The rocks on the surface of Rugu, the distant asteroid currently being explored by the Japanese space probe Hayabusa-2, have a striking resemblance to rocks of meteorites that have crashed on Earth.
This is according to a team of European and Japanese scientists who analyzed the newly released photos that the Hayabusa-2 robot perch, MASCOT, took from the surface of the asteroid in October 2018, Gizmodo reports.
Because it is believed that asteroids contain material from the earliest days of our solar system, surprisingly the resemblance of a dust-free asteroid to the rocks discovered on Earth can have huge consequences for understanding the past of our planet.
Some of the rocks resemble carbon chondrite meteorites that were discovered collapsed on Earth, according to a study by the team published in the journal Science on Friday.
Carbon chondrites are one of the oldest known rocks in the solar system, but samples here on Earth have changed as they pass through the atmosphere.
When Hayabusa-2 eventually returns specimens back to Earth, scientists will finally be able to study the cosmic rocks, n their original form.
"What we have from these images is to really know how rocks and material are distributed over the surface of this asteroid, what is the history of the atmospheric effects of these things and the geological context," Rolf Jaman of the German Aerospace Center told Gizmodo.
"This is the first information about this type of material in its original environment."
This article was originally published by Futurism. Read the original article.