Science, Vol.364, No.6437, 252-+, 2019
The geomorphology, color, and thermal properties of Ryugu: Implications for parent-body processes
The near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid 162173 Ryugu is thought to have been produced from a parent body that contained water ice and organic molecules. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft has obtained global multicolor images of Ryugu. Geomorphological features present include a circum-equatorial ridge, east-west dichotomy, high boulder abundances across the entire surface, and impact craters. Age estimates from the craters indicate a resurfacing age of. 106 years for the top 1-meter layer. Ryugu is among the darkest known bodies in the Solar System. The high abundance and spectral properties of boulders are consistent with moderately dehydrated materials, analogous to thermally metamorphosed meteorites found on Earth. The general uniformity in color across Ryugu's surface supports partial dehydration due to internal heating of the asteroid's parent body.