- Strange variations in different measurements of the planet’s surface have revealed periodic oscillations deep within the Earth’s heart.
- By examining small changes in the length of the Earth’s day and the movement of the Earth’s poles, a team led by Yachong An and Hao Ding determined that the Earth’s inner core oscillates with a periodicity of 8.5 years.
- This discovery could be a game changer for how we understand the inner workings of our planet.
Strange variations in different measurements of the planet’s surface have revealed periodic oscillations deep within the Earth’s heart.
By examining small changes in the length of the Earth’s day and the movement of the Earth’s poles, a team led by geoscientists Yachong An and Hao Ding of Wuhan University determined that the Earth’s inner core oscillates with a periodicity of 8.5 years.
This reveals that there is only a 0.17 degree slope between the inner core and the mantle, showing that the Earth’s inner core is denser in the northwestern hemisphere.
This discovery could be a game changer for how we understand the inner workings of our planet. The new measurement gives us a new tool for interpreting the surface manifestations of behavior in the planet’s core.
Earth’s inner core is the heart of our planet in more ways than one. Inner core. As it slowly cools and grows, it releases heat that is thought to contribute significantly to the dynamo spinning in the outer core.
This; It is a rotating, convecting, conductive liquid that converts mechanical energy into magnetic energy and produces the magnetic field that protects our planet from radiation, atmospheric escape and solar wind. Therefore, scientists are very interested in the nucleus.
We tend to think of our planet’s rotation period as constant, as it completes a full rotation every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.0916 seconds every day of the year. But there are really small variations created by changes occurring within the planet. For example, a study published last year found that the Earth’s core changes direction of rotation every six years, manifesting as a change in the length of the day.
In 2019, the research team led by Ding noticed something different in the way the Earth’s poles were moving. The Earth’s poles are always moving in very distinct ways, resulting in some pretty strange behavior.
But in 2019, Ding and colleagues noticed a small movement with a period of roughly 8.7 years that they thought could represent a wobble in the Earth’s inner core.
An and Ding followed up this discovery by looking for changes in the Earth’s rotation that supported the same periodicity, and they found it. By carefully measuring each signal, they were able to map the inner core properties that would produce these phenomena.
They found that the inner core is tilted 0.17 degrees relative to the Earth’s mantle. In other words, the rotation axis of the inner core and the rotation axis of the mantle are not exactly aligned. In this case, as the two spheres rotate around slightly different axes, a “wobble” occurs in the core for a period of approximately 8.5 years.
The measured signals are also consistent with a sharper than expected intensity change at the boundary between the inner core and outer core. The inner core appears to have a non-uniform density, with one hemisphere being denser than the other.
These properties may play a role in the way the fluid outer core churns and rotates, thereby generating the Earth’s magnetic field.
However, there seems to be much more going on in our planet’s core than we currently comprehend.
Compiled by: Serap ATABEY