Asteroid 16 Psyche

  • IASbaba
  • November 2, 2020
  • 0
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Asteroid 16 Psyche

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space

In news

  • 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.

Key takeaways 

  • 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.

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