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Three-axial shape distributions of pebbles, cobbles and boulders smaller than a few meters on asteroid Ryugu

Tatsuhiro Michikami 1 Axel Hagermann 2 Tomokatsu Morota 3 yasuhiro yokota 4 Seitaro Urakawa Hiroyuki Okamura 5 Naoya Tanabe 6 Koki yumoto 3 Tatsuki Ebihara 3 yuichiro Cho 3 Carolyn Ernst 7 Masahiko Hayakawa 4 Masatoshi Hirabayashi 8 Naru Hirata 9 Chikatoshi Honda 9 Rie Honda 10 Shingo Kameda 11 Masanori Kanamaru 4 Hiroshi Kikuchi 4 Shota Kikuchi 12 Toru Kouyama 13 Moe Matsuoka 14 Hideaki Miyamoto 15 Takaaki Noguchi 3 Rina Noguchi 16, 4 Kazunori Ogawa 4 Tatsuaki Okada 4 Naoya Sakatani 11 Sho Sasaki 17 Hirotaka Sawada 4 Chiho Sugimoto 3 Hidehiko Suzuki Satoshi Tanaka 4 Eri Tatsumi 3, 18 Akira Tsuchiyama 19, 20 yuichi Tsuda 4 Sei-Ichiro Watanabe 5 Manabu yamada 12 Makoto yoshikawa 4 Kazuo yoshioka 21 Seiji Sugita 3, 12, 21, 22 
Abstract : Over a broad size range, the shapes of impact fragments from catastrophic disruptions are distributed around the mean axial ratio 2: √2: 1, irrespective of experimental conditions and target materials. Although most blocks on asteroids are likely to be impact fragments, there is not enough quantitative data for reliable statistics on their three-axial lengths and/or ratios because it is difficult to precisely estimate the heights of the blocks. In this study, we evaluate the heights of blocks on asteroid Ryugu by measuring their shadows. The three-axial ratios of ~4100 small blocks with diameters from 5.0 cm to 7.6 m in Ryugu's equatorial region are investigated using eight close-up images of narrower localities taken at altitudes below 500 m, i.e. at <5.4 cm/pixel resolution, obtained immediately before the second touch-down of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. The purpose of this study is to investigate the block shape distribution, which is important for understanding the geological history of asteroid Ryugu. Specifically, the shape distribution is compared to laboratory impact fragments. Our observations indicate that the shape distributions of blocks smaller than 1 m on Ryugu are consistent with laboratory impact fragment shape distributions, implying that the dominant shape-determining process for blocks on Ryugu was impact fragmentation. Blocks several meters in size in the equatorial region seem to be slightly flatter than the rest, suggesting that some blocks are partly buried in a bed of regolith. In conclusion, the shape distributions of blocks from several-cm to several-m in the equatorial region of asteroid Ryugu suggest that these are mainly fragments originating from the catastrophic disruption of their parent body and/or from a later impact.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 21, 2022 - 5:33:58 PM
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Tatsuhiro Michikami, Axel Hagermann, Tomokatsu Morota, yasuhiro yokota, Seitaro Urakawa, et al.. Three-axial shape distributions of pebbles, cobbles and boulders smaller than a few meters on asteroid Ryugu. Icarus, Elsevier, 2022, 381, pp.115007. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2022.115007⟩. ⟨hal-03674912⟩

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