Simma Sky: Chasing Asteroids & Dancing Venus

Simma Sky: Chasing Asteroids & Dancing Venus
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - JULY 15: Venus (above) appears in the night sky near a crescent moon on July 15, 2018 in Bogota, Colombia. The conjunction of the planet Venus was seen next to the crescent moon and the regulus star from sunset to sunrise. (Photo by Ovidio Gonzalez/Getty Images) (Ovidio Gonzalez/Getty Images)


NASA and SpaceX are “Psyched” to start a new mission together - chasing asteroids! You heard that right. Typically you hear about storm chasers and parents chasing their kids...but we’re actually headed to space to chase asteroids. The mission itself - called “Psyche” - is slated to launch in 2022 on a Falcon Heavy rocket. The mission centers around an asteroid called - you guessed it - “Psyche." 16 Psyche is located between Mars and Jupiter and orbits the sun. Psyche is made of a lot of metal, but still considered unique. According to NASA, it appears to be mostly made of nickel-iron, which is considered to be a building block of the solar system.

Earth is considered to be a rocky, terrestrial planet (though we have a lot of water on our planet). Scientists basically assume a rocky, terrestrial planet has a core made of metal. But we can’t measure Earth’s core directly. So scientists believe studying 16 Psyche will tell us more about Earth and how terrestrial planets are created and how they adjust and change over time.

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The asteroid "16 Psyche" made of metal could show scientists what makes up Earth. (Supplied: Arizona State University)


Venus made her presence known at the end of February...and will again at the end of March. The bright planet made a move very close to the moon (at least from our point of view) and provided us a chance at some awesome photos:

The moon will pass close to Venus again at the end of March. The Pleiades get in on the act too:

(Image credit: Starry Night) In the western sky after dusk on Saturday, March 28, the waxing crescent moon will make a pretty sight as it forms a triangle to the left of Venus and the bright little open star cluster known as the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters. The moon, planet, and star cluster will span an area of sky smaller than an outstretched fist's diameter