NASA will launch a mission to a mysterious metallic asteroid Two mysterious structures inside the Earth are believed to originate from another planet In the next decade, a supernova may erupt at a distance of 724 light years from Earth

16 PsychePhoto: Aicrovision / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia

NASA will launch a mission to a mysterious metallic asteroid

Since its discovery in 1852 by the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis, the asteroid called 16 Psyche has sparked and continues to ignite the imagination of all who have studied it. Not only because it is one of the largest celestial bodies in the asteroid belt, the diameter of which is about 220 kilometers, but it is also metallic.

Its size and composition have led some researchers to suggest that 16 Psyche may be part of the core of an extinct planet or protoplanet in our solar system. In fact, 16 Psyche is so large that it has its own gravitational pull, and its perturbations can also be used to estimate the asteroid’s mass. One that is 1% of the mass of the entire asteroid belt.

A mission to this mysterious celestial body has been proposed since 2014. But for various reasons it was postponed, the last time last year. However, according to NASA representatives, the mission will be launched in October of this year.

The spacecraft, which will spend 20 months orbiting the asteroid studying its topography, magnetism, gravity and other characteristics, will be launched on a Falcon X rocket and reach its destination in 2029 after a journey that will take it more than 347 million kilometers. In fact, the Space X company created by Elon Musk received $117 million in funding not only for the launch of the probe, but also for its creation.

NASA also hopes to unravel the mystery of the asteroid’s origin, and if all goes according to plan, the mission could be a milestone in the future of space mining. In fact, 16 Psyche contains over 10 quintillion dollars worth of metals.

Two mysterious structures inside the Earth are believed to originate from another planet

While NASA is launching a mission to the previously mentioned asteroid 16 Psyche to identify possible remnants of an extinct protoplanet, traces of one may already exist on Earth. And they are not insignificant at all, since they make up approximately 3-9% of the entire Earth.

In particular, with the help of seismic tomography, two giant structures were recently identified, located in the area that separates Africa from the Pacific Ocean. In short, the waves transmitted during earthquakes can be measured. Using a principle somewhat similar to the principle of echolocation, the researchers were able to identify, depending on the density of materials in the Earth’s crust, the existence of two mysterious structures much denser than what surrounds them.

According to a recent hypothesis, these two structures could be the remnants of a supposed planet called Theia, a planet that collided with the early Earth 4.5 billion years ago. As a detail, the Moon could have been born from the same cataclysmic event.

The truth is that at the moment no one can say exactly what it is. They could just as well be remnants of the oceanic crust that, as a result of the subduction process, accumulated there over billions of years. It is also certain that no one can go into them in detail to study them directly. And in the absence of other technologies that allow us to clearly see what’s there, we’ll have to wait until a new technique is invented that provides much clearer data. But do not despair, it is only a matter of time.

In the next decade, a supernova may erupt at a distance of 724 light years from Earth

Betelgeuse, the tenth brightest star visible in the night sky and the second brightest in the constellation Orion, just got 50% brighter. And this means that we can observe the birth of a supernova at any moment, says a group of researchers from Tohoku University in Japan.

Their study, which will be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomy Society, but which has already appeared in a preliminary form on the arXiv platform, contains a number of hypotheses about the reasons for the spectacular increase in brightness of this huge star. . And, as I mentioned, the supernova hypothesis seems the most likely.

In fact, it has long been believed that Betelgeuse is in its last moments. According to experts’ calculations, the star would have become a red giant about 8-8.5 million years ago, which indicates that it has already used up almost all the fuel it had. In particular, due to nuclear fusion, hydrogen was transformed into helium, which led to both the expansion and cooling of the star.

As the helium turns into heavier elements like carbon and then gets heavier and heavier, the star will go supernova, marking the end of its existence. The authors of the study admit that it is difficult to determine the stage of the star’s evolution only through the prism of the data available to them. But if all their calculations turn out to be correct, Betelgeuse will explode as a supernova in a maximum of ten years.

Now you are probably most interested in the fact that we are out of danger. In addition, this is not the first time that humanity has observed such a phenomenon. The brightest supernova on which we have data occurred in 1006 AD. and it was visible for months on end. From the annals of that time, it is clear that people could read even at night under the light of this unusual source for them. And that’s basically what you’ll see, too. A second source of light in the sky, almost as bright as our sun.

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