If you’re planning to become filthy rich, you should know that there’s an entire fortune that’s literally floating above our heads. All you need to get it is a lot of courage to become an astronomer, and to find a way to carry it down to Earth. We’re talking about the 16 Psyche asteroid, one that is made mostly of metal and it’s worth $10,000 Quadrillion.
The 16 Psyche asteroid is orbiting around Mars and Jupiter, which means that it’s practically ‘next-door’ to us in astronomical terms.
The remnant of a planet core
The asteroid is believed to be the remnant of a planet core that never got to form into a proper planet, and it measures an incredible 140 miles in diameter. But what makes the asteroid such a treasure is that it’s made of iron and nickel, as The Planetary Science Journal points out.
The lead study author Dr. Tracy Becker declared:
We’ve seen meteorites that are mostly metal, but Psyche could be unique in that it might be an asteroid that is totally made of iron and nickel,
Earth has a metal core, a mantle and crust. It’s possible that as a Psyche protoplanet was forming, it was struck by another object in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust.
Further studies of the asteroid’s composition are required, and NASA plans to do it by launching an unmanned spacecraft to the space rock in 2022. The mission is also named Psyche, and the spacecraft will be carried by a SpaceX Falcon Heavy. The spacecraft will reach the 16 Psyche asteroid in January 2026.
Scientists also believe that once they get to the treasure-asteroid, they could learn more about what makes up a planet, as well as what’s inside of these cosmic objects. Let’s hope that they’ll also increase the world’s economy while they’re extracting data from the 16 Psyche asteroid.