Podcast: Journey to the Center of the Earth

What do earthquakes, the moon, and the earth’s magnetic field have in common? They’re all connected to the iron core deep inside our planet.

On this week’s podcast, join me on a journey to the center of the earth. First, Planetary Science Professor Raymond Jeanloz from the University of California Berkeley will guide us through the iron catastrophe, the event that formed the earth’s core. Surprisingly, it has a lot of do with the planetary impact that chipped the moon from early earth.

A simulation of the magnetic field created by liquid convection in the earth’s core.
Image Credit: Dr. Gary A. Glatzmaier/Los Alamos National Laboratory/U.S. Department of Energy.

Then, Professor Jennifer Jackson at Caltech’s Seismological Laboratory will tell us how scientists study the core. Because the core is 4,000 miles down, and the deepest humans have drilled is only seven anda half miles, scientists use indirect methods to study the core. We’ll find out how studying the deep rumblings of earthquakes provides details about the material that makes up the core and how scientist sare recreating more than 3.6 million atmospheres of pressure in the lab.

Finally, Jeanloz will hint at happenings in the core that might flip our world upside down.

-Podcast and post by Jenna Bilbrey

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