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Earth’s core hardened just in time to prevent magnetic field collapse

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Representation of Earth's Invisible Magnetic Field
Magnetic field/NASA

Around 565 million years ago, just when life was getting seriously underway:

The finding, reported online January 28 in Nature Geoscience, supports an idea previously proposed by simulations that Earth’s inner core is relatively young. It also provides insight into how, and how quickly, Earth has been losing heat since its formation 4.54 billion years ago —key to understanding not only the generation of the planet’s magnetic shield but also convection within the mantle and plate tectonics.Carolyn Gramling, “Earth’s core may have hardened just in time to save its magnetic field” at ScienceNews

The powerful recent phase protects lifefrom damaging radiation.

Paper. (open access)

See also: Researchers: The Moon made life on Earth possible


What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?

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2 Replies to “Earth’s core hardened just in time to prevent magnetic field collapse

  1. 1
    PaV says:

    Here’s a quote from the Science article:

    Combined with previous studies that have found that the magnetic field was also rapidly reversing polarity during that time period, the new result indicates that Earth’s field may have been on the point of collapse about 565 million years ago. That suggests that the inner core hadn’t yet solidified. Fortunately for life on Earth, it eventually did.

    Here’s Wikipedia:

    The Earth’s magnetic field serves to deflect most of the solar wind, whose charged particles would otherwise strip away the ozone layer that protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

    So, just as the Cambrian Explosion is occuring, the earth’s magnetic field solidified instead of ‘collapsing,’ thus ensuring that life above ground wouldn’t be made impossible because of deadly radiation.

    As one of the authors stated:

    “Presumably things worked out well for our planet,” Tarduno says. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean it had to.”

    Yes, it did work out quite well.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Chance and gravity. Imagine that!

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