BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A new and insightful study reveals that Earth’s solid iron core formed 1.5 billion years ago. For the record, Earth’s solid core has roughly the size of planet Pluto and it consists of liquid iron than surrounds the inner core sustaining Earth’s magnetic field.
Co-author and senior researcher Andy Biggin, from the University of Liverpool, said that this is epochal discovery in the area of paleomagnetism. Biggin’s theory is that the Earth’s liquid iron core is much younger that our planet and that it is beginning to slowly lose energy.
Although we are facing a gradual energy loss from our magnetic core that shields us from solar radiation, Biggin said that according to their rolling numbers, the liquid iron core should be able to sustain Earth’s magnetic field for another billion years or even more.
Regarding the history of Earth’s genesis, there are a number of theories looming above. Scientists estimate that our planet formed about 4,5 billion years ago, roughly 100 million years after the congealment of our cozy Solar System.
After Earth’s surface cooled down (scientists speculate that it took Earth’s surface somewhere between 500 million and 2 billion years to cool down ), then remains of molten rocks evaporated, later to form Earth’s atmosphere.
Sometime after that, the iron liquid core suddenly froze. Scientist are still baffled by this unusual event but they think that is has something to do with the process of nucleation of the inner core. In terms of thermodynamics, nucleation is the starting point for a new aggregation state or for a new structure. The principles that aid the formation of new structure are self-assembly and self-organization.
In order to study the Earth’s iron core, scientists devised a method that can determine with a fairy amount of accuracy how old is in fact that blob of molten steaming hot iron and how long it took to freeze.
Scientists are looking among rocks and minerals for a particular magnetic signature. According to their research, after Earth’s core froze down like a popsicle, it expelled impure particles of lower atomic mass into the outer flow core, where the magnetic field is amplified.
When revising Biggin’s work, Richard Harrison, professor at Cambridge University said that this model, although highly hypothetical and scarce in data, could prove very reliable in determining when Earth’s magnetic field received that extra boost that keeps it afloat.
For those unaware, the magnetic field surrounding Earth is formed by the movement of electrically conducting iron beneath the surface, deep inside the heavy-duty iron core.
Image source: www.extension.illinois.edu