Skip to comments.How Old Is Asteroid Itokawa? Scientists Say They Finally Know
Posted on 08/28/2018 12:30:05 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Even as Japan's Hayabusa2 mission prepares to place landers on the surface of an asteroid, scientists are still squeezing discoveries out of data and samples gathered by its predecessor.
Now, those samples have allowed scientists to piece together a detailed history of the asteroid that the first Hayabusa mission visited, a rocky near-Earth asteroid called Itokawa.
The research relied on tiny particles of a phosphate-rich mineral found within the dust the Hayabusa spacecraft brought back from its journey. The scientists were able to study the uranium found in that phosphate and measure how much of it had broken down into lead, a reaction that occurs at a set pace. That gave them a timestamp for important events in the asteroid's history.
The analysis suggests that Itokawa was born from a larger body that formed 4.6 billion years ago. Then, about 1.5 billion years ago, a large collision tore that body apart and some of the remnants eventually stuck together to form Itokawa.
But all of that happened out in the asteroid belt: Itokawa was kicked out toward Earth only between 100,000 and 400,000 years ago. And because objects don't tend to survive long in orbits like the one it currently holds, the team estimates that within another million years, it will either fall apart or run into Earth.
A sample of the Itokawa asteroid brought back to Earth by the Hayabusa spacecraft. The phosphate minerals marked in the image helped scientists better understand the asteroid's history. Credit: Osaka University
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
Did they find its Birth Certificate in Honolulu?
We're doomed. I'm maxing out the credit cards today.
We'll have to look out for that.
I am just as confident they know the age of this thing, just like I’m certain JFK and Elvis are alive and well, living on the moon playing golf at this moment, by that DC3 wreckage.
There is no way to know the age of rocks. If there was they’d know how old the Sphinx is.
This is why you shouldn’t let Japanese name asteroids.
Itokawa done gone kamikazi.
The plagioclase, olivine and pyroxene had to have formed at some depth, and the current body is much to small for that.
Amazing video of the next asteroid they are going to sample:
“The analysis suggests that Itokawa was born from a larger body that formed 4.6 billion years ago. Then, about 1.5 billion years ago, a large collision tore that body apart and some of the remnants eventually stuck together to form Itokawa”
The observation re fomation of olivene might be part of their analysis.
Remember Oumuamua? There’s an object that could be really old.
Of course, we’re all born of elements, some as old, or nearly as old as the universe itself.
‘So we’ve got that goin’ for us.’
Quite difficult to aim a massive asteroid.
You can have it hit earth, quite likely.
Have it hit an ocean, probably.
Have it hit within 1000 miles of the exact point you want? Very difficult.
Excellent. Caddyshack reference?
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