The asteroid Psyche was similar to a metallic sponge

Astronomers think that the asteroid Psyche can be very porous body, which consists of copper-Nickel alloy. To do this, scientists have modeled the formation of the largest impact crater of the asteroid. Given the fact that scientists have been unable to simulate the diameter of the crater Psyche, however, may have a more complex structure and not be completely porous, it is reported in the journal Icarus.

Psyche — the largest metal-rich asteroid spectral class M in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter. Apparently, it is a fragment of the nucleus is never formed planets, which remained since those times when in the protoplanetary disk around the Sun were often clashes between large celestial bodies. Thus, the Psyche in composition similar to the chilled planetary cores, thus will allow to understand the formation, accretion and destruction of planets and also help in the development of technologies of mining operations in space. In the future, NASA will send to the asteroid Psyche mission, which will study its magnetic properties; to better prepare for it, scientists collect data on the psyche and on their basis build models.

Past observations made using the Very Large Telescope showed that the surface of the asteroid observed two large impact crater similar to the craters on the moon and Mars. Simulation of shock structures may help to better understand the properties of psyche, so Wendy K. Caldwell (Wendy K. Caldwell) from Los Alamos national laboratory, along with colleagues carried out two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulation of the appearance of the largest impact crater of the celestial body with a diameter of 67 ± 15 km. In their paper, the researchers considered various possible composition of both the asteroid and crashed into him object, and various collision scenarios.

Simulations confirm past based on observations, evaluation of the chemical composition of the substance of psyche. The closest match as shown by the simulation in which the Psyche consisted of Manila, and the ratio of the porosity was 30-50 percent. Monel is an alloy that contains copper and Nickel in the same proportions that the ore from the impact crater at Sudbury, Ontario, Canada: it is believed that she was brought to earth by the asteroid that formed the crater. A celestial body, probably crashed into the psyche at an angle of 60 degrees with a speed of 4.5 kilometers per second.

However, the authors themselves noted that they failed to reproduce the crater diameter in the range of error. According to them, this may indicate that the Psyche — is not uniformly porous body with a more complex structure. To better understand its internal structure will help further modeling.

In July it became known that NASA has completed the design stage of the automatic interplanetary station of the Psyche. Now the experts will go to the stage of creation of scientific instruments and subsystems of the station.

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