Science and Technology

The inner core of the Earth stopped its rotation and began to rotate in the opposite direction

Image: Johan Swanepoel/SPL/Reproduction

The earth is made up of totally different layers. Right now, you are stepping on what we name the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core are nonetheless inside the planet.

The inner core is sort of a laborious metallic ball about 70% the width of the Moon. Studies have proven that this huge sphere can rotate, pushed by the magnetic torque of the outer core, which is liquid. At the identical time, the huge gravitational pull of the mantle can forestall the inner core from rotating, inflicting it to wobble.

Scientists discover this variation by analyzing earthquakes. In abstract, the time it takes for seismic waves to journey by the metallic ball can point out how briskly the core is rotating relative to the mantle and crust.

At first, scientists seen that the planet rotates about 360 levels in a day, with the inner core rotating a median of 1 diploma per 12 months sooner than the relaxation of the Earth. But the metallic ball appears to have stopped in 2009, now it’s steadily transferring in the opposite direction.

This element is reported by researchers in the journal pure geosciences. According to scientists at Peking University, China, the inversion could also be half of a roughly 70-year cycle succesful of affecting the size of Earth’s days and its magnetic subject.

The data present that prior to 2009, seismic waves traveled at totally different speeds by the inner core, suggesting uneven rotation between the core and the relaxation of Earth – as anticipated. But by 2009, the time distinction had disappeared, indicating that the core was stagnating.

After 2009, the distinction returned, however now the waves crossed different components of the inner core, suggesting a reversal of course. According to the researchers, the core seems to oscillate with a periodicity of roughly 70 years, altering direction each 35 years.

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The fluctuations, in flip, might clarify the recognized 60- to 70-year variations in the size of Earth’s days and in the habits of the planet’s magnetic subject.

Not everybody agrees. In 2022, one other crew of scientists reported that the inner core is succesful of reversing its rotation each three years. Other researchers recommend that the inner core doesn’t transfer, however undergoes modifications in the form of its floor, which leads to variations in the propagation time of the waves.

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