Scientists have discovered mysterious properties and gained new insight into how the Earth's core is structured in a new study released on Monday
Researchers from China and the US suggested that innermost layer of our planet has another distinct core within itself – a fact that has baffled scientists who hitherto had very little information on the subject and thought that it was filled with Iron.
The research team at the University of Illinois and its colleagues at Nanjing University in China said that the discovery of the "Inner core within the core" sheds light to a mysterious and surprising property of our Earth and could reveal important information about the unknown history of the planet.
"Even though the inner core is small – smaller than the moon – it has some really interesting features," Xiaodong Song, professor of geology at the University of Illinois who led the study, said.
The research was conducted in collaboration with visiting post-doctoral researcher Tao Wang and the work was published in the journal Nature Geoscience on 9 February.
"It may tell us about how our planet formed, its history, and other dynamic processes of the Earth. It shapes our understanding of what's going on deep inside the Earth," Song added as reported by Science Daily.
The subject has been a matter of mystery until now and unless scientists created instruments that can drill into the heart of the Earth, its make-up is very difficult to study.
But scientists, in this study, used echoes generated by the earthquakes – otherwise known as seismic waves — to study the core. They reportedly analysed how the waves change as they travel through the layers of the earth just the way ultra-sound waves make it possible to see the position of an infant inside mother's wombs.
According to the data gathered by the waves, crystals in the "inner inner core" are present in an east-to-west direction while the "outer inner core" are lined up north to south.