Massachusetts orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, and its estimated value is incredible.
The rarity, known as 16 Psyche, was discovered in 1852, but NASA’s Hubble Telescope ultimately gave the people of Earth a closer look. The new study, published this week in The Planetary Science Journal, indicates that the asteroid’s makeup is key to its astronomical value.
To put this vaunted number into perspective, when written in full, it features a line of zeros that could almost extend all the way to the asteroid itself. That’s $ 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. This makes Psyche 70,000 times more valuable than the global economy, worth around $ 142 trillion in 2019. All thanks to heavy metal.
Psyche, which stretches 140 miles in diameter, appears to be made entirely of iron and nickel. This metallic construction sets it apart from other asteroids which are usually made of rock or ice.
“We saw mostly metallic meteorites, but Psyche could be unique in that it could be an asteroid made entirely of iron and nickel,” said Dr. Tracy Becker, planetologist and author of the new article , said in a report.
So how did the expensive asteroid come about? According to Becker, it’s possible that Psyche was the remaining core of a planet that never properly formed because it was hit by objects in our solar system and effectively lost its mantle and crust.
The asteroid currently sits about 230 million kilometers from Earth in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. And, unsurprisingly, NASA plans to visit it again. In 2022, the administration plans to launch a Psyche spacecraft to study the asteroid in depth.
If they could just bring the asteroid back with kindness, every person on the planet, all of us, 7.5 billion, would receive roughly $ 1.3 billion.