NASA is eyeing up a nearby asteroid that contains enough gold to make everyone on Earth a billionaire.
Psyche 16 is nestled between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and is made of solid metal.
An artist’s impression of Psyche 16, an asteroid with enough gold in it to make everyone on Earth a billionaire[/caption]
As well as gold, the mysterious object is loaded with heaps of platinum, iron and nikel.
In total, it’s estimated that Psyche’s various metals are worth a gargantuan £8,000 quadrillion.
That means if we carried it back to Earth, it would destroy commodity prices and cause the world’s economy – worth £59.5trillion – to collapse.
We’ve known about Psyche 16 for a while, but its potential to cause havoc on Earth was recently touched upon by a veteran miner.
Scott Moore, who heads up EuroSun Mining, said the sheer amount of gold in the asteroid threatens to throw the gold industry into chaos.
“The ‘Titans of Gold’ now control hundreds of the best-producing properties around the world,” he told Oil Price.
“But the 4-5 million ounces of gold they bring to the market every year pales in comparison to the conquests available in space.”
Nasa is launching a mission to probe the asteroid in summer 2022. Dubbed the Discovery Mission, it will arrive at Psyche 16 around 2026.
But bringing back an asteroid of this value could completely wipe out our global economy.
Fortunately, the space agency is taking the trip for scientific purposes and isn’t planning on conducting any mining.
What do we know about quadrillion pound asteroid Psyche?
- Arizona State University researchers say that Psyche 16 was found in 1852 by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis, who named it after the ancient Greek goddess of the soul.
- What gives asteroid Psyche great scientific interest is that it is made of metal.
- It appears to be composed of one of the building blocks of the Sun’s planetary system and could provide clues to how our planet formed.
- The asteroid is most likely a survivor of violent hit-and-run collisions, common when the solar system was forming.
- Every world explored so far by humans (except gas giant planets such as Jupiter or Saturn) has a surface of ice or rock or a mixture of the two.
- Because we cannot see or measure Earth’s core directly, Psyche offers a unique window into the violent history of collisions and accretion that created the terrestrial planets.
It reckons 16 Psyche is a survivor of violent hit-and-run collisions between planets which were common when the solar system was forming.
That means it could tell us how Earth’s core and the cores of the other terrestrial planets were formed.
Two space mining companies – backed by big name celebs – are gearing up for a gold rush after asteroid ownership was made legal in 2015.
Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources each have their eyes on the 2011 UW158 asteroid which is twice the size of the Tower of London and worth up to £4.5trillion.
This graphic shows the location of the Jupiter Trojan asteroids which are thought to be a relic of a much earlier era of the solar system. It’s thought that Psyche is one of these relics[/caption]
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In other news, a huge 164-foot asteroid could crash into Earth this year and flatten an area larger than London.
Full list of asteroids that could crash into Earth revealed.
And, a bizarre plot to move Earth by ‘slingshotting asteroids’ at us could prevent fiery apocalypse.
Do you think we should mine Psyche 16 for gold? Let us know in the comments!
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