The research suggests that one half of our planet’s inner core, which is comprised of solid metal, may be growing faster than the other half.
A new study offers insight into the development of the solid metal inner core of our planet.
According to an article published on The Conversation, Earth’s solid core, which started to crystallise when the temperature at the planet’s centre dropped “below the melting point of iron at extreme pressures,” keeps growing by about 1mm in radius per year.
Now, the new study postulates that this increase in size is actually asymmetrical, and that the eastern part of the inner core, located below Asia, is growing faster than the western part of the inner core that lies beneath the Americas.
The article’s authors, who apparently weren’t involved in the research in question, have compared this “uneven growth” to the process of making an ice cream in a freezer “that’s only working on one side,” when ice crystals forming only on the side of the product “where the cooling is effective.”
The study also provides rough estimates of the inner’s core age, placing it between 500 million and 1,500 million years old.