(Daily News Scan - DNS English) What is Asteroid 16 Psyche having worth $10,000 Quadrillion?

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) What is Asteroid 16 Psyche having worth $10,000 Quadrillion?

In a recent study by done NASA, it has been found that asteroid 16 Psyche could be entirely made of metal. This asteroid orbits between Mars and Jupiter. An estimated worth of asteroid 16 Psyche is $10,000 quadrillion. The surface might mostly comprise of iron and nickel, similar to the Earth’s core, according to the study published in The Planetary Science Journal. Scientists also believe that the asteroid might also comprise of other rare materials like gold, platinum, cobalt, iridium and rhenium.



  • It is located around 370 million kilometres away from Earth
  • According to NASA, the asteroid has a diameter of 140 miles.
  • It was first discovered on March 17, 1853, by the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis.
  • It is named after the ancient Greek goddess of the soul, Psyche.
  • Unlike most asteroids that are made up of rocks or ice, Psyche is a dense, large metallic object thought to be the core of an earlier planet that failed in formation.

Findings of the latest study –

Researchers at the Southwest Research Institute observed the asteroid through the Hubble Space Telescope at two specific points in its rotation to view both sides of it completely.

The study also involved the first ultraviolet observation of Psyche, offering a clearer picture of the asteroid’s composition for the very first time. The scientists noted that Psyche reflected ultraviolet light in the same manner in which iron reflects sunlight.

For the first time on any asteroid, identified are iron oxide ultraviolet absorption bands. This indicates that oxidation is happening on the asteroid, which could be a result of the solar wind hitting the surface.

NASA’s Psyche mission

In this mission, scientists will only learn about the true composition of asteroid Psyche. NASA plans to do just that two years from now, when it will launch a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to orbit the asteroid for around 21 months.

The unmanned spacecraft will reach the asteroid in January, 2026. The very first objective of the mission is to capture a photograph of the metallic asteroid. Then the spacecraft will study and map it from a distance. Another objective of the mission, led by Arizona State University, is to determine whether the asteroid is, the core of an earlier planet or if it is merely made up of unmelted material.

Depending on the data collected, scientists will also ascertain the age and origins of the metallic asteroid Psyche 16.

What is solar wind?

The term ‘solar wind’ refers to a stream of charged particles emitted from the sun’s hot outer atmosphere, which is known as its Corona.