Sunday, October 13, 2019

Psyche - Foundation of Our Level II Constructions

Forbes |  NASA is preparing to explore a world made of metal. Confirming that the exciting Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration-led Psyche mission is now entering the build phase, NASA’s probe is now set to visit a mysterious asteroid between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It could be nothing less than the exposed core of a dead planet, with some suggesting that it could be worth a staggering $10,000 quadrillion.

What is asteroid Psyche?

While most asteroids are rocky or icy bodies, Psyche is thought to be a stripped planetary core, a very rare object in the solar system. While NASA missions like InSight drill into Mars to discover the origins of planets, Psyche offers an opportunity to inspect and study a planetary core up close. It appears to be the exposed iron-nickel core (just like Earth’s) of a proto-planet, a small world that formed early in the solar system's history, but never reached planetary size—much like Vesta and Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft explored. Could asteroid Psyche be the heart of an early planet as big as Mars that lost its rocky outer layers? Was it involved in violent collisions? NASA will help planetary scientists find out, and so tease-out lessons for how the solar system’s planets likely formed.