The study offers a holistic view of the giant asteroid psyche

SRRI studies offer a more holistic view of the vast asteroid psyche

The giant asteroid 16 Psyche is the subject of a new study by SRI scientist Tracy Baker, who observed the observed object at ultraviolet wavelengths. Credit: Mixer / ASU / P. Rubin / NASA / JPL-Caltech

Planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, Dr. A new study by Tracy Baker discusses many new ideas of the Eclipse Planet 16 mindset, including the first ultraviolet observations. The study, which was published today Journal of Planetary Science And presented at a virtual meeting of the Department of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, a clearer view of the planet is more clear than was available on paint.

At about 140 miles in diameter, Saiche is one of the largest objects in the planetary belt, the main planet between Mars and Jupiter. Previous observations suggest that Saeche is a ga ense, a large metallic substance that is a major part of the failure to form a planet.

“We’ve seen meteors that are mostly metal, but the mind may be unique, as it could be an asteroid that is made entirely of iron and nickel,” Baker said. “Earth has a metal core, a mantle, and a crust. It is possible that as a psych protoplanet was forming, it was struck by something else in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust.”

Baker observed the asteroid at two distinct points of its orbit to fully describe both sides of the psyche and to describe as much as possible by observing the surface of the Ul-Traviolet (UV) wavelength.

“For the first time on any planet we were able to identify what we think is the ultraviolet absorption band of iron oxide.” “This is an indication that oxidation is taking place on the asteroid, which could be the result of the solar wind hitting the surface.”

Baker’s study comes as NASA prepares to launch the spacecraft Saich, which will travel to the planet as part of an effort to understand the origins of the planet’s corona. The mission is set to begin in 2022. Metal asteroids are relatively rare in the Solar System, and scientists believe that Psyche can provide a unique opportunity to see inside the planet.

“What makes Saiche and other asteroids so interesting is that they are considered the building blocks of the solar system,” Baker said. “It’s really interesting to understand what a planet is making and to see the potential inside a planet. Once we reach Saiche, we’ll really understand that this is the case, even if it doesn’t turn out as we expected.” Yes, it is always exciting. “

Baker also observed that the surface of asteroids may be largely iron, but noted that the presence of small amounts of iron can also dominate UV observations. How-array, while observing the psyche, asteroids appeared to be increasingly reflected at ernda UV wavelengths.

“This is something that we need to study further,” he said. “This could be an indicator that it will remain open in space for a long time. This type of UV illumination is often attributed to the weather of the space.”

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More info:
Tracy M. Baker et al, HST UV Observation of Astroids (16) Psychology, Journal of Planetary Science (2020). DOI: 10.3847 / PSJ / AB 6767

Provided by the Southwest Research Institute

Testimonial: Study offers a more complete view of the giant asteroid mindset (October 26, 2020)

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