Earth’s Core: A Moon-Sized Crystal Ball

Wed Jun 29 2011 11:44

Seismologists discover that the inner core rotates

Researchers are now probing what may turn out to be the most curious small body the solar system has yet presented for scrutiny: a globe the size of the moon that appears to be a well ordered crystalline entity. This body is poised little more than 5,000 kilometers away, yet it is completely invisible. Located at the center of the earth, it is known simply as the inner core. Two seismologists have just shown that this strange crystal sphere is turning slowly within the rocky and liquid metal enclosure that keeps it all but hidden from scientific investigation.

Geophysicists realised decades ago that a solid inner core exists, but they knew precious little else about it. They believed the inner core and the liquid shell surrounding it were made largely of iron, yet other features of the heart of the planet remained enigmatic.

But during the 1980s, seismologists examining earthquake waves that pierce the inner core made a startling find. Rather than being "isotropic" (the same in all directions) in its physical properties, the inner core proved to be somewhat like a piece of wood, with a definite grain running through it. Waves traveling along the planet’s north-south axis go 3 to 4 percent faster through the inner core than those that follow paths close to the equatorial plane.

Geophysicists have struggled to explain why this grain (or "seismic anisotropy") should exist. The leading theory is that at the immense pressures of the inner core, iron takes on a hexagonal crystal form that has inherently directional physical properties. Some force apparently keeps the hexagonal iron crystals all in close alignment….

via Earth’s Core: A Moon-Sized Crystal Ball | Before It’s News.


5 thoughts on “Earth’s Core: A Moon-Sized Crystal Ball

  1. Hi there there, I found your blog site via Google while searching for a related matter, your web page came up, it looks beneficial. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  2. Coach Outlet says:

    One time you may have marketing in place promoting your services throughout the real estate market, monitor them. If you might be not getting the response that you had hoped for, adjust the marketing tactics and see how that goes.

  3. Mulberry Bag says:

    Hello, i believe that that i saw you visited my weblog so i acquired right here to return the desire. I’m attempting to in finding concerns to enhance my web page! I suppose its okay to use a number of your concepts!!

  4. bloging says:

    Hello, I really liked this information, I hope you continue updating, Greetings

  5. Galen Tatom says:

    I can just say such a relief to locate someone who actually knows what theyre talking about online. You need to learn how to bring a problem to light making it important. More and more people have to read this and appreciate this side from the story. I cant believe you aren’t very popular because you definitely have the gift.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s