Itokawa dust particles: A direct link between S-type asteroids and ordinary chondrites

Tomoki Nakamura, Takaaki Noguchi, Masahiko Tanaka, Michael E. Zolensky, Makoto Kimura, Akira Tsuchiyama, Aiko Nakato, Toshihiro Ogami, Hatsumi Ishida, Masayuki Uesugi, Toru Yada, Kei Shirai, Akio Fujimura, Ryuji Okazaki, Scott A. Sandford, Yukihiro Ishibashi, Masanao Abe, Tatsuaki Okada, Munetaka Ueno, Toshifumi MukaiMakoto Yoshikawa, Junichiro Kawaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

439 Citations (Scopus)


The Hayabusa spacecraft successfully recovered dust particles from the surface of near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa. Synchrotron-radiation x-ray diffraction and transmission and scanning electron microscope analyses indicate that the mineralogy and mineral chemistry of the Itokawa dust particles are identical to those of thermally metamorphosed LL chondrites, consistent with spectroscopic observations made from Earth and by the Hayabusa spacecraft. Our results directly demonstrate that ordinary chondrites, the most abundant meteorites found on Earth, come from S-type asteroids. Mineral chemistry indicates that the majority of regolith surface particles suffered long-term thermal annealing and subsequent impact shock, suggesting that Itokawa is an asteroid made of reassembled pieces of the interior portions of a once larger asteroid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1116
Number of pages4
Issue number6046
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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