Hayabusa2 detects minerals containing water on Ryugu asteroid
Japan Times -- Mar 21
The unmanned space probe Hayabusa2 has detected small amounts of minerals containing water on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu, a Japanese research team has said.

The findings may provide a clue to solving the mystery of the origin of Earth’s water. Scientists say that at least part of the water came from asteroids and comets.

Research from the Hayabusa2 mission was published through the online version of the U.S. journal Science on Tuesday.

Ryugu is classified as a C-type asteroid containing water and organic compounds.

After its arrival at Ryugu in June last year, Hayabusa2 surveyed 69,000 locations on the asteroid, covering 90 percent of its surface, by using a near-infrared spectrometer capable of detecting hydrated minerals.

But the team said in August that year that its analysis of the observation data did not find anything indicating the presence of water.

Later, the team redid its analysis after adjusting for measuring errors.

The fresh analysis has found that hydrated minerals that are mostly uniform in composition exist on the surface at a rate of 1 percent or less, the team said.

日本の探査機『はやぶさ2』が探査を続けている小惑星『リュウグウ』から水の成分を含む鉱物が存在していることが確認された。リュウグウは、約46億年前に天体同士が衝突した結果できあがった小惑星とみられ、水の成分はこの際にもたらされた可能性がある。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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