Layers of the Earth

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Earth's solid mass is composed of iron, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, sulfur, nickel, calcium and aluminum. These materials, according to Learner.org, are spread unequally among the planet's three main shells: its core, its mantle and its crust (from deepest to outermost).

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  • What is the temperature in the center of the Earth?

    Q: What is the temperature in the center of the Earth?

    A: As of April 2013, scientists have recorded the temperature in the center of the Earth to be 6,000 degrees Celsius. This is 1,000 degrees hotter than the measurement previously recorded from an experiment run 20 years prior.
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  • How hot is the Earth's crust?

    Q: How hot is the Earth's crust?

    A: According to Universe Today, the temperature of the Earth's crust is the same as the outside temperature at any given location.For example, the crust in the region of Antarctica is cooler than the crust in warmer regions of the world, like South Africa.
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  • What is magnetism?

    Q: What is magnetism?

    A: Magnetism is a phenomenon of physical science that arises due to the forces between objects brought about by the motion of electrical charges within those objects. The motion of electric charges creates a magnetic field, which exerts a magnetic force on charged particles that move within that field. A magnetic field flows from one end of an object to the other, creating a dipole with positive and negative ends.
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  • How can one identify the layers of the earth by their chemical composition?

    Q: How can one identify the layers of the earth by their chemical composition?

    A: Earth's solid mass is composed of iron, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, sulfur, nickel, calcium and aluminum. These materials, according to Learner.org, are spread unequally among the planet's three main shells: its core, its mantle and its crust (from deepest to outermost).
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  • What is molten rock?

    Q: What is molten rock?

    A: Molten rock is rock heated to a temperature that is sufficient to turn it into a thick liquid. Molten rock often is associated with lava from a volcano. Additionally, molten rock exists below the surface of the Earth.
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  • How many layers does the Earth have?

    Q: How many layers does the Earth have?

    A: The Earth consists of four layers: crust, mantle, outer core and inner core. Each layer has its own properties and characteristics that separates it from the other layers.
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  • What is the composition of the Earth's core?

    Q: What is the composition of the Earth's core?

    A: Earth's core has two parts, a solid iron inner core and a molten outer core, which is composed of a nickel-iron alloy. The outer core begins about 1,800 miles under the crust.
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  • How deep is the outer core of earth?

    Q: How deep is the outer core of earth?

    A: The outer core of the Earth begins about 1,800 miles below the Earth's surface and is between 1,370 and 1,430 miles thick. It is composed of liquid iron and nickel with some trace elements.
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  • How did we discover the Earth's inner core?

    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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  • What are some interesting facts about the outer core?

    Q: What are some interesting facts about the outer core?

    A: The outer core, one of the three layers of the Earth, is approximately 1,430 miles (2,300 kilometers) thick and between 7,200 and 9,000 F. According to National Geographic, the outer core is mostly composed of iron and nickel in a liquid alloy form.
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  • What is the thinnest layer of the earth?

    Q: What is the thinnest layer of the earth?

    A: The crust, the outermost layer or surface layer, is the thinnest layer of Earth. In addition to being thin, the crust layer has the most variance when it comes to thickness. This diverse layer mostly ranges from 5km to 30km in thickness but can reach depths of 70km.
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  • Q: What is the most abundant element in the Earth's core?

    A: The most abundant element in the Earth's core is iron. The planet's core is comprised of an inner core, which is primarily iron, and an outer core, which is an alloy combination of iron and nickel.
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  • Q: How thick is Earth's crust?

    A: The thickness of the Earth's crust varies with location and ranges from 1 to 80 kilometers thick. The continental crust is 50 kilometers thick on average, while the oceanic crust typically reaches no more than 20 kilometers thick.
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  • Q: How does the magnetosphere protect the Earth?

    A: The Earth's magnetosphere protects the planet from solar winds and high-energy particles by redirecting this energy around the planet. When charged particles approach the Earth, the magnetosphere affects them due to their magnetic properties. Particles blown by the solar wind simply sweep around the Earth, while slower radioactive particles may become part of the Earth's radiation belts, held safely above the surface by the magnetosphere.
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  • Q: What is the solid part of the Earth called?

    A: The Earth has two solid parts: the outer crust that covers the surface, and the inner core, which is primarily made of iron. Earth has three layers that make up nearly 4,000 miles of rock, solid metals and liquid metals.
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  • Q: Why is the inner core of the Earth solid?

    A: The immense pressure from the other parts of the planet keep the extremely hot iron of the Earth's inner core from melting. The iron in the inner core maintains a temperature of around 9,000 to 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
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  • Q: What is a good science project on Earth's layers?

    A: Making a cutaway-model of the Earth’s layers is a fine science project for lower elementary school students who are not usually restricted to experiment-centered projects. Making a model of the Earth’s layers is an educational and visually impressive project. There are a variety of materials, techniques and approaches that will work, but most feature differently colored materials to represent the various layers of the planet.
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  • Q: What are the seven major lithospheric plates?

    A: The seven major lithospheric plates are the African plate, Antarctic plate, Eurasian plate, Indo-Australian plate, North American plate, South American plate and Pacific plate. These are also called Earth's tectonic plates, and there are actually more tectonic plates than just these seven, including several smaller microplates such as the Philippine plate in the Pacific Ocean. Some major earthquake-prone fault lines occur at the boundaries of these plates, such as the San Andreas Fault in California, which lies along the borders of the Pacific and North American plates.
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  • Q: What are continental plates?

    A: Continental plates are tectonic plates that lie under surface land masses. Tectonic plates are parts of the planet's crust that lie far below the sea around the world, and there are two types of plates: continental plates and oceanic plates. Note that some plates run under the ocean, and the continents as defined by geography.
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  • Q: What are some interesting facts about the Earth's crust?

    A: Earth's crust is both the outermost and the thinnest of the planet's layers, is composed mostly of oxygen and silicon, and is where the most ancient rock samples in the world have been found. Overall our planet's crust ranges from 3 to 44 miles in thickness, extending to as much as 60 miles deep in some places.
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  • What are some facts about the lithosphere?

    Q: What are some facts about the lithosphere?

    A: The lithosphere is the solid, outer layer of the Earth, and it is around 100 kilometers thick. It consists of the brittle upper portion of the crust and mantle. It is divided into huge sections called tectonic plates, on which the continents sit.
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