Surprise! Core at centre of Earth, hot as the Sun, rotates under our feet! | Tech News

Surprise! Core at centre of Earth, hot as the Sun, rotates under our feet!

A new study found that the core of the Earth oscillates over a mile every six years. Here is what it means.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 12:52 IST
Earth core
Earlier, Earth’s core was thought to be rotating consistently faster than the surface, but this new study found something surprising. (NASA)

We know a lot about space but what is happening beneath our feet is mostly hidden just like all the layers of the Earth! And this is the case even as our understanding of the Earth's inner core has expanded over the last 30 years. And now, researchers have found some surprising facts about the core of the Earth, which is as big as Pluto and as hot as the Sun! Earlier, it was thought that it is rotating at a consistently faster rate than the planet's surface. But a new study showed that it oscillates, going back and forth over a mile every six years. This cycle could explain variations in the length of days.

To make things clearer, let us first understand the layers of the Earth - Crust, Mantle, Outer core, and inner core. Among these, the crust is up to the depth of 70km which is the outermost layer covering both oceans and land areas of the Earth, and Mantle goes down to 2,890km which is the thickest layer. After that, the outer core made of liquid iron and nickel goes up to around 5150km, and then comes the inner core of the Earth, on which researchers have found something new. Also read: Shocking Earth problem revealed! Know the enemy within

The inner core is like a hot, dense ball made up of solid iron as hot as the Sun and this makes it impossible to observe it directly. Hence, the US team used seismic data from 1969 to 1974 to create a computer model. "Our latest observations show the inner core spin slightly slower from 1969-71 and then moved in the other direction from 1971-74," Professor John Vidale, of the University of Southern California mentioned.

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The study found that the inner core of the Earth is not fixed and it is moving under our feet back and forth every six years! And by how much does it move? As much as over a mile. Previous claims proposed that the inner core rotates faster than the rest of the planet.

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First Published Date: 11 Jun, 17:26 IST