Organic molecules and water ice may be present in Ryugu's parent asteroid, says new study

Hayabusa -2's MASCOT lander has made it to the surface of the asteroid Ryugu

A new research report published in the journal Science has revealed some interesting details about the origin of Ryugu asteroid.

After analyzing images sent by the Japanese probe Hayabusa 2, the team of researchers who took part in the study found that the parent body of Ryugu had at least some water ice on its surface, and possibly some traces of organic molecules.

As per a report published in Science News, the rock's colour played a crucial role in determining its parents and researchers have now hinted that Ryugu might be the part of two already known asteroids.

The possible first parent of Ryugu might be a 55-kilometre-wide asteroid known as Polana and the second is a smaller 37-kilometre-wide rock known as Eulalia. It should be noted that both these asteroids are much larger than Ryugu which is just 900 meters wide. However, both these gigantic asteroids share similar features with Ryugu.

Researchers also suggested that Ryugu might have broken off from its parents at least 700 million years ago.

It was in late 2018 that Japanese probe Hayabusa 2 landed on Ryugu asteroid. In February, the space probe fired a projectile into the asteroid's surface to collect samples from the rock. In the initial phase of the mission, the Japanese space agency believed that they will find a powdery regolith on the surface of the asteroid. However, further analysis revealed that the regolith is covering the spacer body in centimetre-sized gravel bits.

The Hayabusa 2 space probe is expected to be Japan's giant leap to become a prominent force in the space race. If everything goes well, Hayabusa 2 will complete its mission by December 2019. After collecting adequate samples from the space body, the space probe will return back to the earth in December 2020. Experts believe that further analysis of these samples will help to unveil several mysteries surrounding the formation of asteroids and the dark secrets of the universe formation.

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