Scientists Discover Water on Giant Metallic Asteroid Named Psyche (Download PDF)

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Scientists detected the presence of water on Psyche, the largest metallic asteroid in our solar system. NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii detected these new observations. The source of water on Psyche however remains a mystery with few unproven theories.

Detection of water on asteroid named psyche

Detection of Water on Asteroid Named Psyche

Detection of water on asteroid named psyche

Main Highlights

  • The source of these hydroxyl or water molecules on Psyche remains a mystery.
  • Previous observations of Psyche did not discover water-rich minerals on its surface.
  • Carbonaceous asteroids in the distant past may have delivered water-rich minerals on Psyche.

NASA’S Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF)

  • NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) is a 3-meter telescope optimized for use in infrared astronomy. It is located at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii.

About Psyche Asteroid

  • An asteroid is an astronomical object.
  • Asteroids are minor planets, especially those of the inner Solar System.
  • The larger ones are also called planetoids.
  • Minor planets were found to have volatile surfaces resembling comets.
  • Comets are distinguished from asteroids based on their location outside the asteroid belt.
  • The term “asteroid” refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System including the once co-orbital with Jupiter.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 9, 2016

Science/Technology

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