This asteroid is worth more than you can imagine – BGR


  • An all-metal asteroid residing in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter called 16 Psych is worth an incredible amount of money.
  • A new study has revealed that the asteroid is likely made entirely of iron and nickel.
  • Mining an asteroid is not yet possible, but it could change sooner or later.

We don’t think about it often, but there is something very big and very important lying between Mars and Jupiter. It’s not a secret planet that scientists have kept from us – although it would be quite interesting, to be honest – it’s a huge asteroid belt. Inside that asteroid belt is a space rock known as 16 Psych, and it’s a serious heavyweight.

Psych measures around 140 miles in diameter, making it one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, but its size is only part of the reason it’s so interesting. Psych has an incredibly high metal content, and although many asteroids have high concentrations of metal, new research suggests that Psyche may be made entirely of metal, meaning it could have a very exciting history.

In a new study published in The Planetary Science Journal, the researchers reveal more details about Psyche and help hammer home some earlier observations with more evidence. It seems increasingly clear, especially after this latest round of research, that space rock is the residual shell of a failed planet that never formed. It’s pretty incredible when you think about it, as we’re essentially looking at a small planet frozen in time, never quite living up to its potential.

“We have seen meteorites that are mostly metallic, but Psyche could be unique in that it could be an asteroid that is totally made of iron and nickel,” Dr Tracey Becker, author of the study, said in a statement. “The Earth has a metallic core, a mantle and a crust. It is possible that while a Psyche protoplanet was forming, it was hit by another object in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust. “

The researchers used UV tools to observe the asteroid’s surface and get a better idea of ​​its metal content. They found that, as far as they know, it is basically all metal. And not just any metal, but nickel and iron, which tend to be quite valuable here on Earth. In fact, if you take the weight of the metal asteroid and try to find a value for that amount of material, you would get a truly ridiculous figure.

As Forbes reports, the rock is probably worth somewhere in the $ 10,000 quadrillion neighborhood. A quadrillion is a million times a million times a thousand, to give you an idea of ​​how much money we are talking about here.

Of course, figuring out how to mine another planet, much less an asteroid, is still something scientists and engineers are baffling about. However, it has been said that the richest person on Earth may ultimately be the person who understands how to mine asteroids, so I’m sure there are plenty of people working on the problem as we speak.

Mike Wehner has been reporting on technology and video games for the past decade, covering the latest news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and the technology of the future. Most recently, Mike worked as a Tech Editor at The Daily Dot and appeared on USA Today,, and countless other websites and print media. His love of the news is second only to his addiction to games.


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