SAN FRANCISCO — Earth’s deepest realm may be billions of years older than previously thought. New simulations of the planet’s formation suggest that the innermost part of the inner core solidified shortly after Earth’s assembly, rather than roughly 3 billion years later alongside the rest of the inner core. Though not all scientists are convinced, the new proposal offers insights into the early days of Earth and other rocky planets such as Mars, said George Helffrich, who presented the findings December 17 at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting.
The Original Article found here:
Solid Inner Core May be Relic of Earth’s Earliest Days.
With the revelation that the innermost portions may have come into existence billions of years before the assimilation of the rest of the core structure new light may be shed on the early years of other rocky planets such as mars. The earth is divided into layers, a solid iron rich core, a molten outer core, a soft and malleable mantle and a solid outer crust. The waves created by earthquakes bounce off of these layers and give scientists an idea about the earth’s internal structure.
In 2002 scientists discovered that the inner core of our planet is comprised of layers as well. This is important because the composition of these layers can give insight into the conditions when the iron of the core solidified. This discovery was a side effect of another study that was designed to determine how earth’s earliest surfaces formed and what the conditions were like during this process. Knowing how earth was formed in the early stages should shed light on the process that other planets went through during their initial formation.