Earth

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three: Earth: A Crystalline Core?

We may have very big crystals at the centre of the Earth, maybe up to 10km”

Professor Kei Hirose
Tokyo Institute of Technology

Seismology is "the killer application", says Aster, showing us the Earth has a molten outer-core, "an enormous ocean of white hot molten metal that's almost as runny as water".

This core is as large as Mars. But - like a planetary Russian doll - another core was found within this one. An inner-core - a solid metal ball almost the size of the Moon.

Scientists believe the solid inner core is made of an iron-nickel alloy.

To understand what form it might take under the extreme conditions at the centre of the Earth, Professor Kei Hirose set himself a seemingly impossible challenge: recreate the conditions of the core in his lab at the SPring-8 synchrotron near Osaka, Japan. After 10 years of trying, he has finally succeeded.

He has created an incredibly powerful vice using the tips of two diamonds. Between them he has pressurised a sample of iron-nickel to three million times atmospheric pressure and heated the sample to about 4,500C.

Under these extraordinary conditions, the crystal structure of iron-nickel alloy changed and the crystals rapidly grew in size. "We may have very big crystals at the centre of the Earth, maybe up to 10km," says Hirose.

These crystals would all align "like a forest", says Hirose, pointing at the poles.

The bulk of the Earth's magnetic field is generated not in the inner-core but in the molten metal of the outer-core. This acts as a massive electromagnetic dynamo powered by the Earth's rotation and the long-term cooling of the planet.

SOURCE : BBC News : Magnetic mysteries of Earth's Core

See Also:
Earth's Seismic Wave Path Based On Crystals In Core

bluesbaby5050: Crystaline core?

Yes. A very big and thick magifining glass was pointed at different times at the sun to generate energy to build up force to make all this possible.

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