TechEarth's core moves to its beat. Chinese scientists discover wobble every 8.5 years

Earth's core moves to its beat. Chinese scientists discover wobble every 8.5 years

The core of the Earth is not what you think. Part of it is spinning, taking bows.
The core of the Earth is not what you think. Part of it is spinning, taking bows.
Images source: © Adobe Stock
12:21 PM EST, January 1, 2024

A team of Chinese geophysicists has published groundbreaking research that radically alters our understanding of the planet we inhabit. It reveals that the Earth's inner structure is less synchronized than we previously believed. The inner, solid part of Earth's core behaves like a spinning top; it rotates around its axis along with the entire environment and makes cyclical movements. This occurs with regularity every 8.5 years.

Studying the Earth's interior is more challenging than venturing into space. It's impossible to send a probe to extract fragments of the Earth's core for analysis or measurement. Therefore, scientists must infer its properties based on the planet's macro behaviors.

This is precisely the approach taken by geophysicists from Wuhan University. In 2019, they observed a thought-provoking anomaly in the Earth's polar rotation. After analyzing several years of data, they found that every 8.5 years, there's a consistent deviation from the norm. This anomaly was further validated through detailed comparisons of global changes in the lengths of days. This insight suggests that something within the Earth is rotating, albeit at a different rhythm from the rest of the planet.

Earth's Core is Not Synchronous

The Chinese scientists propose that this internal layer is the solid part of Earth's core, tilting by a modest 0.17 degrees relative to the outer layers. This groundbreaking conclusion contradicts the widely accepted theory of Earth rotation, which suggests that all layers of the Earth's core rotate in unison. The Chinese scientists have established that this is not necessarily the case; Earth's core doesn't share a familiar rotational rhythm.

While this crucial finding may seem insignificant to lay people, it shouldn't be dismissed. The movement of Earth's inner core likely impacts the circulation of the liquid layer on which the Earth's magnetic field depends. Our planet's magnetic field maintains the atmosphere, and it's a crucial factor for developing and sustaining life as we know it. Even though Earth's core may seem like an unreachable universe to us, it's far from insignificant.

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