FULL METAL ASTEROID Long ago, molten iron could have erupted from the metal asteroid Psyche (illustrated in cross section) in a process dubbed ferrovolcanism, new studies suggest.
Metal asteroids may have once had iron-spewing volcanoes
An upcoming NASA mission could look for signs of past ‘ferrovolcanism’ on asteroid Psyche
by Lisa Grossman 1:23PM, April 3, 2019
Imagine a metal asteroid spewing molten iron, and you’ve got the gist of ferrovolcanism — a new type of planetary activity proposed recently by two research teams.
When NASA launches a probe to a metal asteroid called Psyche in 2022, planetary scientists will be able to search for signs of such volcanic activity in the object’s past. The new research “is the first time anyone has worked out what volcanism is likely to look like on these asteroids,” says planetary scientist Jacob Abrahams of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Metal asteroids are thought to be the exposed iron-rich cores of planetesimals that suffered a catastrophic collision as the solar system was developing, before they could grow into full-sized planets. The naked core would have been exposed to cold space while still molten. And it would have cooled and solidified from the outside in, forming a solid iron crust that would be denser than the underlying molten iron, say Abrahams and planetary scientist Francis Nimmo, also of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
That kind of density mismatch is… Read the rest!
Whoa, just think… volcanoes… and nothin’ but volcanoes!