Hubble spies 16 Psyche, an asteroid worth $10,000 quadrillion

Pete Flint

Posts: 40   +7
Something to look forward to: Evidence from recent Hubble Telescope data indicates that a massive and dense asteroid floating in the solar system's asteroid belt might actually be the core of a proto-planet, smashed and exposed billions of years ago. NASA plans to visit this could-be-core, reaching it as early as 2026 and orbiting it for observation for almost two years.

The Hubble Telescope recently spent time observing an asteroid of particular interest to the scientific community located out in the solar system's asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The space rock is novel for its massive size, approximately the length of Massachusetts, and its composition of metal and silicate rock.

Originally discovered in 1852 by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis, the asteroid was named "16 Psyche" as the 16th ever observed. It was later determined to be comprised primarily of nickel and iron. This composition makes the rock extremely dense and is thought to contain a staggering 1% of the mass of the entire asteroid belt.

The asteroid's worth has been evaluated simply in raw materials at approximately $10,000 quadrillion at current market value.

Also of interest to researchers is 16 Psyche's similarity to Earth's core. Initial hypotheses based on the Hubble data suggest that this might be the recently exposed core of a proto-planet that broke apart in our solar system billions of years ago. Theories of how the core came to be exposed vary in lieu of more data but suggest that it could be the result of one single large impact long ago or perhaps many over an extended period of time.

NASA has an exploratory mission to 16 Psyche planned to take off in 2022 and will begin orbiting the metallic space rock in 2026 for 21 months. The space agency began plans as early as 2017.

This mission should be substantially different from the recent sample collection journey to the asteroid Bennu where footage shows the lander punching a hole in the side of the rock. The mission to Psyche will be observatory in nature and help researchers understand more about the history and make-up of the asteroid. If it truly is the core of an unformed planet, it should provide a substantial amount of information about our own planet and its core.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,752   +7,668
"The asteroid's worth has been evaluated simply in raw materials at approximately $10,000 quadrillion at current market value."

I'll believe that when the DOW lists it under commodities and God help the poor fool that has to verify it ...... Another job for Musk (in person only)?
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
I believe you mean our solar system's asteroid belt. While our solar system is inside the Milky Way galaxy, an asteroid outside our solar system would take longer than four years to reach.

The Hubble Telescope recently spent time observing an asteroid of particular interest to the scientific community located out in the Milkyway's asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

I think that’s pretty clear... what confused you?

Mars and Jupiter ARE both in our solar system last I checked.
 

emmzo

Posts: 609   +766
The Hubble Telescope recently spent time observing an asteroid of particular interest to the scientific community located out in the Milkyway's asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

I think that’s pretty clear... what confused you?

Mars and Jupiter ARE both in our solar system last I checked.
I think it`s you who don`t get it. The Milky way doesn`t have an asteroid belt around it which happens to pass between Mars and Jupiter. It`s our solar system that has this asteroid belt. Our solar system belongs to the Milky way galaxy, but this is redundant in the context, it`s like me saying "I bought a car from planet Earth".
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
I think it`s you who don`t get it. The Milky way doesn`t have an asteroid belt around it which happens to pass between Mars and Jupiter. It`s our solar system that has this asteroid belt. Our solar system belongs to the Milky way galaxy, but this is redundant in the context, it`s like me saying "I bought a car from planet Earth".
I understand it's redundant - but it isn't WRONG.

It's like saying the Toronto Maple Leafs are in North America.... it's not useful, but still correct...
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,160   +860
Once we start mining Asteroids and able to bring them into our solar system we can move closer to the "post scarcity" world. MSGA (Make SOLAR Great Again)!
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,160   +860
I think it`s you who don`t get it. The Milky way doesn`t have an asteroid belt around it which happens to pass between Mars and Jupiter. It`s our solar system that has this asteroid belt. Our solar system belongs to the Milky way galaxy, but this is redundant in the context, it`s like me saying "I bought a car from planet Earth".

Huh?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_belt#/media/File:InnerSolarSystem-en.png

 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,035   +769
Yeah the milky way asteroid belt got me as well - like it was some long belt that extends the length of our galaxy .
Ahh the days of reading old pulp science fiction - mining asteroids. Or earlier pulp fantasy - Conan off in the Jungles smiting Snakemen and bedding comely princesses .
Do you think mining this would change the price - supply and demand curves and all that.
Most mining coming back to earth will be rare metals/elements/compounds - the rest to build elsewhere in our solar system
 

PEnnn

Posts: 770   +874
We should make sure those massive space ships that will go to mine that rock that's worth $10,000 quadrillion (at current market value) don't stop on the way on strange planets that have aliens eggs with face huggers....

But knowing how humans will bend and disobey every safety protocol...expect lots of real Aliens movie -style mishaps...and scarier movies!!
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
We should make sure those massive space ships that will go to mine that rock that's worth $10,000 quadrillion (at current market value) don't stop on the way on strange planets that have aliens eggs with face huggers....

But knowing how humans will bend and disobey every safety protocol...expect lots of real Aliens movie -style mishaps...and scarier movies!!
Bah... I'm more concerned with someone mining on the asteroid affecting its orbit - and then it will crash land on Earth...

And if it happens years from now, it will be too late to send Bruce Willis and his team to blow it up!
 

smartroad

Posts: 35   +23
Of course even if we could mine it and bring it back to Earth the value is pointless as the quantities would probably collapse the markets as they suddenly are less scarce!