A strange asteroid recognized by researchers using the Hubble Telescope might have an expected value of $10,000 quadrillion, CNN revealed.
Named Asteroid 16 Psyche and situated in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the gigantic asteroid has a diameter around 140 miles in length, making it one of the largest objects in the belt. However, while its composition is unclear, it’s theorized that it’s generally iron and nickel. Because of its size and composition, the asteroid has a surmised value of $10,000 quadrillion, making it worth more than the whole global economy, as indicated by the study published in the academic periodical The Planetary Science Journal.
This composition was derived after the analysts used ultraviolet light to observe Psyche.
“We looked at the way that the ultraviolet light reflected off of the asteroid surface,” lead author Tracy Becker, a planetary researchers at the Southwest Research Institute, told CNN.
“The way the ultraviolet light was reflected from Psyche was very, very similar to the way iron reflects sunlight,” she explained.
The analysts behind the study speculate the asteroid might have been an early planet’s core, before crashes decreased its crust and mantel during the solar system’s formation.
If true, further exploration on the asteroid is exceptionally significant, as it could additionally comprehension of the Earth’s core, which is difficult to investigate.
These discoveries come as NASA, led by researchers from Arizona State University, readies a mission to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the asteroid in August 2022 using a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, CNN announced.
As indicated by the mission’s principal investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton, who is likewise a creator of the study and the person who concocted the value of $10,000 quadrillion, the unmanned spacecraft should arrive at the asteroid by January 2026, where it will study and map it from orbit throughout the span of 21 months.
“Everyone in the world is going to be able to look at Psyche at the same time we are, and scratch their heads and say, what is this thing?” she told CNN.
Regardless of its enormous value, Elkins-Tanton rushed to run any expectations of bringing back anything from the asteroid.
“We cannot bring Psyche back to Earth. We have absolutely no technology to do that,” she told CNN, adding that regardless of whether it were conceivable to bring it back, it would in a real sense destroy the Earth and figuratively devastate the market. Be that as it may, it could be the next step towards inevitably launching mining missions on asteroids and other close Earth objects.