Connect with us

Science & Tech

Hubble Telescope Provides View At Rare Metallic Asteroid Worth $10,000,000,000,000,000,000

A notable rare metallic asteroid is hiding between Mars and Jupiter, and it’s worth more than the entire global economy.

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

A notable rare metallic asteroid is hiding between Mars and Jupiter, and it’s worth more than the entire global economy, according to researchers and observers. Recently, the Hubble Space Telescope gave researchers a closer look at the space object, worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion according to the mission’s leader at Arizona State University, CBS reported.

A new study published in The Planetary Science Journal examines the asteroid ’16 Psyche’, which is one of the most massive objects in the solar system’s main asteroid belt. 16 Psyche orbits between Mars and Jupiter, about 230 million miles from the Earth. It measures about 140 miles in diameter — approximately the size of Massachusetts. 

Typically asteroids are made of rocks or ice. But what sets 16 Psyche apart is it’s mostly made out of metal, which the scientists believe is due to the leftover core of a planet that never succeeded in forming, or what’s called a “protoplanet.”

The study signifies the first ultraviolet (UV) observations of the metallic asteroid. New data reveals the asteroid may be made entirely of iron and nickel which is found in the solid centers of planets according to the scientists. 

“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. “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.”

Experts studied the asteroid at two key times during its rotation in order to view the aspects of both sides completely at UV wavelengths. They discovered the surface could be principally iron, however, they warned that even a small amount of iron would totally eclipse UV studies.

“We were able to identify for the first time on any asteroid what we think are iron oxide ultraviolet absorption bands,” Becker said. “This is an indication that oxidation is happening on the asteroid, which could be a result of the solar wind hitting the surface.”

Solar wind is the flow of charged particles from the sun’s upper atmosphere, called the corona, throughout the solar system. It’s responsible for the tails of comets as they soar across the sky, the formations of auroras, and the possible “space weathering” of Psyche. 

Researchers said they need to further study the asteroid to determine its characteristics for sure.

“This is something that we need to study further,” Becker said. “This could be indicative of it being exposed in space for so long. This type of UV brightening is often attributed to space weathering.”

Metal asteroids are incredibly rare, so Psyche provides researchers with an impressive opportunity to examine the interior of a planet. In 2022, NASA discussed plans to launch the unmanned spacecraft Psyche on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket to further understand the asteroid. This is an attempt bolster its history and that of similar objects. This is also a key experiment marking the first time a metallic asteroid has been reviewed.

The orbiter is set to land on the asteroid in January 2026 to analyze it for nearly two years.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Good News

Awesome New Infrared Goggles Could Help Blind People ‘See’ Surroundings

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

People who are blind or deal with low vision face a unique number of challenges in their daily lives, ranging from accessing published material to holding a job or living on one’s own.

However, emerging infrared technology under research could help the blind and visually impaired navigate the world around them using a pair of innovative goggles.

In new research recently published and yet to be peer-reviewed, Manuel Zahn and Armaghan Ahmad Khan at Germany’s Technical University of Munich explored how their 3D camera and haptic feedback armband can assist people with low vision.

“Even in the present era, visually impaired people face a constant challenge of navigation,” the pair wrote. “The most common tool available to them is the cane. Although the cane allows good detection of objects in the user’s immediate vicinity, it lacks the ability to detect obstacles further away.”

The two students’ design deploys two infrared cameras placed in a 3D-printed goggles prototype to get a stereoscopic view that is transformed by a small computer into a map of the user’s surroundings. The infrared gear also works in the dark. The armband then uses 25 actuators arranged in a grid that vibrates when users come close to objects while also assisting them in their orientation. As users walk near obstacles, the vibration intensity of the actuators increases.

In tests, subjects enjoyed roughly 98 percent accuracy while getting through obstacle pathways, with all five participants completing the course in their first run. After two additional runs, the volunteers were able to navigate the obstacles more rapidly.

Zahn and Khan frequently cited Microsoft’s Kinect motion detection system for the Xbox in their study, but the pair are confident that their own setup will be far smaller, cheaper and less conspicuous than the gaming device.

The new headset could offer an interesting opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to clear the myriad obstacles they face when performing regular tasks or navigating the world around them.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

News

NASA Finds “Unusual” Signs of Life on Mars

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

New research unveiled on Sunday by NASA could point to the existence of life on the Red Planet, as well as a range of other exciting possibilities.

On Sunday, the space agency generated buzz with a statement about the latest find by its Curiosity rover: rocks that contain organic carbon, which may indicate the existence of ancient bacteria or any other diverse examples of “complex organic molecules formed by life.”

While analyzing rocks and other sediment collected by the rover across the Red Planet, researchers found an ancient carbon cycle that could have a “biological basis” and resembles the types of fossilized remains of microbial life discovered in parts of our own planet that date back some 2.7 billion years.

A tell-tale sign could be found in the two stable isotopes – 12 and 13 – that were found in the Martian carbon.

While the find offers tantalizing hope that life may have existed on Mars, the researchers are holding out hope that they can find other indicators of what caused these carbon signatures.

“On Earth, processes that would produce the carbon signal we’re detecting on Mars are biological,” said Prof. Christopher House at Penn State University, the lead author of the study. “We have to understand whether the same explanation works for Mars, or if there are other explanations, because Mars is very different.”

Indeed, a complex range of different factors may make biological processes radically different on Mars than on Earth. The Red Planet, for example, is far smaller, colder, and has weaker gravity as well as different gases in its atmosphere. Likewise, Martian carbon could be circulating in the absence of any life, unlike here on Earth.

“There’s a huge chunk of the carbon cycle on Earth that involves life, and because of life, there is a chunk of the carbon cycle on Earth we can’t understand, because everywhere we look there is life,” noted Curiosity researcher Andrew Steele from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.

Researchers are looking into the widespread existence of the simple organic molecule methane as a potential telltale sign of microbial life, with the focus of exploration lying near the Gale Crater – a deep lake that is 3.5 billion years old and is said to store complex organic molecules and many of the key ingredients for the existence of ife.

“Defining the carbon cycle on Mars is absolutely key to trying to understand how life could fit into that cycle,” Steele noted. “We have done that really successfully on Earth, but we are just beginning to define that cycle for Mars.”  

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]com

Continue Reading

Trending

The Mind Unleashed