About 230 million miles from Earth, orbiting Mars and Middle Jupiter, has an extremely rare valuable asteroid compared to the entire global economy. Unlike most asteroids, which are made up of rock or ice, this asteroid is metal – and its estimated value is $ 10 billion billion – $ 10,000 billion – or $ 10,000 billion.
CBS News reports that the Hubble Space Telescope has given us a closer look at the object, dubbed the “16 Psyche”; – at roughly the size of Massachusetts, it is “one of the heaviest. in the main asteroid belt of the solar system, ”to measure about 140 miles in diameter.
CBS News cites a new study this week in the Journal of Planetary Science, which examines the mysteries of “16 Psyche” at a deeper level that have yet to be realized.
The research cites the report, saying while asteroids are typically made of rock or ice, “16 Psyche”, dense and mostly metal, “could be the remaining core of an unknown planet. has ever succeeded in forming – a so-called ‘protoplanet, whose core is exposed after continuous collisions causing its body to be removed.’
CBS News notes that the study recorded the first ultraviolet (UV) observations of the “16 Psyche”, with new data revealing it could be made entirely of iron and nickel – often found in the core. dense of planets.
CBS News quoted lead author, Dr. Tracy Becker, who said in a statement: “We have seen meteors that are mostly metal, but Psyche could be unique in that it could be a sub The planet is entirely made of iron and nickel. ” Becker added, “The earth has a metal core, a mantle and a crust. It is possible that when a protoplanet Psyche was forming, it was hit by another body in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust. “
By studying the asteroid at two points in its rotation, allowing detailed observations of both sides at UV wavelengths, the scientists determined the surface could be mostly iron, the study revealed. . However, scientists have warned that “even small amounts of iron will prevail in ultraviolet observations,” the report notes.
“We were able to locate on any asteroid for the first time that we think iron oxide ultraviolet absorbent bands,” Becker said. The report cites: “This is a sign that oxidation is occurring on the asteroid, possibly as a result of solar winds hitting the surface.
The metal asteroid gives researchers the opportunity to study the interior of a planet NASA plans to carry out on its mission by 2022, the report said.
The Psyche unmanned spacecraft will be launched by NASA using a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, the report said, “the first time a mission has ever visited an all-metal body”. Add that the mission’s goal will be to gather information that allows scientists to understand both the history of asteroids and the histories of similar objects.
CBS News reports that the orbiter is scheduled to arrive “16 Psyche” by January 2026, for a two-year study.
According to the report, the head of duties at Arizona State University estimates that in today’s market, the iron alone is valued at $ 10,000 billion. However, when the mission was confirmed in 2017, the researchers told CBS News that there were no plans to capitalize on the asteroid’s composition value.
CBS News quoted Carol Polanskey, project scientist for the Psyche mission: “We will learn about planet formation, but we will not try to bring any of this material back and use it. for industry, “she said at time.