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Apocalypse Could Come Sooner Than Thought After Scientists Make Discovery On Earth's Core

Stewart Perrie


Apocalypse Could Come Sooner Than Thought After Scientists Make Discovery On Earth's Core

Scientists have made a potentially concerning discovery about Earth's core.

It could be cooling at faster rate than previously thought, which means time on our planet could be running out.

The Mirror reports the whole planet was drenched in a sea of hot magma when it formed 4.5 billion years ago.

Eventually, the surface started to cool, which formed Earth's crust, and the piping hot magma was forced further underground as the crust went deeper.

Scientists wanted to have a look at the thermal conductivity of bridgmanite, which is the most abundant mineral on Earth, and makes up to 70 per cent of our planet's lower mantle.

Credit: Tschauneret et al, Science (2014).
Credit: Tschauneret et al, Science (2014).

They had a state-of-the-art measuring system to test how the magnesium-silicate mineral absorbs heat to see what could be going on deep in our crust.

The diamond unit, heated with a 'pulsed laser', managed to discover that bridgmanite is better than previously thought.

Carnegie Institution for Science's ETH Professor Motohiko Murakami told spaceref.com: "This measurement system let us show that the thermal conductivity of bridgmanite is about 1.5 times higher than assumed.

"Our results could give us a new perspective on the evolution of the Earth's dynamics.

"They suggest that Earth, like the other rocky planets Mercury and Mars, is cooling and becoming inactive much faster than expected."

He added: "We still don't know enough about these kinds of events to pin down their timing."

Absolutely love that for us.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

When bridgmanite cools it turns into the mineral post-perovskite, which the research team discovered can potentially accelerate the cooling of Earth's core even further because it can conduct heat more efficiently than its former self.

If Earth's core cools then we could be looking at a very cold and unforgiving landscape.

While the Sun at the centre of our solar system provides a lot of our energy and heat, How Stuff Works says a cooling of Earth's core could stop our magnetic poles from working.

"The shield is created by a convection process caused by constantly moving iron," the outlet says.

"Like the planet itself, Earth's core is constantly spinning - some scientists think it's moving even faster than the rest of the planet.

"The friction converts kinetic energy into electrical and magnetic energy that forms the field, which deflects harmful, charged particles emanating from the sun toward the north and south poles."

We'd also lose one source of our electricity, meaning we could be in the dark before we're frozen or eviscerated by solar winds.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Science, News, Interesting

Stewart Perrie
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