liquid iron jet stream

1 Jan 2017

A liquid iron plume streaming from Earth's core has been likened to an internal jet stream. It is claimed that it is actually accelerating which is interesting as the magnetic north pole is behaving oddly. The European Space Agency's Swarm satellite system is providing sharp x-ray images of the core according to Phil Livermore of the University of Leeds (the findings are published in the December issue of Nature Geoscience). The new information is helping scientists to understand the earth's magnetic field. In addition, it is being suggested that iron is moving faster in the northern hemisphere than it is in the southern. Magnetic field variations are thought to be directly related to the iron streaming - and they could be responsible for the past flipping of the poles.

The jet flows along the boundary between the solid inner core and within the less dense outer core. This is Swarm's first major discovery - and one to make everyone think.

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