Astrochemistry and Origins
A new study, based on spectral data from the MicrOmega instrument on the samples brought back from the Ryugu asteroid by the JAXA mission Hayabusa2, helped to characterize and map different types of carbonate minerals within the samples, revealing precious information about the early Solar System.
The Japanese Hayabusa2 mission (JAXA) has brought back samples from the carbonaceous primitive asteroid Ryugu. Thanks to the analyses of these samples by an international group led by Prof. Tomoki Nakamura (Tohoku Univ., Japan), it is possible to propose a scenario retracing the history of Ryugu, including its formation after the fragmentation of its parent asteroid.
Water-rock interactions are essential in the formation of planets, especially that of the Earth. In fact, the origin of water in solar system objects has always been extensively studied. The isotopic composition of the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that compose the water molecule is in particular a key tracer of its sources. The hydrogen isotopic composition of the water of telluric planetary objects is intermediate between that of interstellar water very rich in deuterium and that of hydrogen gas depleted in deuterium by nuclear reactions in stars.
The Astrochemistry and Origins team at IAS, in collaboration with the SMIS beam-line of the SOLEIL synchrotron, is starting the analysis of several Ryugu micrometric grains, in particular by Fourier transform infrared micro-tomography.
On 17 June 2021, the International Space Station (ISS) will fly over the Orsay campus of Université Paris-Saclay. To mark the occasion, a radio contact lasting approximately 10 minutes will be organised with Thomas Pesquet, live from the ISS. A unique opportunity to follow the conversation between the astronaut and secondary school and university students!