Three-axial shape distributions of pebbles, cobbles and boulders smaller than a few meters on asteroid Ryugu

Michikami, Tatsuhiro; Hagermann, Axel; Morota, Tomokatsu; Yokota, Yasuhiro; Urakawa, Seitaro; Okamura, Hiroyuki; Tanabe, Naoya; Yumoto, Koki; Ebihara, Tatsuki; Cho, Yuichiro; Ernst, Carolyn M.; Hayakawa, Masahiko; Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Hirata, Naru; Honda, Chikatoshi; Honda, Rie; Kameda, Shingo; Kanamaru, Masanori; Kikuchi, Hiroshi; Kikuchi, Shota; Kouyama, Toru; Matsuoka, Moe; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Noguchi, Takaaki; Noguchi, Rina; Ogawa, Kazunori; Okada, Tatsuaki; Sakatani, Naoya; Sasaki, Sho; Sawada, Hirotaka; Sugimoto, Chiho; Suzuki, Hidehiko; Tanaka, Satoshi; Tatsumi, Eri; Tsuchiyama, Akira; Tsuda, Yuichi; Watanabe, Sei-ichiro; Yamada, Manabu; Yoshikawa, Makoto; Yoshioka, Kazuo; Sugita, Seiji
Bibliographical reference


Advertised on:
Number of authors
IAC number of authors
Refereed citations
Over a broad size range, the shapes of impact fragments from catastrophic disruptions are distributed around the mean axial ratio 2: √2: 1, irrespective of experimental conditions and target materials. Although most blocks on asteroids are likely to be impact fragments, there is not enough quantitative data for reliable statistics on their three-axial lengths and/or ratios because it is difficult to precisely estimate the heights of the blocks. In this study, we evaluate the heights of blocks on asteroid Ryugu by measuring their shadows. The three-axial ratios of ~4100 small blocks with diameters from 5.0 cm to 7.6 m in Ryugu's equatorial region are investigated using eight close-up images of narrower localities taken at altitudes below 500 m, i.e. at <5.4 cm/pixel resolution, obtained immediately before the second touch-down of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. The purpose of this study is to investigate the block shape distribution, which is important for understanding the geological history of asteroid Ryugu. Specifically, the shape distribution is compared to laboratory impact fragments. Our observations indicate that the shape distributions of blocks smaller than 1 m on Ryugu are consistent with laboratory impact fragment shape distributions, implying that the dominant shape-determining process for blocks on Ryugu was impact fragmentation. Blocks several meters in size in the equatorial region seem to be slightly flatter than the rest, suggesting that some blocks are partly buried in a bed of regolith. In conclusion, the shape distributions of blocks from several-cm to several-m in the equatorial region of asteroid Ryugu suggest that these are mainly fragments originating from the catastrophic disruption of their parent body and/or from a later impact.
Related projects
Project Image
Minor Bodies of the Solar System
This project studies the physical and compositional properties of the so-called minor bodies of the Solar System, that includes asteroids, icy objects, and comets. Of special interest are the trans-neptunian objects (TNOs), including those considered the most distant objects detected so far (Extreme-TNOs or ETNOs); the comets and the comet-asteroid
Julia de
León Cruz