General, Research, Technology

What is inside the earth?

Our planet is unique, but not only becauseher a lot of liquid water. Of course, on other worlds, including several moons of gas giants, there is also an atmosphere, ice and even oceans, but only on Earth there are all the “ingredients” necessary for the emergence and maintenance of life. So, the oceans cover about 70% of the planet’s surface, and their average depth is 4 kilometers. Fresh water exists in liquid form in lakes and rivers, as well as in the form of water vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere. But what happens inside this ball with a diameter of 12,700 kilometers, which we call home? As you know, the structure of our planet is made up of various layers, and in the center of the Earth is the core, then the mantle and, finally, the crust. But why does our planet have many layers and what happens in each of them?

Earth - a rocky planet consisting of several layers


  • 1 Crust - the outer layer of the Earth
  • 2 Mantle - the middle layer of the Earth
  • 3 Core - the heart of the Earth
  • 4 Earth, Venus and Mars - rocky planets

The crust is the outer layer of the Earth

The earth has several layers. Ocean pools and continents are the crust, the outermost layer of our space home. The depth of the earth's crust is from five to 75 km. The thickest parts are located under the continents, and the thinnest - under the oceans. According to the basics of geology, the earth’s crust consists of several elements: oxygen - 46.6%; silicon - 27.7%; aluminum - 8.1%; iron - 5%; calcium - 3.6%; sodium - 2.8%, potassium - 2.6% and magnesium - 2.1%. The crust is divided into huge plates that float on the next layer - the mantle. The plates are constantly in motion; according to NASA, they move at about the same speed as the nails in our hands grow. Earthquakes occur when these plates are in close contact with each other. Mountains are formed during the collision of tectonic plates, and deep trenches are formed when one plate glides over another. Explains the movement of plates tectonics.

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Mantle - the middle layer of the Earth

The mantle under the crust has a depth of about 2890km It consists mainly of silicate rocks, rich in magnesium and iron. High temperatures cause the stones to rise, and when they cool, they sink back to the core. It is believed that this is what makes tectonic plates move. When the mantle breaks through the crust, volcanic eruptions begin. By the way, recently in Italy the largest volcano in Europe woke up. Read more about how it was, read in our material.

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The core is the heart of the Earth

In the center of the globe is the core, whichconsists of two parts. A solid, inner iron core with a radius of about 1220 km. It is surrounded by a liquid outer core, which consists of an alloy of nickel and iron. The thickness of the outer core is about 2180 km. In this case, the inner core rotates at a different speed than the rest of the planet. It is believed that the cause is the Earth's magnetic field.

So our planet looks from the inside

By the way, when charged particles of the solar windcollide with air molecules above the Earth’s magnetic poles, this makes air molecules glow, causing the Northern and Southern Lights.

Earth, Venus and Mars - rocky planets

To better understand the composition and history of the Earth,geologists sometimes compare our planet with other rocky planets in the solar system. So, the size of Venus is similar to the earth, and the planet itself is a little closer to the Sun. At the same time, the size of Mars is only half of our space house. Although several spacecraft were sent to Venus and Mars, we don’t know much about their internal structure - at least for now. Let me remind you that recently, thanks to the NASA InSight mission, it became known that Mars is a seismically active planet. I talked about this in more detail in my previous article.

You will also be interested: Is there life in the clouds of Venus?

Perhaps in the past, Mars and Venus were, like Earth, covered in water

As for Venus, its extremely dense andThe toxic atmosphere, which cannot be seen without special tools, meanwhile indicates a huge volcanic activity on this incredibly hot planet. While Venus probably has a crust, mantle, and core, its magnetic field is very weak compared to Earth. Researchers believe that this may be due to the fact that either the core of Venus rotates slowly to generate a magnetic field, or this hellish planet does not have it at all.

It is important to note that our solar systemquite unusual. This is because the planets in it are different - for example, on the side closest to the Sun, planets and asteroids contain a relatively small amount of organic molecules, but on the other hand everything consists of materials rich in carbon. But the most important and interesting thing is, perhaps, in one of the greatest mysteries of our solar system - the Great Separation, more about which can be read here.