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U Seismologists Probe Earth's Inner Core

At the center of Earth is a solid metal ball, a kind of “planet within a planet,” whose existence makes life on the surface possible, at least as we know it.

How Earth’s inner core formed, grew, and evolved over time remains a mystery, one that a team of University of Utah-led researchers is seeking to plumb with the help of seismic waves from naturally occurring earthquakes. While this 2,442-kilometer-diameter sphere comprises less than 1% of  Earth’s total volume, its existence is responsible for the planet’s magnetic field, without which the planet would be a much different place.

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Last Updated: 8/1/23