Something strange is happening in the exact center of our planet.
Researchers have discovered a new layer, deeper within our planet’s inner core, a 400-mile-long, solid ball of metal that responds to shock waves feedback from earthquakes in an unexpected way.
As detailed in a new leaf Published this week in the magazine Nature Communicationsa team of two seismologists from the Australian National University found that the Earth has a “deeper inner core”, which may have formed after a “significant global event from the past”.
“It’s clear that the innermost, inner core has something different from the outer layer,” said lead author Thanh Son Pham, a seismologist at the Australian National University, Tell Washington Post. “We think these are atoms [packed] In these two regions are slightly different.”
The research can shed light on how our planet evolved billions of years ago and how Earth’s magnetic field has evolved over time, transforming the planet from an inhospitable rock into a livable home.
“The geocentric study is not just an object of academic curiosity, but something that sheds light on the very evolution of life on the surface of our planet,” the two researchers write. piece to Conversation.
They explained that, in simple terms, convection currents from deep within the surface generate the geomagnetic field, which in turn “protects life on Earth from harmful cosmic radiation.”
While still made up of the same stuff as the inner core, this innermost core has different properties that determine how fast seismic waves travel through it, depending on the direction of motion, a phenomenon known as anisotropy.
It has already been noted that seismic waves on Earth move faster when they are parallel to the rotation of our planet. Puzzlingly, however, this is not the case for this newly discovered inner inner core, the researchers found, suggesting that these waves move faster at a different angle.
The researchers suggest that a “significant global event,” such as a massive tectonic shift hundreds of millions of years ago, may have shaped this mineral ball.
Given that it may be what allowed life to flourish on Earth, it’s a vital piece of the puzzle and a fascinating glimpse into our planet’s ancient history.
Read more: Scientists have discovered a new core in the center of the Earth [The Washington Post]
More on the inner core: Scientists claim that the Earth’s core is a strange new state
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