Noble gases and nitrogen in samples of asteroid Ryugu record its volatile sources and recent surface evolution

Okazaki R. et al; Tatsumi E.
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The near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid (162173) Ryugu is expected to contain volatile chemical species that could provide information on the origin of Earth’s volatiles. Samples of Ryugu were retrieved by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. We measure noble gas and nitrogen isotopes in Ryugu samples, finding they are dominated by pre-solar and primordial components, incorporated during Solar System formation. Noble gas concentrations are higher than those in Ivuna-type carbonaceous (CI) chondrite meteorites. Several host phases of isotopically distinct nitrogen have heterogeneous abundances between the samples. Our measurements support a close relationship between Ryugu and CI chondrites. Noble gases produced by galactic cosmic rays, indicating ~5 Myr exposure, and from implanted solar wind, record the recent irradiation history of Ryugu after it migrated to its current orbit.
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This project studies the physical and compositional properties of the so-called minor bodies of the Solar System, that includes asteroids, icy objects, and comets. Of special interest are the trans-neptunian objects (TNOs), including those considered the most distant objects detected so far (Extreme-TNOs or ETNOs); the comets and the comet-asteroid
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