Ancient crystals have revealed when Earth’s inner core finally formed

  • Researchers traced back the history of Earth’s inner core across hundreds of millions of years
  • They relied on crystals in rock to study the Earth’s core indirectly
  • Understanding how the inner core changed can help us predict how it might change again

In Earth Sciences news, a group of researchers has been able to Reconstruct the evolution of Earth’s deep core over hundreds of millions of years by analyzing ancient rock crystals and the magnetism records that are stored within them.

Geologists currently know that the solid inner core of the Earth, a hot, compact glob of iron and nickel, is sandwiched between the molten outer core. The crust that we live on sits above the rocky mantle, which is the thickest of all the layers, that separates the crust from the core. The distance between the crust and core is incredibly large, with a distance of around 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers).

According to the researchers’ results, it appears that around 550 million years ago, Earth’s inner core was beginning to crystallize into a sizable mass. The magnetic field, which had been depleted some 15 million years prior, was restored by this event, which also created the ideal conditions for the rise and explosion of life on Earth’s surface.

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