This is not a planet actually, but a dwarf planet that scientists have found in our own solar system. It is said to be potato-shaped and filled with gold. Its name is 16 Psyche. It can also be called a minor planet. Scientists have discovered several minor planets in the past few years, and 16 Psyche is one of them. However, the abundance of gold on it has also surprised scientists.
This minor planet was discovered on March 17, 1852, by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis. But it’s filled with so much gold. Its details were revealed in the following years when modern space instruments and missions studied this planet. Recently, there was news that a spacecraft would be sent to this minor planet, but it hasn’t happened yet.
The minor planet 16 Psyche orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. Its core is made of nickel and iron. Besides, it contains significant amounts of platinum, gold, and other metals.
It’s quite astonishing that this minor planet is so rich in gold that it could make anyone wonder. Even scientists were surprised as they learned more about this minor planet. (NASA)
Value of Gold:
The value of the minerals present on the minor planet 16 Psyche is estimated to be higher than trillions of dollars. It is believed that if all the gold from this minor planet were brought to Earth, it could make every person on Earth incredibly wealthy, with around $93 billion for each individual, which is approximately 763 billion rupees.
However, one argument is that if all the gold from this minor planet were to come to Earth, the value of gold would plummet, and it might not remain as valuable. But it’s true that among all the known celestial bodies, 16 Psyche is one that is extremely rich in precious metals like gold.
NASA’s Mission Plans:
NASA wanted to send a mission to this minor planet in 2013, but it wasn’t feasible at that time. However, a mission might be launched in October. Even though it might take several years to reach there, the mission is on its way. (Wiki Commons)
Appearance and Composition:
This minor planet, roughly the size of a medium-sized asteroid, is essentially a large chunk of metal. According to Discovery, 16 Psyche contains so much gold and other valuable metals that it could make every person on Earth worth around 100 billion dollars.
NASA’s potential mission by October:
NASA planned a mission to this minor planet in October 2013, but it was postponed. The purpose of this mission was to study the minor planet rather than extract its treasures.
This minor planet’s composition sets it apart from most other asteroids, which are typically composed of rock, ice, or a combination of both. 16 Psyche seems to be primarily a chunk of metal, possibly a protoplanet’s exposed core. Sending a probe or mission to a minor planet like this would give astronomers a chance to see what lies beneath. It’s possible that NASA’s mission to 16 Psyche might be launched this year, and it could reach the minor planet by 2030.
Gold and Diamonds on Other Planets:
It’s often said that Mercury contains diamonds that could be 17 times more abundant than on Earth. Scientists also estimate that even on planets like Mars and Jupiter, there could be substantial amounts of gold. Research also suggests that rain made of diamonds falls on planets like Uranus and Neptune. Decades ago, Apollo missions hinted at the presence of gold and silver on the Moon.
The article attempts to convey the intriguing nature of the minor planet 16 Psyche, its valuable composition, and NASA’s potential mission to study it.
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