WHICH ASTEROID IS MADE OF METALS?

Nasa has discovered a rare and highly valuable asteroid called ’16 psyche’. It was found by nasa’s hubble space telescope. The asteroid is located in our solar system’s asteroid belt between the planets of mars and jupiter.

According to a study published by the planetary science journal on monday, asteroid ’16 psyche’ is located roughly 370 million kilometres (230 million miles) from the earth and measures 226 kilometres across (140 miles).

The most interesting thing about the asteroid is what it’s made of. Unlike other asteroids made up of either rocks or ice, psyche is made up of metals.

One of the study’s authors tracy becker said that they usually come across meteorites that have metal deposits but since psyche is made up entirely of metals, it is quite unique.

Psyche’s size and presence of metal deposits means that it could be worth $10,000 quadrillion ($10,000,000,000,000,000,000), which is equivalent to ten thousand times the global economy in 2019.

Researchers used the ultraviolet spectrum data collected by the space telescope imaging spectrograph on the hubble telescope during two observations made in 2017.

The data showed them that psyche’s surface could be made of pure iron but they also found that the presence of iron composition as small as 10 percent could dominate ultraviolet reports. Psyche is believed to be the dead core of a planet that might have failed during its formative stages or it could also be the result of many violent space collisions.

Nasa has already targeted the exploration of asteroid psyche with the launch of nasa discovery mission psyche, which is expected to be launched in 2022. The psyche space probe will be sent atop a spacex falcon heavy rocket and will reach the asteroid by 2026, and hopefully uncover its exact metal content and other facets.

Credit :  India times 

Picture Credit : Google 

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