The asteroid that eats in space contains some of the most primitive objects on Earth

The asteroid that eats in space contains some of the most primitive objects on Earth

When the Solar System was ‘only’ five million years old, they formed on the surface of a cosmic rock or in a bubble or pool, or in some other body of water at 37 C. Now, about four and a half billion years later, researchers have measured those minerals using grit and dust from the distant asteroid Rugu, a compact, porous collection of debris currently about 300 million kilometers from Earth.

After analysis, it appears that the researchers involved in the journal Science, The sample is similar to some types of carbon-rich meteorites (known as: CI type concretes), rocks that have previously collided with the Earth. The only difference is that where those meteorites stay on our planet and change the climate due to rain, sun and wind, the material that the researchers have just studied has not been completely touched.

Batter bowl

It officially transforms the monster into the most primitive cosmic object on Earth. Not surprisingly, asteroids like Rugo are fragments left over from the mixing bowl that Mother Nature once trampled on Earth and other planets. So finding their structure provides a direct link to the history of the solar system.

Astronomer Lucas Ellerbrock says the result is “very promising” and has previously analyzed the findings of the European Rosetta mission. It visited another distant asteroid, where the spacecraft analyzed its chemistry. Subsequent missions – including the Hayabusa 2 and NASA mission Osiris-Rex – are expected to deliver its package next year, as more extensive analysis of the Earth is possible, and it has been decided to bring the material here.

In the article, the researchers describe that, among other things, the sample is more similar to the photosphere of the Sun, the deepest layer in the atmosphere of our parent star, than CI contrasts. “It immediately clarifies the connection with solar history,” Ellerbrock says.

Ruge, an asteroid captured by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 at an altitude of 6 km.Image JAXA

Construction blocks of life

He expects more exciting analyzes of the sample in the near future. For example, researchers on the Hayabusu mission briefly reported on the discovery of amino acids, an important building block of life, at a scientific conference in March. New article in Science However, no details are given about this.

According to Ellerbrook, it is clear that researchers will report such findings more extensively in the future. “We know that the basic building blocks of life, including amino acids, have existed long before the history of the solar system,” he says.

Missions like Hayabusa 2 can be especially helpful in revealing the exact timeline of the solar system’s evolution. For example, it is still an open question whether all the basic elements after the formation of our planet were here, or whether they originated from asteroids like Rugo. As the famous astronomer Carl Sagan suggested in the 1990s, they would have brought building blocks here by impact. “But there is still time for such conclusions.”

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