What’s Up In Space?

October 30, 2020

What’s worth $10,000,000,000,000,000,000?

Artist’s rendition of asteroid
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State Univ./Space Systems Loral/Peter Rubin

A rare metal asteroid, that’s what! The asteroid, known as 16 Psyche, encountered the NASA Hubble Space Telescope in the solar system, oh somewhere between Mars and Jupiter, and did we mention it’s about the size of West Virginia?! While many asteroids are created from rock and water, this one is pure metal. What type of metal, you ask? Iron and nickel, and at that size, the value of the metals put together could total $10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that’s $10,000 quadrillion!).

Interestingly enough, this is one of the few ways that scientists can learn about our planet’s inner core, a zone that’s hard to reach. Perhaps we can’t get to Earth’s core, but it sure looks like we can reach an asteroid in space that’s just like it!