Observations, Meteorites, and Models: A Preflight Assessment of the Composition and Formation of (16) Psyche

  title={Observations, Meteorites, and Models: A Preflight Assessment of the Composition and Formation of (16) Psyche},
  author={Linda T. Elkins‐Tanton and Erik Asphaug and J F Bell and Hannah L. Bercovici and Bruce G. Bills and Richard P. Binzel and William F. Bottke and Steven D. Dibb and David J. Lawrence and Simone Marchi and Timothy J. Mccoy and Rona Oran and Ryan S. Park and Patrick N. Peplowski and Carol A. Polanskey and Thomas H. Prettyman and Christopher T. Russell and Laura Schaefer and Benjamin P. Weiss and Mark A. Wieczorek and D. A. Williams and Maria T. Zuber},
  journal={Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets},
Some years ago, the consensus was that asteroid (16) Psyche was almost entirely metal. New data on density, radar properties, and spectral signatures indicate that the asteroid is something perhaps even more enigmatic: a mixed metal and silicate world. Here we combine observations of Psyche with data from meteorites and models for planetesimal formation to produce the best current hypotheses for Psyche's properties and provenance. Psyche's bulk density appears to be between 3,400 and 4,100 kg m… 

The Surface of (16) Psyche from Thermal Emission and Polarization Mapping

The asteroid (16) Psyche is the largest of the M-type asteroids, which have been hypothesized to be the cores of disrupted planetesimals and the parent bodies of the iron meteorites. While recent

Distinguishing the Origin of Asteroid (16) Psyche

The asteroid (16) Psyche may be the metal-rich remnant of a differentiated planetesimal, or it may be a highly reduced, metal-rich asteroidal material that never differentiated. The NASA Psyche

The Heterogeneous Surface of Asteroid (16) Psyche

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Porosity Evolution in Metallic Asteroids: Implications for the Origin and Thermal History of Asteroid 16 Psyche

Some M‐type asteroids have measured bulk densities much lower than expected based on their metal‐rich surfaces. In particular, the density of the largest M‐type asteroid 16 Psyche would require a

Determining the Relative Cratering Ages of Regions of Psyche’s Surface

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Asteroid (16) Psyche’s primordial shape: A possible Jacobi ellipsoid

Context. Asteroid (16) Psyche is the largest M-type asteroid in the main belt and the target of the NASA Psyche mission. It is also the only asteroid of this size (D >  200 km) known to be metal

Asteroid 16 Psyche: Shape, Features, and Global Map

We develop a shape model of asteroid 16 Psyche using observations acquired in a wide range of wavelengths: Arecibo S-band delay-Doppler imaging, Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) plane-of-sky



(16) Psyche: A mesosiderite-like asteroid?

Context. Asteroid (16) Psyche is the target of the NASA Psyche mission. It is considered one of the few main-belt bodies that could be an exposed proto-planetary metallic core and that would thus be

The Surface Composition and Temperature of Asteroid 21 Lutetia As Observed by Rosetta/VIRTIS

Lutetia is likely a remnant of the primordial planetesimal population, unaltered by differentiation processes and composed of chondritic materials of enstatitic or carbonaceous origin, dominated by iron-poor minerals that have not suffered aqueous alteration.

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Introduction: Metal-mafic silicate assemblages are characteristic of a number of meteorite classes, including achondrites such as pallasites, mesoside-rites, IAB and IIICD irons, primitive


In order to search for evidence of hydration on M-type asteroid (16) Psyche, we observed this object in the 3 μm spectral region using the long-wavelength cross-dispersed (LXD: 1.9–4.2 μm) mode of

Hypervelocity Impact Experiments in Iron‐Nickel Ingots and Iron Meteorites: Implications for the NASA Psyche Mission

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Psyche mission will visit the 226‐km diameter main belt asteroid (16) Psyche, our first opportunity to visit a metal‐rich object at close

Differentiated Planetesimals and the Parent Bodies of Chondrites

Meteorites are samples of dozens of small planetary bodies that formed in the early Solar System. They exhibit great petrologic diversity, ranging from primordial accretional aggregates (chondrites),

The Crust of the Moon as Seen by GRAIL

The Moon's gravity field shows that the lunar crust is less dense and more porous than was thought, and high-resolution gravity data obtained from the dual Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft show that the bulk density of the Moon's highlands crust is substantially lower than generally assumed.


The asteroid (16) Psyche is of scientific interest because it contains ∼1% of the total mass of the asteroid belt and is thought to be the remnant metallic core of a protoplanet. Radar observations