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Earth’s core is hotter than previously thought: study


This is the highest-resolution single photograph of planet Earth, taken by Russian weather satellite Elektro-L.


Planet Earth

New research has found that the Earth’s core is hotter than previously estimated.

Experiments conducted in the 1990s suggested that the temperature of the core was about 5,000 Celsius, but computer models provided different estimates, BBC News reported.

"Other people made other measurements and calculations with computers, and nothing was in agreement,” Dr. Agnes Dewaele of the French research agency CEA, told BBC News. “It was not good for our field that we didn't agree with each other.”

Now a new study co-directed by Dr. Dewaele, published in Science, says Earth’s core is about 6,000 Celsius (about 10,800 Fahrenheit), or as hot as the surface of the Sun.

The Earth’s core is composed of solid, mostly iron inner core, and a liquid outer core. At the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the scientists studied the melting behavior of iron at extreme pressure and high temperatures after squeezing a sample of iron between the points of two synthetic diamonds and heating it with a laser.

Knowing the temperature of the Earth’s core will help scientists understand other aspects of our planet, including earthquakes and Earth's magnetic field, Dr. Dewaele told BBC News."We have to give answers to geophysicists, seismologists, geodynamicists – they need some data to feed their computer models,” she said.

More from GlobalPost: Science: Journey to the center of the earth