The universe has just given humans another reason to journey to outer space.
NASA's Hubble Telescope discovered a rare asteroid the size of Massachusetts, which is orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. This massive space rock, known as 16 Psyche, is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion.
16 Psyche was actually discovered back in 1852, but NASA's Hubble Telescope has finally given Earth-dwellers a closer look.
In the new study published this week in The Planetary Science Journal, the asteroid's composition is key to its astronomical value. To put the amount out in full, that’s $10,000,000,000,000,000,000.
This worth makes 16 Psyche 70,000 times more valuable than the global economy, which was worth $142 trillion in 2019. Another way to explain the value of the rare rock... it will be equal to buy and sell Jeff Bezos, whose net worth is just shy of $200 billion, about 50 million times.
16 Psyche spans 140 miles in diameter and appears to be made entirely of iron and nickel. This unique metallic construction of iron and nickel make Psyche unique from other asteroids that are usually comprised of rock or ice.
Dr Tracy Becker is a planetary scientist and the author of the new paper. She said, "We've seen meteorites that are mostly metal, but Psyche could be unique in that it might be an asteroid that is totally made of iron and nickel."
Now you might wonder how this rock came into existence. Well, according to Becker, 16 Psyche may be the leftover core of a planet that never properly formed. This could be because it was hit by objects in our solar system and effectively lost its mantle and crust.
Psyche is currently 230 million miles away from Earth, in our Solar System's asteroid belt.
NASA plans to launch a Psyche spacecraft in 2022 to further study the asteroid. With the worth of the space rock, all 7.5 billion people on the planet would get roughly $1.3 billion if it is brought back to Earth.