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New study claims, Earth’s core is made out of iron snow

Recent aberrations in seismic wave data have raised questions. The study based on these aberrations proposes that this is due to the iron-snow capped core.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Published: December 20, 2019 7:07:16 pm
Earth core, Earth, Earth inner core The Earth’s core has never been sampled, thus scientists try to study it by analysing signals from seismic waves. (Image: NASA)

What is the Earth’s core made up of is a huge mystery, however, every now and then we get to see a new theory claiming to have found what it is made up off. According to a new study, the Earth’s inner core could be covered by that is made up of tiny particles of iron.

According to a study by the journal JGR Solid Earth, the iron snow particles fall from the molten outer core and make up the inner core. It states that this has created a pile of up to 200 miles thick that covers the inner core.

The Earth’s core has never been sampled, thus scientists try to study it by analysing signals from seismic waves. Recent aberrations in seismic wave data have raised questions. The study based on these aberrations proposes that this is due to the iron-snow capped core.

Researchers state that the accumulated snow with a slurry-like composition slows the seismic waves, and a variation in snow pile size explains the change in the speed of the seismic waves.

Also Read: Earth’s magnetic north is rushing towards Siberia: Should you worry?

“It’s sort of a bizarre thing to think about, you have crystals within the outer core snowing down onto the inner core over a distance of several hundred kilometres,” said study co-author Nick Dygert, Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee.

The Earth’s core has a major influence over phenomena that affects the entire planet, which includes generating its magnetic field to radiating the heat that drives the movement of tectonic plates. Understanding the core and its composition, can help us understand how these processes work.

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