Water Found in Samples Brought from Asteroid Ryugu

Science Society

Tokyo, Sept. 23 (Jiji Press)--Water has been found in samples from the asteroid Ryugu brought to Earth by Japan's Hayabusa2 explorer, according to a study published in the U.S. journal Science.

It is the first-ever discovery of water that takes a liquid form at room temperature from any sample collected outside Earth, according to the study by a team of researchers mainly from Tohoku University and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The outcome is expected to lead to better understanding of the origin of the ocean on Earth.

Tohoku University professor Tomoki Nakamura and his teammates analyzed 17 grains of Ryugu sand using systems including the SPring-8 large synchrotron radiation facility in Sayo, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan.

The team examined the sand grains, 1 to 8 millimeters in size, in detail, looking into their internal structures, mineral composition, hardness and other properties.

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