Samples from another asteroid, Ryugu, had almost no water at all.
In structure, Itokawa resembles a pair of rubble piles crunched together. But we found lots of water in these particles.
Discovered in 1998 by the LINEAR project, this asteroid was given the provisional designation 1998 SF36 and was officially named after the Japanese rocket scientist Hideo Itokawa.More news: New Russian Internet Law Stokes Censorship Fears
That's about as close as some of the spacecraft or satellites that now orbit the Earth are, NASA said in a news release Monday. In fact, they're the second-most common type of asteroid in our Solar System. Studying the chemistry of these types of seed materials can tell us a lot about how the planets formed and the conditions in the early stages of planet growth.
She adds, "And we can say this only because of in-situ isotopic measurements on returned samples of asteroid regolith - their surface dust and rocks". Among the most common type in an asteroid belt, this asteroid is actually the remnant of a larger asteroid nearly 20km wide that suffered a number of large impacts. These would raise the temperature of the minerals and drive off water, researchers said. Bose and Jin suspected that the Itokawa particles might also have traces of water, but they wanted to know exactly how much.
Planetary scientists think that Itokawa is the remnant of a parent body at least 12 miles (19 km) wide that at some point was heated between 1,000 and 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (538-816 degrees Celsius). Part of Itokawa's path brings it inside Earth's orbit and at farthest, it sweeps out a little beyond that of Mars. However, we don't have any idea about how often it revolves around the sun.
According to the researchers, the latest findings provide an alternative explanation to previous hypotheses of where water on Earth came from.More news: Former Trump Aide Describes FBI Attempts To ‘Extract Information’ From Him
Itokawa isn't the only one of its kind.
"We report in our paper that Itokawa is water-rich, which has important implications: Itokawa formed in the inner solar system and is water-rich, hence [S-type asteroids] are not as 'dry, ' as is often suggested", Jin said. The planetary science community uses hydrogen as a proxy for water - which is made from two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
On the annual Planetary Protection Convention being held this week in Maryland, scientists mentioned the large ranging analysis alternatives that the asteroid flyby will present, whereas providing insights into what most people can anticipate when the rock makes its cross.
We used a device called a mass spectrometer, specifically the NanoSIMS, to measure water and D/H ratios in the Itokawa samples.More news: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Game's Trailer Reveals June Release