Thursday, December 24, 2020

Pieces of an Asteroid, via Hyabusa2

Pieces of asteroid Ryugu brought back to earth by the Hyabusa2 spacecraft, much bigger than the sand brought back by Hyabusa1 in 2010. These pieces were knocked off the surface by shooting it with a steel bullet, which left a crater deep enough that some of them come from beneath the surface. Studying primitive carbonaceous asteroids is supposed to give us a window into the early solar system, and some people think the carbon on Earth's surface was brought here by asteroids of this type.

Anyway it's pretty cool that we can send a robot to an asteroid and have it bring rocks back for us to look at. 

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