Two Asteroids Containing Gold Are Near Earth


Space exploration is growing, not only the idea of ​​living outside Earth, but also mining metal materials from outer space, one of which is mining asteroids that are rich in gold.

In a study entitled "Planetary Science Journal", astronomers identified two promising asteroid targets for metal mining, namely 1986 DA and 2016 ED85. Both are classified as Near Earth Asteroids (NEA).

"Our analysis shows that both NEAs have a surface with 85% metals such as iron and nickel and 15% silicate material, which is basically rock. This asteroid is similar to some iron meteorites such as mesoiderite found on Earth," said Dr Juan Sanchez from Planetary. Science Institute, quoted from IFL Science.

The conclusion is based on the combination of the brightness and color spectrum of both, and radar reflections from 1986 DA, compared to the composition of different classes of known asteroids.

According to the researchers, an asteroid like this is thought to be very rich in metal because it comes from an object that grew large enough that most of its metal sinks to its core, as happens on Earth. When several natural disasters destroy this tiny planet, the core fragments retain most of their metallic composition.

"We believe that these two asteroids may be fragments of a large metal asteroid in the main belt," said co-author David Cantillo.

1986 DA is estimated to be about 2.4 km wide. Although small compared to Earth, the paper calculates that 1986 DA contains 28 billion tonnes of iron, and 2.5 billion tonnes of nickel, as well as smaller but more valuable amounts of cobalt and other precious metals.

"We estimate that the metal content present in the 1986 DA could exceed the worldwide reserves. There is also a considerable amount of gold and copper. If space mining becomes commercially viable, a single asteroid could supply us with metallic material for a very long time." write the researchers.

Despite its name, NEAs like this spend most of their time outside the orbit of Mars. However, approaches have occasionally occurred, including in September 2020 when 2016 ED85 became easily observable from Earth.

Most metal-rich asteroids have relatively circular orbits 2.85-3.0 times farther from the Sun than Earth, making them much more difficult to reach than Mars.

Two Asteroids Containing Gold Are Near Earth Two Asteroids Containing Gold Are Near Earth Reviewed by thecekodok on 6:30:00 PM Rating: 5
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