The researchers also say that analysis demonstrated that gaseous material contained in the storage unit was from the asteroid.
Ten days after the return of Japan's Hayabusa2, the re-entry capsule of the asteroid explorer, Japanese scientists opened the sample container to find grains of black sand, believed to be particles attached to the entrance of the sample catcher. The mission arrived at Ryugu in 2018 and spent about a year and a half observing and sampling the asteroid before leaving last year to deposit its sample capsule in Earth's atmosphere.
The initial analysis team will continue with opening the sample container and performing a detailed analysis of the molecular and isotopic composition of the collected gas.
"The sample return mission has been perfectly completed", JAXA's Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda said in an online press conference.More news: Cyclone Yasa makes landfall in Fiji
"A large number of particles are confirmed to be in "sample chamber A" inside the collected capsule, ' JAXA, Japan's space agency, said in a tweet, adding that while the small particles shown in the accompanying photo may look brown, they are in fact black".
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has yet to announce when the in-depth studies of the fragments will begin, as the action depends on powerful equipment and the right choice of those that will bring more answers than questions.
Japan's Hayabusa2 mission wrapped up last week when the sample container parachuted down in Australia. Scientists have a decent idea of what they're made of, but fine measurements have been lacking until now - hence the importance of bringing asteroid samples to Earth.
Scientists hope the materials, which are mainly artifacts from our ancient solar system, will provide clues to how Earth - and even life - was formed in the beginning. Scientists think it came on asteroids or similar planetary bodies from the outer regions of the Solar System.
"(Samples) may contain organic materials.More news: Forbes Names Kylie Jenner As The Highest Paid Celebrity In 2020
Asteroids have been around for billions of years, and scientists don't think they've changed much. Sample chamber B is thought to be be empty, but chamber C could hold material collected from beneath Ryugu's surface. Asteroid samples could help shed light on this hypothesis and plenty of others.
By Tuesday, scientists found more of the soil and gas samples in a compartment that stored those from the first of Hayabusa2's two touchdowns on the asteroid previous year.
Half of the models of the Hayabusa-2 will be shared between Jaxa, the USA space agency NASA and other global organizations.
So far, Jaxa has estimated to have collected 1 to 2 grams of the substance, or 10 to 20 times more than the expected 100 milligrams. It's now on an 11-year mission to another asteroid, 1998KY26, to look at possible defenses against meteorites that could fly toward Earth.More news: France detains ex-associate of Jeffrey Epstein over sex crime accusations