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Samples from Ryugu prove the truly delicate and long-lived nature of the rubble-pile asteroid

Two new studies of samples brought back from the rubble-pile asteroid Ryugu by the Japanese probe Hayabusa-2 have found that the asteroid not only was never heated above 86 degrees Fahrenheit, it also contained dust grains older than the solar system itself.

The evidence from the first study, completed by Japanese scientists, suggested that:

  • 1.Asteroid Ryugu accreted some components that originated in the outer Solar System and contained abundant water and organics. The asteroid then traveled to the inner Solar System.
  • 2.Organics associated with coarse-grained phyllosilicates may serve as one of the potential sources of water and organics to the Earth.

The second study, using samples provided to American scientists, found two tiny dust grains that must have come from the material that existed before the formation of our solar system.

The team detected all the previously known types of presolar grains—including one surprise, a silicate that is easily destroyed by chemical processing that is expected to have occurred on the asteroid’s parent body. It was found in a less-chemically-altered fragment that likely shielded it from such activity.

This is not the first discovery of presolar grains, but their delicate existence in Ryugu confirms the conclusions of the first study, that Ryugu had to have formed in the outer solar system and then migrated inward over eons.

The second study also reviewed the make-up of the sample and concluded that Ryugu appears to most closely match the family of carbonaceous Ivuna-type (CI) chondrites, thought to be among the most primitive asteroids known, of which very few have been studied because of they rarely survive the journey through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. All editions can also be purchased direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • GaryMike

    Most of human literary history is about origin, and demise.

    It is a great thing to have been able to discover pre-origin / pre-demise stuff.

    Our horizons are closer than we imagine, or can determine in the moment.

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