Pieces of a distant asteroid have helped reveal more about the early life of our solar system, according to scientists, according to RT.
Scientists used samples from the asteroid “Ryugu” to learn more about how the asteroids that surround us formed, in addition to the formation of the Earth.
The team, from the Institute of International Physics in Paris, the University of Paris City and the National Center for Scientific Research, found that the asteroid “Ryugu” is composed of “carbon chondrites (CI) similar to the Ivuna meteorite” (Ivuna), which helps scientists better understand the source of the asteroid.
This carbonaceous chondrite (CI) belongs to the most chemically primitive meteorites thought to have ingredients dating back to the formation of the solar system.
However, some of the isotopic signatures – for example: titanium and chromium – overlap with other groups of carbonaceous chondrites, so the details of the association between Ryugu and carbonaceous chondrites (CI) are not yet well understood.
Carbonaceous chondrites help shed light on our planet as well, as scientists believe that Ryugu-like material from the outer solar system makes up to 6% of Earth’s mass.
The new study represents the latest discovery from Ryugu, which is 300 million km from Earth.
And in the two years since the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 returned to Earth after sampling the asteroid, scientists have continued to find a host of new discoveries about Ryugu, which in turn have helped explain the story of our solar system when it was much younger than it is now.
Scientists have been able to examine objects from farther out in the solar system in the past, by finding them after they fell to Earth in the form of meteorites.
But the Hayabusa2 mission marked the first time that scientists could look at such samples without going through the process of falling into the atmosphere and onto the planet.