Q:

What is the center of the earth called?

A:

Quick Answer

The center of the Earth is called its inner core, which is solid and surrounded by the liquid outer core. The outer core is surrounded by the solid mantle layer, which moves in response to a temperature difference of at least 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit between it and the inner core.

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Full Answer

Scientists estimate that the temperature at the intersection between Earth's inner and outer cores is about 10,800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about the same temperature as the sun's surface. The movement of the mantle, together with the Earth's rotation, generate the Earth's magnetic field. The Earth's surface layer surrounding the mantle is called its crust.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did we discover the Earth's inner core?

    A:

    Dr. Inge Lehmann discovered the makeup of the Earth's inner core by studying how an earthquake's waves bounced off the core. It was previously thought that the core was made of liquid, surrounded by solid mantle and a crust. Lehmann found that the Earth's center is made of a solid inner core surrounded by a liquid outer core.

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  • Q:

    How do we know the Earth has a liquid core?

    A:

    The biggest reason scientists theorize that the Earth has a liquid outer core and a solid iron inner core is that shear seismic waves, which cannot move through liquid, disappear when they hit the outer core only to reappear in the inner core. By measuring how both shear and pressure seismic waves travel through the core, scientists are not only able to determine the makeup up the inner and outer cores, but also their respective sizes.

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  • Q:

    What is the temperature of the Earth's inner core?

    A:

    There is no way for the inner core of the Earth's temperature to be physically measured; however, according to mathematical equations based on what is known about the core, it is estimated that the core is approximately 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Approximations of the Earth's internal temperature have changed through the decades as technology has improved and the current estimation is nearly 1,000 F higher than before.

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  • Q:

    Is there a dense sphere of solid iron and nickel at the center of the Earth?

    A:

    While iron and nickel form the liquid outer layer of Earth's core, the solid inner core is made mostly of iron. The iron in Earth's core is what gives the planet its magnetic field.

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