Mystery of Earth's spinning core solved

Mystery of Earth’s spinning core solved. Scientists at the University of Leeds have solved a 300-year-old puzzle. Earth’s inner core spins in eastward direction, the opposite to the outer core.

Scientists claim findings could help them better understand our planet’s magnetic field. Is the first time the spin of inner core has been linked to the outer core.

Dr Philip Livermore, of the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, explains:

“The link is simply explained in terms of equal and opposite action. The magnetic field pushes eastwards on the inner core, causing it to spin faster than the Earth, but it also pushes in the opposite direction in the liquid outer core, which creates a westward motion.”

The team used a model of the Earth’s core which was run on the giant super-computer Monte Rosa in Lugano, Switzerland. It was able to simulate the Earth’s core with accuracy about 100 times better than other models.

Mystery of Earth's spinning core solved 2

Image © Philip W. Livermore et al.

The inner core of the Earth, its innermost part, is a primarily solid ball with a radius of about 1,220 km (760 mi), according to seismological studies. (This is about 70% of the length of the Moon’s radius.) It is believed to consist primarily of an iron–nickel alloy, and to be about the same temperature as the surface of the Sun: approximately 5700 K (5430 °C).