This study compares the size–frequency distribution (SFD) of small- to intermediate-sized blocks (0.1 to 5 m) on Itokawa to the SFD of large blocks (≥ 6 m) reported in previous studies. We regionally map and measure small to intermediate blocks and report the observed SFDs. we compare these regional SFDs to global and regional SFDs of the large block population, and investigate relationships to factors such as surface elevation relative to Itokawa’s geoid and or regional slope. Our efforts are to verify and extend these prior efforts, including looking at transitions in the SFDs with block size, that can lead to insights on which block sizes are mobilized on Itokawa. Our objective is (1) to provide observational constraints for the surface process acting on Itokawa for interpreting the history of other small asteroids similar to Itokawa in size (<1 km) and (2) to explore potential mechanisms of remobilization of small particles in low-gravity environments.
Other projects examined the potential lineament structure on Itokawa (which only further confirmed it was a rubble pile) and some potential use to study block movement as a proxy for directly measuring asteroid internal structure ("photoseismology").