Journal Article Influence of petrographic textures on the shapes of impact experiment fine fragments measuring several tens of microns: Comparison with Itokawa regolith particles

Michikami, Tatsuhiro  ,  Kadokawa, Tokiyuki  ,  Tsuchiyama, Akira  ,  Hagermann, Axel  ,  Nakano, Tsukasa  ,  Uesugi, Kentaro  ,  Hasegawa, Sunao

302pp.109 - 125 , 2018-03-01 , Elsevier BV
In 2010, fine regolith particles on asteroid Itokawa were recovered by the Hayabusa mission. The three-dimensional microstructure of 48 Itokawa particles smaller than 120 µm was examined in previous studies. The shape distribution of Itokawa particles is distributed around the mean values of the axial ratio 2:√2:1, which is similar to laboratory impact fragments larger than several mm created in catastrophic disruptions. Thus, the Itokawa particles are considered to be impact fragments on the asteroid's surface. However, there have never been any laboratory impact experiments investigating the shapes of fine fragments smaller than 120 µm, and little is known about the relation between the shapes of fine fragments and the petrographic textures within those fragments. In this study, in order to investigate the relation between the petrographic textures and the shapes of fine fragments by impacts, the shapes of 2163 fine fragments smaller than 120 µm are examined by synchrotron radiation-based microtomography at SPring-8. Most samples are fine fragments from basalt targets, obtained in previous laboratory impact experiments by Michikami et al. (2016). Moreover, two impacts into L5 chondrite targets were carried out and the shapes of their fine fragments are examined for comparison. The results show that the shape distributions of fine fragments in basalt targets are similar regardless of impact energy per target mass (in contract to the shape distribution of relatively large fragments, which are affected by impact energy), and are similar to those in L5 chondrite targets and Itokawa regolith particles. The physical process producing these fine fragments would be due to multiple rarefaction waves in the target. Besides, the petrographic textures do not significantly affect the shapes of fine fragments in our experiments. On the other hand, according to Molaro et al. (2015), the shapes of the fragments produced by thermal fatigue by the day-night temperature cycles on the asteroid surface are influenced by the petrographic textures. Therefore, we conclude that the Itokawa particles are not the products of thermal fatigue but impact fragments on the asteroid surface.

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