Scientists discover common element involved in Earth’s formation.
Apr 18 2013 - 3:15pm
Get Inside the Science:
Study: Carbon and other light element contents in the Earth’s core based on ﬁrst-principles molecular dynamics
Inside Science Buzzwords:
- Earth’s crust: the outer layer of the Earth, very thin in comparison to the other three layers. The crust is only about 3-5 miles thick under the oceans and about 25 miles thick under land.
- Earth’s mantle: the thick layer of hot, solid rock between the crust and the molten iron core. The mantle makes up the bulk of the Earth, accounting for two-thirds of its mass.
- Earth’s outer core: it’s about 3000 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. It’s believed the outer core is made up of super-heated liquid molten lava.
- Earth’s inner core: it’s about 3900 miles beneath the Earth’s surface and is the center of the Earth. It’s believed the inner core is a solid ball of mostly iron and nickel and contains 0.1-0.8 percent carbon, making it the largest reservoir of carbon in the world.