Despite the several decades of research, and the extensive information available out there, most people are a bit clueless as to how important the Earth’s core is. We all know it’s really hot and it’s the reason why we have volcanoes, but most people don’t ask many questions about the core. Like why is it so hot? And how fast does it spin? Also, did we ever make it to the center? If these questions have ever crossed your mind, then look no further. Here are some facts you never knew about the center of the Earth.
1. Why Is the Core So Hot?
There are no exact numbers, but it’s estimated that the Earth’s core can reach a temperature of up to 6,000 degrees Celsius or 10,800 Fahrenheit. This extreme heat can be blamed on radioactive decay which plays a crucial role in continental drift. Then, there’s also the heat that’s produced when the Earth and Moon push and pull against each other. Gravitational forces also contribute to it, and let’s not forget about the leftover heat from the Earth’s initial formation.
2. Protection from the Sun
The core does a lot more than just supply volcanoes with liquid magma. It’s also the reason why we’re not being bombarded with solar winds and cosmic radiation. Otherwise, we would be like Mars—dry, barren and uninhabitable. As the core spins, it generates a geomagnetic field which interacts with the Sun’s interplanetary magnetic field. This interaction creates the magnetosphere and without it, life on Earth as we know it would cease to exist.
3. Global Changes
The Earth’s core is one of the oldest and most ancient parts of the planet. That’s why scientists have been retrieving core samples from the deepest parts of the seabed. To no surprise, they made some amazing discoveries. For instance, some of the samples revealed that the Arctic region was much different than what we have now—it used to be a subtropical paradise some 55 million years ago. This study proved that there is so much more we could learn about the Earth by studying the core.
4. The Speed of The Spin
It’s common knowledge that the Earth is a giant spinning ball moving through space. But did you know that core does the exact same thing but does this at a slightly faster rate than the rest of the planet—two thirds of a second, to be exact. Now, two thirds of a second isn’t much, but it’s quite interesting to know that the entire planet isn’t moving in perfect unison. According to researchers, this is most likely due to the core’s location in the center of the Earth and also the fact that it’s part-liquid.
5. How Close Did We Get?
Given the extreme temperatures and the molten lava, it’s a given as to why we can’t ever get to the core. But there have been several attempts to get as far as possible. That would be the Kola Superdeep Borehole, which measures just a little over 7.5 miles or 12 kilometers with a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius or 356 Fahrenheit. The crazy part of all this is that it took researchers 19 long years just to reach this depth, from 1970 to 1989.
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