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This Gold Asteroid Was the Heart of a Dead Planet. And It's Worth $10,000 Quadrillion

That's more than the world's economy.
IMAGE NASA/JPL-CalTec/ASU
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There is an asteroid in the solar system that is unlike most asteroids scientists have ever found. Named 16 Psyche, it is believed to be the remains of an extinct planet’s heart: its metallic core.

While most asteroids are made of rock and ice, 16 Psyche is made of gold, iron, and nickel. It is located in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt. Scientists found it interesting that the asteroid’s composition is very similar to Earth’s core, which is why they think it was the remains of a planet that shattered to pieces due to cosmic collisions.

But just how valuable is the golden asteroid? According to NASA, the asteroid’s metals could be worth $10,000 quadrillion, which is many times worth more than the world’s economy. In 2017, the gross world product stood at $127 trillion.

NASA plans to send a space probe to the asteroid in 2022, and if no problems occur, it will begin its orbit in the asteroid belt in 2026.

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Currently, the project is in the design stage of the robotic spacecraft. It will have three main instruments: a magnetometer to measure the asteroid’s magnetic field, an imager to collect data about its composition and geological features, and spectrometers to measure radiation on the asteroid surface. The assembly of the spacecraft is expected to begin in February 2021.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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