraoka, Kanako Sakamoto, Shogo Tachibana, Sei-ichiro Watanabe and Yuichi Tsuda, 19 December 2022, Nature Astronomy.DOI: 10.1038/ s41550-022-01841-6.
A team of scientists from the University of Leicester used Diamond Light Sources Nanoprobe beamline I14, to carry out a chemical analysis of a fragment of the Ryugu asteroid utilizing X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES). The comprehensive structure of the asteroid was studied by mapping out the chemical states of the components within the asteroid product. Additionally, an electron microscope at Diamonds electron Physical Science Imaging Centre (ePSIC) was utilized to examine the asteroid grains.
Ryugu is a near-Earth asteroid, around 900 meters in diameter, first discovered in 1999 within the asteroid belt in between Mars and Jupiter. In 2014, the Japanese state space agency JAXA launched Hayabusa2, an asteroid sample-return mission, to rendezvous with the Ryugu asteroid and gather product samples from its surface and sub-surface.
Asteroid Ryugu– Image taken at 20km on 26 June 2018, size 870 m. Credit: Hayabusa2/JAXA
A large worldwide collaboration made use of the Diamond Light Source, the UKs nationwide synchrotron facility, to take a look at grains collected from a near-Earth asteroid in order to enhance our understanding of the evolution of our planetary system.
A team of scientists from the University of Leicester utilized Diamond Light Sources Nanoprobe beamline I14, to perform a chemical analysis of a fragment of the Ryugu asteroid using X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES). The in-depth structure of the asteroid was studied by drawing up the chemical states of the aspects within the asteroid product. Furthermore, an electron microscope at Diamonds electron Physical Science Imaging Centre (ePSIC) was used to take a look at the asteroid grains.
Julia Parker is the Principal Beamline Scientist for I14 at Diamond. She stated: “The X-ray Nanoprobe enables researchers to examine the chemical structure of their samples at micron to nano lengthscales, which is matched by the nano to atomic resolution of the imaging at ePSIC. Its very amazing to be able to contribute to the understanding of these special samples, and to deal with the team at Leicester to demonstrate how the strategies at the beamline, and correlatively at ePSIC, can benefit future sample return objectives.”