Scientists using supercomputers have created 2D and 3D computer models of the pockmarked asteroid Psyche, revealing that it could be the metal core of a failed planet.
Before NASA’s 2022 mission to Psyche, dubbed the ‘journey to the metal world’, researchers wanted to gather as much information about the asteroid as possible, including the composition of the asteroid. it.
By simulating the effects of asteroids that could create vast asteroid craters on the surface of the space object, scientists have deduced that Psyche, the largest in the main belt our solar system, really is “Like a large metal sponge.”
“Psyche is an interesting object to study because it could be a remnant of the planet̵7;s core that broke down during an accretion phase and we could learn a lot about planet formation from Psyche if it were to be. really metal, “ Says Wendy K. Caldwell, one of the lead researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Measuring and modeling asteroid scars improves our understanding of metal asteroids, while also helping us to better distinguish how they form and travel through space compared to the counterpart icy and ice.
By recreating what they believe to be the exact collision angle, the team can make educated guesses about its composition, as the metal deform and fragments after the collision in a way. in particular, especially when compared and contrasted with silicates that are also commonly found in asteroids.
The team’s simulation results confirm the current theory that Psyche could be made up of large quantities of Monel, a potentially extraterrestrial alloy previously found in the Sudbury crater in Canada.
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