Jaumann, Schmitz, Ho, Schröder, Otto, Stephan, Elgner, Krohn, Preusker, Scholten, Biele, Ulamec, Krause, Sugita, Matz, Roatsch, Parekh, Mottola, Grott, Michel, Trauthan, Koncz, Michaelis, Lange, Grundmann, Maibaum, Sasaki, Wolff, Reill, Moussi-Soffys, Lorda, Neumann, Vincent, Wagner, Bibring, Kameda, Yano, Watanabe, Yoshikawa, Tsuda, Okada, Yoshimitsu, Mimasu, Saiki, Yabuta, Rauer, Honda, Morota, Yokota, Kouyama (2019) Images from the surface of asteroid Ryugu show rocks similar to carbonaceous chondrite meteorites Science (New York, N.Y.) 365(6455) 817-820
The near-Earth asteroid (162173) Ryugu is a 900-m-diameter dark object expected to contain primordial material from the solar nebula. The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) landed on Ryugu's surface on 3 October 2018. We present images from the MASCOT camera (MASCam) taken during the descent and while on the surface. The surface is covered by decimeter- to meter-sized rocks, with no deposits of fine-grained material. Rocks appear either bright, with smooth faces and sharp edges, or dark, with a cauliflower-like, crumbly surface. Close-up images of a rock of the latter type reveal a dark matrix with small, bright, spectrally different inclusions, implying that it did not experience extensive aqueous alteration. The inclusions appear similar to those in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Copyright © 2019 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.