How is gold mined? Did meteorites bombard Earth with gold?

They discover the largest gold deposit in the world… and it’s in the middle of space

It is an asteroid called ’16 Pysche’ and it has such an amount of gold that its value is 10,000 quadrillion dollars, which would be about 1.3 billion per person on Earth

The Gold Rush was the easiest way to make a fortune. Back in 1848, an impressive migratory period took place in the direction of California (USA), where a spectacular discovery had been made: under the ground, in rivers or in the middle of the desert, there were gold nuggets of great economic value. . You just had to use a sieve to find this desired metal and get rich. But, is it possible to repeat that? For more than a hundred years, California became a favorite destination for treasure hunters, where many families made a significant fortune after finding gold and selling it for profit. But it was not the only place where gold made the population ‘crazy’: New Zealand, Brazil, Kenya, Mongolia… and hundreds of other places experienced their particular Gold Rush, something that could happen again in a few years. .. but in space.

And it is that NASA has discovered an asteroid that is already, officially, the largest gold reserve in the known world. Called ’16 Pysche’, it is located between Mars and Saturn and its composition could make the entire population of Earth millionaires. Composed fundamentally of gold, but also of other heavy metals of great value such as iron or nickel, its value amounts to no less than 10,000 quadrillion dollars. Almost nothing. Can you imagine what would happen if this asteroid hit Earth? Well, its impressive value would collapse the economy of our planet, since it would make the more than 7,350 million inhabitants of the planet immensely millionaires, as long as it was considered to distribute it -something that seems really improbable-, since it would correspond, approximately, to some 1.3 billion dollars per head. But the reality is different: an impact on our planet would end life.

It is believed that it could be the core of an ancient unknown planet and, given its weight and its characteristics, a hypothetical impact would have catastrophic consequences on Earth, although there is no evidence to suggest that it is heading towards our planet. Of course, NASA has advanced that it wants to carry out a plan to reach ’16 Pysche’, a mission that would be scheduled for the summer of 2022 with the aim of learning more about its characteristics.

However, it will not be possible to extract their gold… at least in the short term. One of the most prestigious scientists in the world, the president of the Royal Astronomical Society of the United Kingdom, John Zarnecki, has assured that, although he does not rule out that it will be possible to do it in the future, today it seems complicated. In fact, he estimates that just getting a proof of concept of how to extract gold from a space asteroid would take about 25 years. Although ’16 Pysche’ would make the inhabitants of Earth tremendously wealthy, it is not the only known stellar element with highly valuable heavy metals. In fact, in the same region as this, there is another asteroid about 200 meters long with a platinum core, whose value could be around 30,000 million dollars. And even the Moon is known to host significant amounts of gold and platinum. Will it be possible to carry out mining outside of Earth? In a few years, we will know.