4.5 billion years ago in the violent, high-speed environment of the early solar system, a protoplanet roughly the size of Mars was involved in a series of fierce collisions with other large planetary bodies.
A number of powerful impacts stripped the planet of its rocky mantle, leaving an exposed nickel-iron core. After further blows, break-away pieces of metal were flung into space – the final destination for some would be Earth.
This, scientists believe, is the story of Psyche. Now a cold metal world in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the asteroid – named after the Greek goddess of the soul (Gr. Ψυχή – Psyche) – offers a unique vision of the violent history of collisions and accretion that created the terrestrial planets.
Research published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters has helped secure $450 million of NASA funding for a satellite to boldly go where no satellite has been before; on a mission to Psyche. (1)
We have made the cosmos a cold dark place.
We have expelled our own selves from the universe.
Depicting it as a place full of planets, stars, particles and nothing else.
And now we set out to seek Psyche into… iron.
Oh, how much would the old alchemists laugh with us.
Astronomy is the daughter of Astrology.
And as many children, it is arrogant and blind.
Astronomy has helped us see deep into the Universe.
But has made us blind to our own Self.
Look deep into the cosmos with your telescope.
What you see is not just an asteroid…
The universe is not empty.