Although some consider space to be the final frontier, scientists are constantly learning new things about our own little planet, including the secrets that lurk beneath its surface.
For more than a half-century, scientists have universally recognized the existence of a molten outer core surrounded by a densely packed ball of solid iron alloy. However, new research offers a rare look into the planet’s internal structure, which is far different than previously thought.
More than 2,200 years ago, Eratosthenes, a Greek polymath, did the first measurement of the distance around the Earth’s spherical, and it has been obvious ever since that it must have a center.
We’ve known for decades that we don’t live on a disc, but rather on a ball-shaped planet.
Earth internal structure
The internal structure of Earth, also known as the structure of solid Earth, or simply the structure of Earth, refers to the concentric spherical layers that divide the Solid Earth, omitting the atmosphere and hydrosphere. It is made up of a silicate solid crust on the outside, a highly viscous asthenosphere and solid mantle on the inside, a liquid outer core whose movement provides the Earth’s magnetic field, and a solid inner core.
Observations of topography and bathymetry, observations of rock in outcrop, samples brought to the surface from greater depths by volcanoes or volcanic activity, analysis of seismic waves that pass through Earth, measurements of Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields, and experiments with crystalline solids at pressures and temperatures typical of Earth’s deep interior.