The already famed asteroid Ryugu has a reportedly porous inner structure, as per analyses made by the Hayabusa-2 probe that landed on the space rock. The mission is led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the new report has been published in the online edition of the U.K. science journal Nature on March 17th.
Tatsuaki Okada, an associate professor at JAXA, explained that the structure is ‘like instant coffee that crushes into fine pieces when picked up.’ The team leading the research analyzed the surface temperature of the asteroid between June and October 2018 utilizing an infrared camera attached on the Hayabusa-2.
During day time, the temperatures reached as high as 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), and at night, they dropped to about -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit).
Ryugu Formed As Rocks From Other Cosmic Bodies Mixed
Japanese researchers observed how Ryugu collects and emits the Sun‘s heat from its surface, taking into consideration its shape. They discovered that it is comprised of elements that make it incredibly easy for the space object to heat up and also cool down. This implies that boulders and other types of materials covering its surface, are of low density and have numerous holes, as per the team.
Current research has unveiled the fact that the asteroid has formed after rocks and other materials coming from crashed small celestial bodies merged. Because the surface of Ryugu is almost all coated in porous rocks and other kinds of materials, the team of scientists now theorize that the cosmic object Ryugu formed from was also porous.
Researchers also stated that there is a chance that as the Solar System started to form about 4.6 billion years ago because of all that dust and gas merging, the structure of asteroids like Ryugu showcase the fact that they were in the process of developing into more solid bodies, just like Earth.