4.6b year old asteroid samples show ‘what was in the solar system when the sun was formed’

ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker says samples from an asteroid that landed in South Australia show what was in the solar system when the sun was formed.

“So Hayabusa2 when it landed in Woomera in December 2020, we were all excited to see what secrets it would have,” he told Sky News Australia.

“This is because it landed on the asteroid Ryugu and Ryugu … is a very kind of lumpy and rocky bit.”

Dr Tucker said scientists “always believed” what was on the asteroid were the “leftover bits of the solar system”.

“By studying them, we can see exactly what was present,” he said.

“So it’s really told us the exact ratios of the ingredients in our solar system when the sun actually formed.”

Dr Tucker also said there was a three-million-year period the asteroid could have been from – which is “pretty spot on” as it is over 4.6 billion years old.

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