International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

Asteroid 16 Psyche


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Asteroids, Bennu, Psyche

Mains level : Not Much

A recent study has found that asteroid 16 Psyche, which orbits between Mars and Jupiter, could be made entirely of metal and is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion.

A NASA mission has recently landed on and collected samples from an asteroid. Do you remember that? Yes. Its the Asteroid Bennu

16 Psyche

  • Located around 370 million km away from Earth, asteroid 16 Psyche is one of the most massive objects in the asteroid belt in our solar system.
  • The somewhat potato-shaped asteroid has a diameter of around 140 miles.
  • It was first discovered on March 17, 1853, by the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis and was named after the ancient Greek goddess of the soul, Psyche.
  • Unlike most asteroids that are made up of rocks or ice, scientists believe that Psyche is a dense and largely metallic object thought to be the core of an earlier planet that failed in formation.
  • Its surface may mostly comprise iron and nickel, similar to the Earth’s core, according to a study.

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