NEW mysteries about Earth's magnetic field are coming to the surface.
Scientists have witnessed strange 'signals' coming from the Earth that repeat every seven years, giving a peek at the physics at work in the Earth's core.
Nicolas Gillet and a team from Grenoble Alpes University observed the behavior of the magnetic field around the equator for 22 years.
They found that every seven years, a fluctuation in the magnetic field whips by at 900 miles per hour "like clockwork".
Gillet's research of the strange signals coursing through the magnetic field is a window into the unexplored center of the Earth.
Gillet told Newsweek "Understanding them opens a door on the field deep in the core, which we cannot directly probe based on observations alone."
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The center of Earth's core is almost 4,000 miles from the surface.
It's a perplexing ball of densely packed iron resting at 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Swirling around the inner core is the molten outer core made of 5,000 degree liquid metal.
According to New Scientist, the temperature difference between the two forces movement on the liquid outer core, which causes charged particles to create the magnetic field encasing Earth (that, and the rotation of the Earth also causes the liquid outer core to churn).
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The notion of a solid layer of rock was useful for modeling the magnetic field's behavior.
Gillet's findings push back on a longstanding theory that there is a layer of rock between the mantle and liquid outer core.
But Gillet says their research provide the shadow of a doubt that the solid layer is present.
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The core is essential in generating the magnetic field, which does more than just power compasses.
The magnetic field deflects charged particles from the Sun from searing the Earth – if you want a peek at what Earth could look like without one, look no further than the scorched surface of Mars.
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