Rare earth element identification and quantification in millimetre-sized Ryugu rock fragments from the Hayabusa2 space mission

Pieter Tack, Ella De Pauw, Beverley Tkalcec, Miles Lindner, Benjamin Bazi, Bart Vekemans, Frank Brenker, Marco Di Michiel, Masayuki Uesugi, Hisayoshi Yurimoto, Tomoki Nakamura, Kana Amano, Megumi Matsumoto, Yuri Fujioka, Yuma Enokido, Daisuke Nakashima, Takaaki Noguchi, Ryuji Okazaki, Hikaru Yabuta, Hiroshi NaraokaKanako Sakamoto, Shogo Tachibana, Toru Yada, Masahiro Nishimura, Aiko Nakato, Akiko Miyazaki, Kasumi Yogata, Masanao Abe, Tatsuaki Okada, Tomohiro Usui, Makoto Yoshikawa, Takanao Saiki, Satoshi Tanaka, Fuyuto Terui, Satoru Nakazawa, Sei Ichiro Watanabe, Yuichi Tsuda, Laszlo Vincze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Millimetre-sized primordial rock fragments originating from asteroid Ryugu were investigated using high energy X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, providing 2D and 3D elemental distribution and quantitative composition information on the microscopic level. Samples were collected in two phases from two sites on asteroid Ryugu and safely returned to Earth by JAXA’s asteroid explorer Hayabusa2, during which time the collected material was stored and maintained free from terrestrial influences, including exposure to Earth’s atmosphere. Several grains of interest were identified and further characterised to obtain quantitative information on the rare earth element (REE) content within said grains, following a reference-based and computed-tomography-assisted fundamental parameters quantification approach. Several orders of magnitude REE enrichments compared to the mean CI chondrite composition were found within grains that could be identified as apatite phase. Small enrichment of LREE was found for dolomite grains and slight enrichment or depletion for the general matrices within the Ryugu rock fragments A0055 and C0076, respectively. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Fundamental parameter quantification
  • Hayabusa2
  • REE
  • Ryugu
  • X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy


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