An artificial impact on the asteroid (162173) Ryugu formed a crater in the gravity-dominated regime

M. Arakawa, T. Saiki, K. Wada, K. Ogawa, T. Kadono, K. Shirai, H. Sawada, K. Ishibashi, R. Honda, N. Sakatani, Y. Iijima, C. Okamoto, H. Yano, Y. Takagi, M. Hayakawa, P. Michel, M. Jutzi, Y. Shimaki, S. Kimura, Y. MimasuT. Toda, H. Imamura, S. Nakazawa, H. Hayakawa, S. Sugita, T. Morota, S. Kameda, E. Tatsumi, Y. Cho, K. Yoshioka, Y. Yokota, M. Matsuoka, M. Yamada, T. Kouyama, C. Honda, Y. Tsuda, S. Watanabe, M. Yoshikawa, S. Tanaka, F. Terui, S. Kikuchi, T. Yamaguchi, N. Ogawa, G. Ono, K. Yoshikawa, T. Takahashi, Y. Takei, A. Fujii, H. Takeuchi, Y. Yamamoto, T. Okada, C. Hirose, S. Hosoda, O. Mori, T. Shimada, S. Soldini, R. Tsukizaki, T. Iwata, M. Ozaki, M. Abe, N. Namiki, K. Kitazato, S. Tachibana, H. Ikeda, N. Hirata, N. Hirata, R. Noguchi, A. Miura

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The Hayabusa2 spacecraft investigated the small asteroid Ryugu, which has a rubble-pile structure. We describe an impact experiment on Ryugu using Hayabusa2's Small Carry-on Impactor. The impact produced an artificial crater with a diameter >10 meters, which has a semicircular shape, an elevated rim, and a central pit. Images of the impact and resulting ejecta were recorded by the Deployable CAMera 3 for >8 minutes, showing the growth of an ejecta curtain (the outer edge of the ejecta) and deposition of ejecta onto the surface. The ejecta curtain was asymmetric and heterogeneous and it never fully detached from the surface. The crater formed in the gravity-dominated regime; in other words, crater growth was limited by gravity not surface strength. We discuss implications for Ryugu's surface age.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberaaz1701
Issue number6486
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2020

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