Jump to content
Goodbye Jesus

Ferrovolcanism : Molten metal lava on Iron-rich asteroids.


Recommended Posts

Launching next year, the Psyche mission will travel to the asteroid 16 Psyche, arriving in 2026.   https://psyche.asu.edu/


Scientists have been trying to anticipate what they might find when their probe arrives by conducting experiments to simulate ferrovolcanic activity.


Or, putting it more simply, they have been making molten metal lava, here on Earth, to see how it flows, meanders and cools down.








They don't expect to find any active metal volcanos, because the asteroid Psyche will have fully cooled and frozen to an inert lump of metal, long ago.


But if it does have solidified metal lava flows on its surface, then these experiments should help them interpret what they see in the probe's images.



I've visited Iceland twice and seen huge swathes of silicate (rock) lava from ancient and not-so-ancient volcanic eruptions.  Our space probes have uncovered evidence of cryovolcanism (ice volcanoes) on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn and indirect evidence for it elsewhere in the solar system.  But wouldn't it be cool (pun intended) if a third kind of volcanism were discovered?  


Thank you.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm guessing that what they will be seeing is mostly the solid core of a planetoid that was once molten concerning early planet collisions, and there will be no signs of past volcanism on or in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.