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Scientists Reveal An Asteroid In Our Solar System Is Worth $10,000,000,000,000,000,000

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Scientists Reveal An Asteroid In Our Solar System Is Worth $10,000,000,000,000,000,000

Scientists have revealed an asteroid lurking in our solar system is worth a casual $10,000 quadrillion dollars.

To help you understand just how valuable that is, it's $10,000,000,000,000,000,000, which is more than the entire economy on our planet.

Scientists have published a new study in The Planetary Science Journal about what they think is contained in the little nugget of joy that calls the asteroid belt its home.

Using data from the Hubble Telescope, researchers have posited that Asteroid 16 Psych is made up of 27 quadrillion 2 hundred trillion tonnes iron and nickel. It also could contain gold.

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Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

Considering it's 140 miles in diameter, a chunk of metal that size would net a very hefty sum of money if it was ever brought to earth.

Although they've been aware of it for a while, we've been able to get a closer look at the object, which is currently orbiting through space just between Mars and Jupiter - over 370 million kilometres from us. And now NASA are planning to take a trip to it.

"We've seen meteorites that are mostly metal, but Psyche could be unique in that it might be an asteroid that is totally made of iron and nickel," lead author Dr. Tracy Becker said in a statement.

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"Earth has a metal core, a mantle and crust. It's possible that as a Psyche protoplanet was forming, it was struck by another object in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust."

NASA is planning on sending a spacecraft in 2022 to the asteroid as it could give some insight into planetary cores - the very basis of a planet.

Becker added: "What makes Psyche and the other asteroids so interesting is that they're considered to be the building blocks of the solar system.

"To understand what really makes up a planet and to potentially see the inside of a planet is fascinating.

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"Once we get to Psyche, we're really going to understand if that's the case, even if it doesn't turn out as we expect. Any time there's a surprise, it's always exciting."

For those of you thinking we'll all be billionaires if NASA could somehow bring the asteroid back to Earth - let's be realistic. The value of money is relative to what we already have. So even if it was pure gold and we brought it all back - gold would just be worth less.

NASA says this study is purely for the advancement of science and that it's not going to be mining or trying to make any money from the asteroid. Missing a trick there, guys.

Featured Image Credit: Arizona State University

Stewart Perrie
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