The word asteroid brings to mind a structure in everyone’s mind: a minor planet or a space rock of the inner solar system. Nevertheless, there is one asteroid that is so rich in precious metals that if we capture it and divide it equally amongst us, then everyone on this planet will become a billionaire.
A massive metal asteroid between Mars and Jupiter is known as 16 Psyche.
According to Forbes, 16 Psyche, a 140-mile-wide (226-kilometer-wide) asteroid could contain a core of iron, nickel, and gold worth $10,000 quadrillion.
The scientists are trying to explore this asteroid for a great comparison of its composition versus Earth’s. NASA’s planned Psyche mission is a program to explore this metal-rich asteroid, which could be launched this year.
According to the NASA, one of the most intriguing targets in the main asteroid belt is Psyche, a giant metal-rich asteroid that is about three times farther away from the Sun than Earth. Its average diameter is about 140 miles (226 kilometers)-about one-sixteenth the diameter of the earth’s moon or about the distance between Los Angeles and San Diego.
The space agency further mentioned that Psyche might be the partial core of a shattered planetesimal-a small world the size of a city or small country that is the first building block of a planet. If it is, asteroid Psyche can offer a close look at the interior of terrestrial planets like Earth, which is normally hidden beneath layers of mantle and crust.
Astronomers on Earth have studied Psyche in visible and infrared wavelengths, as well as radar, which suggests Psyche is shaped somewhat like a potato.
How Asteroid Psyche Got Its Name
Psyche was discovered by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis on March 17, 1852. He named the asteroid for Psyche, the Greek goddess of the soul who was born mortal and married Eros (Roman Cupid), the god of Love.