Researchers discover molten iron jet stream in Earth’s core for the first time

A jet stream has been observed in the Earth’s core and a small band of molten iron moving at an ever increasing speed in the northern hemisphere. It is for the first time a clear picture of the jet has been revealed, and it provides a new view of the dynamics which play in the interiors of the planet.

We know a lot about the working of the Sun and the Moon, but we know very little about what happens in the interior of our planet. The interior of the planet is responsible for the magnetic field which protects the Earth from solar flares which otherwise would have stripped off the atmosphere, and the planet will be as desolate and barren as the Mars.

The jet stream within the Earth’s molten core has been discovered by researchers with the aid of latest data which helps to create an x-ray view of the planet. Some of the sharpest X-ray images of the Earth and its interiors have been provided by The European Space Agency’s Swarm satellites. Lead researcher Dr. Phil Livermore, affiliated to the University of Leeds, said that for the first time we have come to understand why the jet stream is there. It can be explained as an accelerating strip of molten iron circling the North Pole much akin to the jet stream in the atmosphere.

The core of the earth is located very deep, almost 3000 kilometers below making it impossible to study except by a few other options like studying the varying magnetic field in the planet’s core. Earlier studies had revealed that the changes in the magnetic field indicated that the iron in the outer core was moving at a faster rate in the northern hemisphere, majorly under Alaska and Siberia. However, the data obtained from the trio of Swarm satellites revealed that the changes in magnetic field are caused by a jet stream of molten iron moving at more than 40 kilometers per year. This is thrice faster than the outer core speeds and many hundred times quicker than the movement of tectonic plates..

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