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Making the most detailed maps of the asteroid Psyche » Science News

Making the most detailed maps of the asteroid Psyche » Science News

The scientists were able to see the rocks in more detail, at a resolution of about 30 kilometers per pixel, using the combined energy of the 66 radio antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), located in Chile.

By the end of the year, NASA will launch a space probe the size of a tennis court in asteroid belt, A region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Within the asteroid belt, the spacecraft will focus on spiritIt is a large, mineral-rich asteroid believed to be the ancient core of a primitive planet. The spacecraft, named after its asteroid, will spend about two years spinning and scanning The surface of the rocky celestial body Searching for clues to the evolution of the first planetary bodies. On the mission, a team of planetary scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other research centers, on Wednesday published an article in the “Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets,” the most detailed maps ever made, to date, of an asteroid’s surface, based on observations made by Wide range of ground telescopes in northern Chile. Work reveals vast areas rich in minerals It extends above the surface of the asteroid, along with a large depression that appears to have a different surface structure between the interior and the edge; This difference can reflect a crater filled with fine sand It is surrounded by more rocky material. New maps provide clues to the history of the asteroid, named after the goddess spirit From Greco-Roman mythology. Its rocky areas could be the remains of a ancient cloak It is similar in composition to the outer rocky layer of Earth, Mars and the asteroid Vesta, or the imprint of the impacts of ancient space rocks. The craters that contain the mineral support the idea suggested by previous studies that the asteroid may have experienced its first eruption of mineral lava as its ancient core cooled.

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These maps confirm that metal-rich asteroids are interesting and mysterious worlds. It’s another reason to hope Psyche’s mission will go to the asteroidSaid Saverio Campione, of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. The Psyche Surface has been the subject of many Previous Maps Efforts. However, these studies were not able to spatially resolve the compositional differences at its surface. Cambioni and colleagues They observed the asteroid in great detailwith resolution of about 30 kilometers per pixel, Using the combined power of the 66 radio antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Observatory in Atacama. Scientists combined data obtained in 2019 from ALMA and converted it into a map of heat emissions at the asteroid’s surface and production Latest 3D shape model Self high precision. Both studies were published in 2021. Meanwhile, in the new study, they conducted rock simulations to find out and explain surface properties that might best match the measured heat emissions. The asteroid’s rotation was modeled and measured how simulated materials on the asteroid could emit heat emissions. Next, the team searched for the most suitable simulated emissions for Actual emissions measured by ALMA. “We ran this simulation area by area so we could catch the differences in surface propertiesCambioni confirmed. The study produced detailed maps of the Psyche surface, showing that the asteroid’s “introduction” is likely to be covered with a variety of materials. The researchers stressed, in general, that the surface of the Psyce is rich in minerals, but the abundance of minerals and silicate varies. that, early in its formation, may have been a rock Silicate coat which has since disappeared. They also found that as the asteroid was orbiting, material at the bottom of a large depression – likely a crater – change the temperature Much faster than the material on the edge. This indicates that the bottom of the pit is covered with “pools” of fine-grained material, such as sand on the ground, which are rapidly warming, while the crater edges consist of more and slower-warming rocky materials. “Ponds of fine-grained material have been seen on small asteroids, the gravity of which is low enough to allow impacts to shake the surface and cause the finer material to accumulate.Campione explained. “But Psyche is a large body, so if fine-grained substances accumulate at the bottom of the depression, this is rather interesting and mysterious.“, He said.

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