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Journal Article

Magnetic Properties of Asteroid (162173) Ryugu


Güttler,  Carsten
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;


Glassmeier,  Karl-Heinz
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Hercik, D., Auster, H., Constantinescu, D., Blum, J., Fornaçon, K., Fujimoto, M., et al. (2020). Magnetic Properties of Asteroid (162173) Ryugu. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125(1): e2019JE006035. doi:10.1029/2019JE006035.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-F56B-E
Observations of the magnetization state of asteroids indicate diverse properties. Values between 1.9 × 10 -6Am2/kg (Eros) and 10-2 Am2/kg (Braille) have been reported. A more detailed understanding of asteroidal magnetic properties allows far-reaching conclusions of the magnetization mechanism as well as the strength of the magnetic field of the solar system regions the asteroid formed in. The Hayabusa2 mission with its lander Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout is equipped with a magnetometer experiment, MasMag. MasMag is a state-of-the-art three-axis fluxgate magnetometer, successfully operated also on Philae, the Rosetta mission lander. MasMag has enabled, after Eros for the second time ever, to determine the magnetic field of an asteroid during descent and on-surface operations. The new observations show that Ryugu, a low-albedo C-type asteroid, has no detectable global magnetization, and any local magnetization is either small (< 10−6 Am2/kg) or on very small (subcentimeter) scales. This implies, for example, that energetic solar wind particles could reach and alter the surface unimpeded by strong asteroidal magnetic fields, such as minimagnetospheres in case of the Moon.