Udayavni Special

What is 16 Psyche, the asteroid believed to be worth $10,000 quadrillion?


Team Udayavani, Nov 1, 2020, 12:13 PM IST

As per a new study published in the Planetary Science Journal, An extremely rare metallic asteroid orbits between Mars and Jupiter has an estimated worth of $10,000,000,000,000,000,000 ($10,000 quadrillion)  more than the earth’s entire economy

It was first discovered on March 17, 1853, by the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis and was named after the ancient Greek goddess of the soul, Psyche.

The asteroid is approximately 230 million miles from Earth and is 140 miles across. According to Global news, most asteroids are composed of ice and rock, but the new study suggests asteroid 16 Psyche might be almost entirely made of metal

The report further states that the researchers studied 16 Psyche at two points in its rotation so as to view the details of both sides completely at UV wavelengths. They found that the asteroid’s surface could be mostly iron, however, warned that even a small amount of iron wold dominate UV observations.

Psyche is the target of the NASA Discovery Mission Psyche, expected to launch in 2022 atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Further facts about the asteroid, including its exact metal content, will hopefully be uncovered when an orbiting probe arrives in early 2026.

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