Somewhere far out in our Solar System, an object has captured NASA’s attention. With a diameter averaging at around 140 miles, this immense body is presently a great distance away from Earth. But if, theoretically, we were able to bring it to our planet, we’d find that it was incredibly valuable. So much so, in fact, that if we distributed its worth to everyone on Earth, it would make us all billionaires.
The object in question is known as 16 Psyche, and it’s a fascinating phenomena. Located within a specific zone of the Solar System called the asteroid belt, 16 Psyche is said to possess a significant mass. In fact, it’s among the most giant asteroids to have ever been found in this entire region.
16 Psyche isn’t exactly close to Earth, though. In fact, if you can imagine the distance between our planet and the Sun, you still wouldn’t be near. Take that distance and treble it, and only then would you be in the right ballpark. But even despite the immense amount of galaxy between us and this asteroid, NASA has plans to reach it – and soon, too.
According to NASA, there are plans pencilled in for a mission to 16 Psyche beginning in 2022. And given the lengthy distances that would need to be covered, the space agency has suggested a journey of about four years. However, if a spacecraft actually made it there, scientists would finally be able to learn more about the mysterious asteroid.
This enormous asteroid has actually been known to us for quite a long time now. In fact, it was first noted back in 1852 by an astronomer from Italy named Annibale de Gasparis. Known for taking the initial records of numerous asteroids in his time, de Gasparis died in 1892 at the age of 72.