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An asteroid under the NanoSIMS Probe

asteroid under the NanoSIMS
The Hayabusa II space mission, sent by the Japanese space agency (JAXA) to the asteroid Ryugu brought back unique samples to the lab. These pristine rock fragments from the surface of a carbonaceous asteroid were investigated to reveal the secrets of our origins. The NanoSIMS offers unique analytical capabilities to study isotope distributions in the organic matter of Ryugu samples.
Isotope compositions show that organic grains in Ryugu samples were synthesized during the early stages of the solar system formation.

Recorded on a NanoSIMS 50 at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.
Image courtesy of Laurent Remusat, Maximilien Verdier-Paoletti, Smail Mostefaoui (CNRS-MNHN) and Ikeshita Akihiro (JAXA).
From Yabuta et al. Macromolecular organic matter in samples of the asteroid (162173) Ryugu, Science 379, eabn9057 (2023).