Asteroid 16 Psyche
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space
- A recent study has found that asteroid 16 Psyche, which orbits between Mars and Jupiter, could be made entirely of metal.
- It is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion — more than the entire economy of Earth.
- New images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope offer a closer view of the asteroid 16 Psyche, whose surface may mostly comprise iron and nickel, similar to the Earth’s core.
- Scientists believe that the asteroid may be the leftover core of an earlier planet that lost its crust and mantle after multiple collisions during the creation of our solar system.
- The exact composition and origins of the asteroid will be uncovered in 2022, when NASA sends an unmanned spacecraft to study it up close.
Do you know?
- It is located around 370 million km away from Earth.
- It is one of the most massive objects in the asteroid belt in our solar system.
- The somewhat potato-shaped asteroid has a diameter of around 140 miles,
- 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.