Researchers were able to estimate the core’s age by recreating conditions similar to the centre of the Earth.
A billion years may not sound young, but researchers estimating the age of the Earth’s core say it could be between 1 and 1.3 billion years old – which is at the lower end of previous estimates.
Researchers from the University of Texas were able to estimate the core’s age by recreating conditions similar to the centre of the Earth inside of a laboratory chamber.
It took the researchers two years to attain suitable results, and they were able to recreate these conditions by squeezing laser-heated samples of iron – the Earth’s core is made primarily of iron – between two diamond anvils.
The researchers estimate that the Earth’s core is between 1 to 1.3 billion years old, which is on the lower end of the spectrum of what was previously believed, the researchers said.
The Earth’s core was previously estimated to be between 1.3 to 4.5 billion years old, with one recent estimate putting it even lower at 565 million years, according to the researchers.
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The research was published earlier this month in the Physical Review Journals, a peer-reviewed journal from the American Physical Society.
The experiments also give the researchers a clearer picture of how the core conducts heat and the energy sources that power the Earth’s geodynamo.
The planet’s geodynamo is the mechanism that sustains the Earth’s magnetic field, which protects the planet from harmful cosmic rays and helps compasses point North, according to the researchers.
A computer simulation shows the…
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