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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Asteroid Psyche, the most bizarre objects in the Solar System

So many mysteries and strange things that have not been revealed in the universe. One is related to the existence of a giant asteroid that formed entirely of metal in the Solar System - Milky Way Galaxy. The asteroid is named Psyche and was first discovered by Italian astronomers from Napoli, Annibale de Gasparis on March 17, 1852. It took its name from Greek mythology, Psyche.
Artist's concept of a spacecraft studying the huge metal asteroid Psyche from orbit. (Picture from: http://www.space.com/)
Now, a group of scientists are designing a mission to uncover a suspected asteroid iron core protoplanetary battered and stripped due to the tremendous collision events with other celestial bodies. The mission will also provide insight into the process of planetary formation and early years of their existence in the Solar System. In other words, we will soon witness one of the most bizarre objects in space that are closer.

"It is a world that is formed from the first metal to be witnessed by humans," said Lindy Elkins-Tanton, a team member and director of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science, as quoted from SPACE, on January 16, 2014. "This is an opportunity to test a number of scientific fundamentals that have never been done before."
The huge metal asteroid Psyche may have a strong remnant magnetic field. (Picture from: http://www.space.com/)
Psyche asteroid which has a width of 250 kilometers is located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and composed mostly of iron. The scientists suspect, the object is the core of the protoplanet is almost naked, which used to be hidden by a layer of superthick stone - which had been devastated by a collision with another celestial body.

Psyche has significance, offering an opportunity to learn more about the inner planets or large satellites - which essentially hidden under thick layers of rock several kilometers. "It is the only object similar to the core that we know exist in the Solar System," added Elkins-Tanton.

Robotic missions that will be sent closer to the Psyche will help astronomers measure the metal world - an object in the solar system with few known by scientists. "We already know about objects rocky and frozen, but what about the form of the metal. Such as what shape the surface of the metal world?," said Elkins-Tanton.

In the mission design, the satellite will be orbiting the giant asteroid to about 6 months, study the topography, surface features, gravity, and magnetic fields. Also a number of other characteristics.

Satellite data collected will give an overview of how the planets came and formed simultaneously in the first few million years of solar system history. Also will give scientists an understanding of the inner terrestrial planets - Earth, for example.

Preparation of concept has been carried out for 1.5 years and will be enrolled in the Discovery-class mission for NASA is expected to materialize in 2015. Discovery-class mission is an effort to crawl space at a low cost which in 2010 was estimated to amount to approximately U.S. $425 million or Rp. 5.15 trillion -not including the cost of launching spacecraft.

If approved, Psyche mission can be implemented quickly, because it does not require the development of new technologies. Spacecraft that will be used based on NASA's Dawn satellite - which is currently on a journey to the dwarf planet Ceres - after a 14-month mission to a giant object in the asteroid coir: protoplanet Vesta. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SPACE]
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