Earth’s Core Slows Down, Reversing Its Rotation: New Findings

Earth’s composition is more complicated than we think, and its inner workings are constantly changing. Deep beneath the crust and mantle lies the Earth’s core, a scorching hot region comparable to the Sun’s surface. This core, primarily composed of iron and nickel, is divided into a solid inner core and a liquid outer core.

While the solid inner core acts like a hot metal ball, it’s capable of spinning independently from the Earth’s rotation. This fascinating phenomenon has been a subject of intense scientific debate, especially regarding the speed and direction of the core’s rotation.

Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann discovered the inner core in 1936, but directly observing or collecting samples from this deep region is impossible. Scientists rely on analyzing seismic waves that travel through the core, looking for variations in their speed and timing.

Recent research published in the journal Nature reveals a startling discovery: the rotation speed of the Earth’s solid inner core is slowing down significantly compared to the planet’s surface. This finding, supported by data from repeated earthquakes and explosions, confirms previous theories that the core’s rotation undergoes cycles of acceleration and deceleration over decades.

A model proposed in 2023 suggested that the inner core was spinning faster than the Earth’s crust in the past but has since slowed down. The core’s rotation even matched Earth’s spin for a period before slowing down further and eventually reversing direction.

This discovery sheds light on the intricate relationship between the Earth’s core and its surface, highlighting the dynamic nature of our planet’s internal workings. Further research will be crucial to understand the full implications of the core’s slowing rotation and its potential impact on the Earth’s magnetic field and other geophysical phenomena.

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