Thermophysical properties of the surface of asteroid 162173 Ryugu: Infrared observations and thermal inertia mapping

1Yuri Shimaki et al. (>10)
Icarus (in Press) Link to article []
1Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Sagamihara 252-5210, Japan
Copyright Elsevier

TIR, the thermal infrared imager on Hayabusa2, acquired high-resolution thermal images of the asteroid 162173 Ryugu for one asteroid rotation period on August 1, 2018 to investigate the thermophysical properties of the asteroid. The surface temperatures of Ryugu suggest that the surface has a low thermal inertia, indicating the presence of porous materials. Thermophysical models that neglect or oversimplify surface roughness cannot reproduce the flat diurnal temperature profiles observed during daytime. We performed numerical simulations of a thermophysical model, including the effects of roughness on the diurnal brightness temperature, the predictions of which successfully reproduced the observed diurnal variation of temperature. The global thermal inertia was obtained with a standard deviation of 225 ± 45 J m−2 s−0.5 K−1, which is relatively low but still within the range of the value estimated in our previous study (Okada et al., Nature 579, 518–522, 2020), confirming that the boulders on Ryugu are more porous in nature than typical carbonaceous chondrites. The global surface roughness (the ratio of the variance of the height relative to a local horizontal surface length) was determined as 0.41 ± 0.08, corresponding to a RMS surface slope of 47 ± 5°. We identified a slightly lower roughness distributed along the equatorial ridge, implying a mass movement of boulders from the equatorial ridge to the mid-latitudes.


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