A research published in the journal Nature Astronomy was recently funded by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NASA, and the National Science Foundation’s Instrumentation and Facilities program. The team used isotopic analysis to find out how carbonate minerals from the asteroid Ryugu were crystallized through reactions with water. Results show the asteroid was formed early on and it is likely to have broken from a small asteroid or object, probably less than 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) in diameter. The carbonates are likely to have developed very early on, “within the first 1.8 million years of the solar system’s existence — and they preserve a record of the temperature and composition of the asteroid’s aqueous fluid as it existed at that time,” said a news release.
Today: December 1, 2023