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A new study reveals sudden movements in the Earth's core

A new study reveals sudden movements in the Earth's core

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Researchers have discovered a recurring wobble in the Earth's core. This discovery could radically change our understanding of the Earth's interior.

Wuhan – Scientists have discovered recurring oscillations deep within the Earth's interior while making measurements on the Earth's surface. During their investigations, a team led by researchers Yachong An and Hao Ding discovered that the movement of the Earth's poles and the length of the day differ slightly. In a study conducted in Trade magazine Nature Communications As published, they believe that the Earth's core fluctuates approximately every 8.5 years.

Is the Earth's core oscillating? A new study reveals surprising movements

It is generally believed that the Earth rotates once a day. However, slight deviations occur again and again, which are caused by the Earth's internal activities. Another study suggests that the Earth has changed the direction of its rotation several times, which also affects the length of the day.

This is how the interior of the Earth is organized

The earth consists of different layers. Its core is made of molten rock and metal, which becomes denser and heavier inside. Earth's core, a hot, dense ball about 2,450 kilometers in diameter — larger than the dwarf planet Pluto — is essentially the heart of the planet. The Earth's core and the liquid layer surrounding it form a magnetic field that protects the Earth.

Activities taking place inside the Earth have an impact on life on the Earth's surface, so science is very interested in all the peculiarities of the Earth's core. However, because the Earth's core cannot be measured directly, scientists are forced to resort to indirect measurements based on surface data. Seismic waves are also analyzed here.

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It's clear that the Earth's core is oscillating: research results could change our understanding of the Earth's interior

Early in 2019, a research team led by Ding detected movement in the Earth's core that, according to current knowledge, lasted about 8.7 years. Even then, the researcher suspected that this movement could be an oscillation in the Earth's core.

New research suggests the Earth “shakes” about every 8.5 years (iconic image) © Nasa/Reid Wiseman/dpa

After this discovery, scientists searched for changes in the Earth's rotation to confirm their theory about the recurring oscillations of the Earth's core. During their measurements, they found that the Earth's core has a tilt of 0.17 degrees compared to the Earth's mantle. Previous research has suggested a greater tilt of up to 10 degrees. These new findings could radically change the understanding of the Earth's interior.

A new study reveals sudden movements in the Earth's interior

This means that the rotation axis and the Earth's mantle are not exactly on the same line. According to scientists' calculations, this difference causes an oscillation approximately every 8.5 years. Furthermore, this indicates that the Earth's core is denser in the northwestern hemisphere – a strange phenomenon already known from seismic data. Some scientists speculate that there may be remnants of another planet inside Earth.

The research results indicate that the density between the Earth's interior and its exterior varies more than previously thought. This can affect the movements of the Earth's liquid core and thus the Earth's magnetic field as well. External influences can affect the Earth's axis, and according to scientists, the Earth has tilted off its axis over the past 25 years. Another research team found that Earth's mantle is more permeable than previously thought. However, many processes occurring in the Earth's interior are still unknown to science, so further research into the activities of the Earth's core is urgently needed.

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The editor wrote this article and then used the AI ​​language model to improve at his own discretion. All information has been carefully checked. Find out more about our AI principles here.