The clock is ticking to the earth’s core


On the Earth’s crust, the temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year. However, beneath the crust, there is an incredibly hot spot under our feet – the Earth’s core!

To protect us from solar radiation from plate tectonics, the Earth’s core is not only interesting, but important for life on Earth. But, how long can the Earth’s core remain warm?

Read on to find out.

Related: a question for eighth grade

How hot is the center of the earth?

How hot is the Earth’s core?

Experts believe that the Earth’s core has higher temperatures than the sun’s surface – 18,032 degrees Fahrenheit (10,000 degrees Celsius).

Source: NASA / JPL / USGS

How did it get so hot at first?

One theory is that about 4.5 billion years ago, our solar system consisted of a cloud of cold dust particles. This cloud of gas and dust somehow disturbed and began to collapse, as gravity pulled everything together, forming a huge spinning disk.

The center of the disc became the Sun, and the particles in the outer rings turned into large flaming balls of gas and molten-liquid, which cooled and condensed to form a solid.

At the same time, the surface of the newly formed planet was under continuous bombardment of large bodies that slid into the planet, creating excessive heat in its interior, melting the cosmic dust found there.

When the Earth was formed, it was a UNIFORM Ball of hot rock. radioactive decay And due to the heat left over from the formation of the planet, this ball became even hotter. Eventually, after about 500 million years, the Earth’s temperature reached at Melting point About 1,538 ° C (2,800 ° F) of iron.

It allowed the earth Molten, rocky material to move even faster. Relatively Happy Materials, such as Silicates, water and even air, stay close to the planet Mantle and crust will form externally and quickly. Iron, nickel and other drops heavy metals Gravity at the center of the Earth, forming the initial core. This process is called Planetary distinction.

vary from MineralsCrust and mantle, the core is thought to be made almost entirely of metal – specifically, iron and nickel. While the inner core is considered to be a solid ball with a radius around it 760 mi (1,220 km) with surface temperature 5,700 K (5,430 ° C; 9,800 ° F); Outer core is considered A thick layer of about 2,400 km (1,500 mi) and temperatures range from 3,000 K (2,730 ° C; 4,940 ° F) to 8,000 K (7,730 ° C; 13,940 ° F).

The core is believed to be so hot The decay of radioactive elements, the residual heat from planet formation, and the heat released as a liquid outer core accumulates near it Limit With the inner core.

So, the core is incredibly hot, but how hot can it stay right now?

Scientists at the University of Maryland claim that they will be able to answer this question within the next four years.

The Earth’s tectonic plate movement and its magnetic field require enormous amounts of power to drive. Energy is derived from the center of the Earth, but scientists believe that the core is cooling very, very slowly.

What is hot center of earth?

There are two sources of “fuel” keeping the Earth’s center warm: the fundamental energy released from the formation of planets and nuclear energy that exist due to natural radioactive decay.

How long until the Earth's core runs out of fuel?
Source: needlepicks

Earth was formed at a time when the solar system was working with energy. During their early stages, meteorites continuously bombarded the formation planet, producing an excessive amount of frictional force. At that time, the Earth was prone to volcanic activity.

How long will the Earth’s core last?

From the beginning, the planet has cooled considerably. However, residual heat from the formation of the Earth remains. Although the primordial heat has decomposed to a large extent, another form of heat continues to heat the gorge and crust of the Earth.

Naturally large amounts of radioactive materials are present in the Earth, some living around the crust. During the natural decay process of radioactive material, heat is released.

Scientists know that heat flows from the interior of the Earth at a rate of about one 4 × 1012 W (TW). However, they do not know how high the heat is.

Earth core
Source: Dion Kim / University of Maryland

The point is that if the heat of the Earth is primarily primary, it will cool down quite rapidly. However, if the bulk of the heat is produced due to radioactive decay, the Earth’s heat is likely to last longer.

While it looks very dangerous, some estimates of cooling the Earth’s core see it taking Tens of billions of years, or 91 billion years. It’s a very long time, and in fact, the sun will likely burn long before the core – all around 5 billion years.

Why is Earth’s Main Temperature Important?

Earth’s core keeps the temperature constant, but more importantly, it maintains the Earth’s magnetic field. The Earth’s magnetic field is formed at the speed of the molten metal outer core.

This massive magnetic field propagates in space and keeps the charged particles in place which are mostly collected by solar winds.

The spheres form an impenetrable barrier in space that prevents the fastest, most energetic electrons from reaching the earth. The fields are known as the Van Allen belt, and they are the ones that enable life to flourish on the surface of the Earth. Without the shield of the magnetic field, the solar wind will pierce the Earth’s atmosphere ozone layer Which protects life from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

The collection of charged particles prevents the solar wind from seizing the Earth in its atmosphere. Without it, our planet would be barren and lifeless. It is believed that Mars once had a Van Allen belt that protected it from the deadly wind of the Sun. However, once the core cooled down, it lost its shield, and is now a desolate wasteland.

Earth Core Lava
Source: USGS Volcano

How long will the Earth’s fuel last?

Currently, many scientific models can estimate how much fuel remains to run the Earth’s engine. The results, however, make it difficult to draw a final conclusion. At the moment, it is unknown how much elemental and radioactive energy remains.

“I am one of the scientists who built a structural model of the Earth and predicted the amount of fuel inside the Earth today,” said William McDonough, one of the study’s authors, a professor of geology at the University of Maryland Huh.

How long until the Earth's core runs out of fuel?
This animated Ziff represents the Van Allen belts that deflect and absorb high-energy electrons, preventing them from reaching Earth. Source: NASA /Goddard / Scientific Visual Studio

“We are in the area of ​​projections. At this point in my career, I don’t care whether I’m right or wrong, I just want to know the answer. “However, researchers believe that with modern technological advances, more accurate predictions can be made.

To determine how much nuclear fuel there is in the Earth, researchers use advanced sensors to detect some of the most microscopic sub-atomic particles known to science – geonatrinos. Gionutrino particles are subtypes arising from nuclear reactions that occur within stars, supernovae, black holes, and man-made nuclear reactors.

Figuring out how much fuel is left

Detection of antinutrino particles is an extremely difficult task. Large-scale detectors are buried 0.6 miles (one kilometer) down into the earth’s crust the size of a small office building. Depth can look like overkill; However, it is necessary to create a gradient from cosmic rays, which may result in false positives.

Earth core heat
Source: USGS

In operation, the detector can detect antinutrinoes when they collide with hydrogen atoms inside the system. After the collision, two bright flashes can be detected, disproportionately announcing the event.

By counting the number of collisions, scientists can determine the number of uranium and thorium atoms that reside inside our planet.

Unfortunately, the detectors at Kamland in Japan and Borexino in Italy only detect about 16 incidents per year, making the process laborious. However, three new detectors are projected to come online in 2020 – SNO + detectors in Canada and Jinping and Juno detectors in China – researchers expect more 500 more incidents detected per year.

McDonough said, “Once we collect three years of antinutrino data from all five detectors, we are confident that we have developed an accurate fuel gauge for the Earth and will be able to calculate the amount of fuel remaining. “

Jinping detector is over in China Four times bigger All detectors to date. Although the detector is large, the Juno detector will be a staggering 20 times larger From All current detectors.

McDonough explained, “Knowing how much radioactive power the Earth has, it will make us aware of the Earth’s consumption rate in the past and its future budget.”

Earth core cooling
Source: Scott Nelson / Flickr

“By showing how fast the planet has cooled since its birth, we can estimate how long this fuel will last.”

When Juno Comes Online; Hopefully in 2021 – the data collected should help scientists such as McDonough estimate how much time the Earth’s core has left to cool. Until then, rest assured that whatever estimates have been made are going to run into millions, crores, perhaps billions of years in the future.

Therefore, there is no need to plan to visit any new planet soon.

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