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Impress your friends with knowledge of some major asteroid belts on the ancient space rocks orbiting in our solar system.

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This is not your typical space rock.

According to a study published this week, asteroid 16 Psyche is one of the heaviest objects in the main asteroid belt orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, and it may be made entirely of metal.

Even more fascinating is that the metal value of asteroids is estimated at 10,000 trillion U.S. dollars (that is, 15 zeros), more than the entire economy of the earth.

The lead author of the study, Tracy Becker of the Southwest Research Institute, said in a statement: “We have seen meteorites. These meteorites are mainly metallic, but Seck may be unique because it may It’s an asteroid made entirely of iron and nickel.”

“The earth has a metal core, a mantle and a crust.” Becker said: “When the protoplanet is formed, it may be hit by another object in our solar system and lose the mantle and crust. “

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, Becker was able to analyze asteroids in more detail than ever before. The findings were published in a study in the “Journal of Planetary Science”.

The research was carried out when NASA was preparing to launch a spacecraft (also known as Psyche), which will head to asteroids as part of an effort to understand the origin of planetary nuclei.

The mission is scheduled to launch in 2022 and will reach the asteroid in 2026. Metal asteroids are relatively rare in the solar system, and scientists believe that Psyche can provide a unique opportunity to observe the interior of the planet.

According to NASA, the asteroid Psyche is unique in that it appears to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet.

Becker said: “What makes Poseke and other asteroids so interesting is that they are considered the foundation of the solar system. It is fascinating to understand the process of actually forming a planet and potentially seeing its interior.

She said: “Once we arrive at Psyche, we will really understand whether this is the case, even if it does not meet our expectations.” “There are surprises at all times, and it is always exciting.”

NASA has no plans to take this asteroid home, nor does it lack the technology to mine it into valuable metals. Researchers told CBS News in 2017 that they did not intend to use the value of asteroid composition.

Carol Polanskey, the project scientist of the Psyche mission, told CBS at the time: “We will understand the formation of planets, but we will not try to bring these materials back and use them in industry.”

Read or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/10/29/metal-asteroid-psyche-nasa-hubble-images/6069223002/