Moneycontrol

Budget 2023Budget 2023
Live: LIVE: Markets Weekly

Earth’s inner core may have started spinning in opposite direction: Here's what we know

Change of heart: A new study shows that the inner core has stopped spinning in the same direction as the rest of the planet and might even be rotating the other way

January 25, 2023 / 06:09 PM IST
For under our feet a major shift may be taking place: recent research suggests that the Earth’s inner core – the solid metal heart of our planet – may have temporarily paused and might even be rotating the other way. So what does this mean? Here’s all you need to know… (Image: News18 Creative)
1/10
From under our feet a major shift may be taking place. Recent research suggests that the Earth’s inner core – the solid metal heart of our planet – may have temporarily paused and might even be rotating the other way. What does this mean? Read on… (Image: News18 Creative)
The crust is the layer that makes up the Earth’s surface. This layer contains all know life on Earth. Then comes mantle, which is about 2,880 km thick, composed of dark, dense rock, similar to oceanic basalt. (Image: News18 Creative)
2/10
The crust is the layer that makes up the Earth’s surface. This layer contains all know life on Earth. Then comes mantle, which is about 2,880 km thick, composed of dark, dense rock, similar to oceanic basalt. (Image: News18 Creative)
Earth’s outer core is about 2,092 km thick and the inner core is 2,414 km thick. Both the inner and outer cores consist primarily of iron and nickel. (Image: News18 Creative)
3/10
Earth’s outer core is about 2,092 km thick and the inner core is 2,414 km thick. Both the inner and outer cores consist primarily of iron and nickel. (Image: News18 Creative)
The Earth’s inner core is about the size of Pluto. (Image: News18 Creative)
4/10
The Earth’s inner core is about the size of Pluto. (Image: News18 Creative)
A new study shows that the inner core has stopped spinning in the same direction as the rest of the planet and might even be rotating the other way. (Image: News18 Creative)
5/10
A new study shows that the inner core has stopped spinning in the same direction as the rest of the planet and might even be rotating the other way. (Image: News18 Creative)
Researchers have also argued that the mantle’s immense gravitational pull may be the reason behind the pause and shift in the inner core’s rotation. (Image: News18 Creative)
6/10
Researchers have also argued that the mantle’s immense gravitational pull may be the reason behind the pause and shift in the inner core’s rotation. (Image: News18 Creative)
Evidence for the inner core’s fluctuating rotation first emerged in 1996. Geophysicist Paul Richards and Xiaodong Song found strong evidence that the inner core spins freely and slightly faster than the rest of Earth. (Image: News18 Creative)
7/10
Evidence for the inner core’s fluctuating rotation first emerged in 1996. Geophysicist Paul Richards and Xiaodong Song found strong evidence that the inner core spins freely and slightly faster than the rest of Earth. (Image: News18 Creative)
In the inner layers of Earth the temperatures are too hot and pressures too extreme. These extreme conditions make it impossible for conventional probes to explore the inner parts of the planet. (Image: News18 Creative)
8/10
In the inner layers of Earth the temperatures are too hot and pressures too extreme. These extreme conditions make it impossible for conventional probes to explore the inner parts of the planet. (Image: News18 Creative)
Not all researchers are on board with theories related to the inner core’s rotation. Some scientists believe that the inner core, in the recent 10-year period, has had less activity than before. (Image: News18 Creative)
9/10
Not all researchers are on board with theories related to the inner core’s rotation. Some scientists believe that the inner core, in the recent 10-year period, has had less activity than before. (Image: News18 Creative)
A change in the inner core’s rotation may sound weird. Many theories suggest that this isn’t the first time such a change has occurred (if at all). (Image: News18 Creative)
10/10
A change in the inner core’s rotation may sound weird. Many theories suggest that this isn’t the first time such a change has occurred (if at all). (Image: News18 Creative)