ScienceArt - Image: Vulcanoid Asteroid

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Image:Vulcanoid Asteroid

Description: Computer artwork of a vulcanoid asteroid, which is a hypothetical group of asteroids which may orbit the Sun inside the orbit of Mercury, with a gravitationally stable orbit between 0.08 and 0.21 astronomical units (AU). Confirmation or dismissal of this theory has been difficult due to their proximity to the Sun, the Sun's glare, and the relatively poor exploration of the near-solar region. The intense heat would have evaporated much of the material, leaving concentrated deposits of metals such as iron, nickel and gold - and so would be of interest for commercial space mining.