Scientists detect water on metallic asteroid Psyche

Nov 10, 2016 13:00 IST

Scientists have recently detected the presence of water on the metallic asteroid named Psyche. Psyche is the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system. The study was published in the Astronomical Journal in November 2016 under the auspices of the US Geological Survey and NASA.

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The Study was authored by Joshua Emery, Associate Professor of Planetary Science and Driss Takir, a US Geological Survey scientist based in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Findings of the Study
• The findings were made using NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). However, some previous observations of the asteroid Psyche had shown no evidence of water-rich minerals on its surface.
• The source of these water molecules on Psyche remains a mystery.
• It is believed that water-rich minerals detected on Psyche may have been delivered by carbonaceous asteroids that impacted Psyche in the distant past.

About Psyche
• Psyche is 186 miles across and is made of almost pure nickel-iron metal.
• It is located in the asteroid belt and is thought to be the remnant core of a budding planet that was earlier destroyed billions of years ago.


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