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Earth's Core Far Hotter Than Thought

timothy posted about a year ago | from the might-as-well-be-walking-on-the-earth dept.

Earth 189

hessian writes "New measurements suggest the Earth's inner core is far hotter than prior experiments suggested, putting it at 6,000C — as hot as the Sun's surface. The solid iron core is actually crystalline, surrounded by liquid. But the temperature at which that crystal can form had been a subject of long-running debate. Experiments outlined in Science used X-rays to probe tiny samples of iron at extraordinary pressures to examine how the iron crystals form and melt."

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Oh noes! (5, Funny)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year ago | (#43555777)

Global warming has reached the core!

Re:Oh noes! (4, Informative)

Feyshtey (1523799) | about a year ago | (#43555909)

But Al Gore said it was "several million degress".... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMrxC-qEHb8 [youtube.com] I'm so confused.

Re:Oh noes! (0, Redundant)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43556157)

Algore has to be right. After all, he invented the internet.

Re:Oh noes! (5, Funny)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | about a year ago | (#43556341)

He was talking in Fahrenheit degrees. I believe 6000 C is approximately equal to 2,000,000 F. At least if I remember what I learned from the American education system :)

Re:Oh noes! (4, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43556711)

Oh man, don't say that. Someone will believe it.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556783)

He was talking in Fahrenheit degrees. I believe 6000 C is approximately equal to 2,000,000 F. At least if I remember what I learned from the American education system :)

nope:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=6000c+to+f

10832 *f

Re:Oh noes! (3, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43556951)

Close enough.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556973)

units
Currency exchange rates from 2012-06-06
2552 units, 85 prefixes, 66 nonlinear units

You have: tempC(6000)
You want: tempF
        10,832

Must be running a iOS or windows where tools like 'units' don't exist!

Re:Oh noes! (2)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43557317)

Whooosh

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557353)

Al Gore is that you?

Re:Oh noes! (3, Funny)

pclminion (145572) | about a year ago | (#43557497)

In physics, being wrong by a couple orders of magnitude is no big deal. Call me back when he's off by 10^20.

Re:Oh noes! (-1, Offtopic)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43556111)

For some reason the humor of this joke is sabotaged for me by the fact that you're a climate change denialist. It's just really off-putting when it seems like someone might believe their joke.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43556165)

Come on, it is still funny. Just because you don't like his politics doesn't mean you can't laugh.

Re:Oh noes! (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43556193)

It's kinda like racist jokes:

They can actually be really funny, but when you realize that the person telling the joke legitimately doesn't like black people, it creates a depressing side to the joke that ruins any humor.

Re:Oh noes! (5, Insightful)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year ago | (#43556327)

So a "racist joke" has to automatically be about "black people?" Who's the racist now?

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556441)

It's called an example.

Re:Oh noes! (5, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#43556497)

Historically blacks have in fact been the most notoriously discriminated against race, so it's a good example.

Re:Oh noes! (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43556645)

Let's be fair, my phrasing was ambiguous. There is a viable reading of what I posted that makes it look like I was implying what he said I was. I wasn't, but it is my fault for being insufficiently clear that I meant it as an example, not a universal assertion.

Re:Oh noes! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556897)

Dude, you're just an all around asshat when it comes right down to it.

Re:Oh noes! (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43556953)

Could you clarify? I certainly wouldn't wand some random stranger on the internet thinking poorly of me.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43557521)

Historically every race that was different from the speakers race was notoriously discriminated against. Or does history only go back a century or two for you?

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557097)

I only know one racist joke about Asians, but have heard hundreds about blacks. The rest, like pollack jokes, aren't racist jokes, they make fun of a certain country's citizens or a certain culture and have nothing to do with race. E.g., this is not a racist joke:
How many micks does it take to change a light bulb?
Three, one to hold the bulb and two to drink until the room spins.
Ireland isn't a race, nor is Poland. They're countries. You could say they were racist against whites until you remember that there are blcks and Asians who are Irish and Polish.

How many jokes about all whites or all Asians have you heard? Pointing out the obvious as i kan read did is not racist, but your cries of racism when there is none demonstrated is as bad as racism itself.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557119)

> Who's the racist now?

The Jews?

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557279)

The joke doesn't have to be about black people for the racist to dislike black people.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43556533)

Hmmm....that is kind of a guilty feeling. You want to laugh because the joke is funny but then it isn't because of the meanness behind it.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43556595)

I'm not sure I buy that pop-psych explanation, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557463)

If blondes don't laugh at blonde jokes, and fat people don't laugh at fat jokes, what are you if you don't laugh at racist jokes?

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Wolfraider (1065360) | about a year ago | (#43557515)

Then how come the funniest racist jokes I have heard was told by the person the joke was about? I have heard some really funny black jokes from a couple different black friends.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556185)

Or maybe he was just joking? go away.

Re:Oh noes! (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43556563)

Q: "How many tree-huggers does it take to change a lightbulb?"

A: "That's not funny!"

Re:Oh noes! (4, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#43557409)

I always thought that was radical feminists.

"How many radical feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?"

"THAT'S NOT FUNNY!"

Re:Oh noes! (4, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#43556617)

That core is so hot right now.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557383)

Hotter than Hansel?

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43556779)

Looks like...

we need to journey to the center of the earth to save the planet!

Re:Oh noes! (1)

kernelpanicked (882802) | about a year ago | (#43557615)

Yes! All we need is a train-ship-thing made of unobtainium and a motley crew of genius scientists and astronauts. To work it will be absolutely essential that the co-pilot is fairly hot but completely incompetent, and be banging one of the scientists by the end of the movi...err...expedition.

We are the grays. (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#43557237)

Think about it. The Core is about hot as the sun, that is enough for a sustained fusion reaction, we need to find a way of pumping hydrogen to the core and have them fuse to become helium, creating a nearly unlimited power source. This unlimited power will allow us to focus more on mental activities and less on physical ones allowing our brains to expand and our bodies to become smaller. Being that we don't need to go out getting our hair cut would be a massive chore so we naturally select people who are naturally bald. We are indoors most of the time so our skin gets very pail. And the extra helium in the atmosphere will raise up our voices by a few octaves.

Oh, Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43555815)

Does this mean we can go Super-Nova?

Re:Oh, Oh... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43556085)

The number of viable reasons to answer that question "No" is simply so staggering, I cannot imagine the question arising in the mind of someone whose idea of fashion isn't "straight jacket."

Re:Oh, Oh... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43557039)

A simple yes would suffice.

Re:Oh, Oh... (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | about a year ago | (#43556153)

Supernova has more to do with mass than anything else. But the fact that we're not a star means that it's not going to happen even if we had the mass.

Re:Oh, Oh... (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43556231)

The surface of the sun is practically ice-cold compared to its own core.

Re:Oh, Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557477)

The surface of the sun is *believed to be* practically ice-cold compared to its own core.

Science.

Quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43555887)

Quick, someone tell Aaron Eckhart so he can go back to The Core 2: Crystalline Boogaloo.

Trip Planning (5, Funny)

ButtonMashingGorilla (2880531) | about a year ago | (#43555889)

Thank goodness I saw this article. I have been planning my trip to the Inner Core, but my unobtanium suit is only rated for 5500C

I can just see the creationists (2, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43555905)

I can just see the creationists saying "we always knew hell was down there"!

Iron vs. sulfur (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43556347)

The earth's core is iron. The lake of fire is sulfur, an element formerly called brimstone. There's a difference.

Re:Iron vs. sulfur (4, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#43556411)

Since when did Creationists ever let facts get in the way of a good myth?

Re:Iron vs. sulfur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556793)

Earths core probably has iron sulfides. Also, what "facts"? From what I have read, geologists are careful to emphasize our understanding of what is down there is speculative and based on indirect evidence.

Re:Iron vs. sulfur (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43557191)

Oh, it's just ironic, isn't it.

Re:Iron vs. sulfur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557613)

Maybe it's worth pointing out that, under a literal interpretation of the bible, Hades can't be in the middle of the earth unless Paradise is also.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_man_and_Lazarus [wikipedia.org]

Re:I can just see the creationists (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556393)

Actually the idea of a "solid earth with hot core" is an old catholic church one. The enlightenment idea was that it was hollow.

Re:I can just see the creationists (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#43556447)

we always knew hell was down there

Re:I can just see the creationists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556543)

I can just see the creationists saying "we always knew hell was down there"!

One wonders what YOUR issues are when you go to such depths to bash someone you're intolerant of.

Re:I can just see the creationists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557251)

Because bashing willful ignorance means you have issues?

Go hug a flat-earther.

*earth sings to mars* (0)

Heed00 (1473203) | about a year ago | (#43555977)

Don't-cha wish your core was hot like mine? Don't-cha wish your core was hot like mine? Don't-cha?

Far hotter? (5, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43556041)

I may have misread, but I think this article is saying that 20% hotter is "far" hotter. Not the adjective I would use for 20%.

Re:Far hotter? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43556137)

I may have misread, but I think this article is saying that 20% hotter is "far" hotter. Not the adjective I would use for 20%.

Except that this '20%' is around 1000C to go from 5000C to 6000C. And that's pretty significant.

I'd say "far hotter" is a reasonable thing here.

Re:Far hotter? (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43556211)

To me, I would be expecting a significant fraction of an order of magnitude. Of course 1,000 degrees is a lot compared to temperatures that matter to our everyday lives.

Plus or minus 500C (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about a year ago | (#43556279)

The new estimate is "plus or minus 500C". Sounds like they had a coarse number (guessing plus or minus one or two thousand) and now they have a slightly more accurate number. Certainly no need for sensationalistic headlines.

Re:Far hotter? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43556253)

Not all "20%"'s are created equal. For instance, if the temperature outside increases from 5C to 6C, you probably don't even notice. If it goes from 35C to 42C, you probably are rather unhappy about that.

Re:Far hotter? (4, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43556293)

Well, since it's Celsius and not Kelvin, it's not a 20% absolute increase. At thousands of degrees, the difference between Celsius and Kelvin is more of a rounding error so I didn't mention it.

5 to 6 degrees would be a 1/278th increase.

5C to 6C is not +20% temperature (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#43556329)

Not all "20%"'s are created equal. For instance, if the temperature outside increases from 5C to 6C

5C to 6C is less than a 1% increase in temperature.

(Celsius isn't a ratio scale where 0 of the quantity measured is 0 on the scale; Kelvin is -- 5C to 6C is 278K to 279K; at the range of 5000C to 6000C, the difference between C and K is small and doesn't effect ratios much, but at 5-6C that's not true.)

Re:Far hotter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556465)

That's why comparing temperatures should always be done in Kelvin. 6C is 0.36% warmer than 5C not 20% and 6000C is 18.9% warmer than 5000C.

Re:Far hotter? (3, Insightful)

steelyeyedmissileman (1657583) | about a year ago | (#43556261)

Semantics, yes, but you can't grade "hotness" on either the Fahrenheit or Celsius scales by a percentage; otherwise 1 degree is infinitely "hotter" than 0 degrees!

To be fair, in Kelvin this is a 19% increase, so the semantic difference seems irrelevant. To put it in perspective, though, a 20% increase from room temperature (25 C or 298 K) would be 85 C (358 K); I'm pretty sure you'd agree that's "far" hotter!

Anthropic units (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43557403)

How about an anthropic "hotness" unit on a scale from the sea level freezing point of the most abundant compound in the human body (oxidane, freezes at 0 C, triple point a tiny fraction of a kelvin higher) to the normal operating temperature of the human body (37 C)?

Re:Far hotter? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#43556517)

If we're talking in percentages where's the zero point at?

Re:Far hotter? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43556683)

0 Kelvin. The difference between Celsius and Kelvin at temperatures this high up are fairly low, so I didn't mention it.

Re:Far hotter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556999)

So if it's a hundred degrees outside in the morning, and the temperature then rises to 120 at noon, and I say, "My, it's far hotter this afternoon than it was this morning," you're going to reply, "No, it's only a little increase in temperature."

You may need to rethink this position of yours.

That means (2)

maroberts (15852) | about a year ago | (#43556099)

My planned Journey to the Centre of the Earth has to be put on hold, dammit!

Re:That means (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43556283)

Just book a cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines. They offer cruises to Hell.

hardly "much hotter" (2, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43556101)

this new model suggests 6000 +/- 500 degrees C, the old model was 6000 +/- 1000 degrees to some sources, but up to 9000 degrees by others

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,262762,00.html [foxnews.com]

the point is 6000 degrees C has long, long been in the possible range, and the earth's core may well be much hotter

Re:hardly "much hotter" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557369)

http://www.foxnews.com/

Seriously?

Re:hardly "much hotter" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557595)

So I guess this is ok then:

Earth's core 1,800 degrees hotter than thought

http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/25/17917262-earths-core-1800-degrees-hotter-than-thought?lite

More guesswork? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556121)

Another year goes by and we see another GUESS at how hot the earth's core is......or how old the earth is. Can we stop funding people who guess at things that don't really matter?

Re:More guesswork? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43556177)

At least it is an educated guess.

Re:More guesswork? (0)

Feyshtey (1523799) | about a year ago | (#43556239)

Given my rapidly declining faith in US education I think I might rather hear the guesses of 90 year old farmers that dropped out in the 4th grade.

Re:More guesswork? (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about a year ago | (#43556399)

Thankfully the rise of on-line educational programs (Khan Academy, MIT) and tutoring programs are going to change the dynamic of the failed American education system within the next 20 years.

Re:More guesswork? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43556609)

Still this does not address the number one problem with US education. The parents or rather the lack of parenting.

Re:More guesswork? (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about a year ago | (#43557115)

There are many problems and that certainly is one of them. Why we're funding people to have kids that they don't bother to raise is an important issue. BUT, there are also a lot of parents who have no choice but to send kids to horrible schools. Private education is way outside their budget. With AI tutors we can see "day cares" provide a quality education. The "day care" is there to deal with socialization and scheduling the AI provide one-on-one tutorship in all and every subject.

Re:More guesswork? (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | about a year ago | (#43557395)

Why we're funding people to have kids that they don't bother to raise is an important issue.

Because if the state finances it and raises the kids in lieu of parenting, then the state can tell them exactly how to vote.

Re:More guesswork? (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43556591)

Actually it is possible to get a great education in the US. Most don't because the system is set up to encourage you to just do enough to get by. If, however, you are highly motivated and or have parents that encourage and demand that you strive for the best then you can go far indeed. The problem is that the average are left in the dirt.

Re:More guesswork? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556611)

Why use an 'educated' guess when we have FACTS given to us in a book. It's there for us all to see, you just need to read the damn book.

All this guessing and sticking fingers in the wind is really just more proof that Creation is true and that the so called 'scientists' have NO IDEA about anything.

I really don;t see how people can believe these useless scientific facts. It takes FAR more faith to believe in that stuff than in the true reality that is Creation.

Troll ;)

Re:More guesswork? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43556269)

So you want to journey to the center of the earth? Be my guest. And watch out for pterodactyls.

Firs7 p0st... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556139)

first organization obligated to care bot7oms buut. Wipe a GAY NIGGER

only 1800F degrees (4, Funny)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#43556149)

Big deal. That's like the difference between December and July in the Midwest.

Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556361)

The Earth is warming, right to the core! MY GOD we have to do something about it!

Hollywood to the rescue (0)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#43556369)

Because we all know you can throw a couple of nukes down their to solve our problems.

Goodness gracious ... (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#43556373)

Great balls of fire.

Seriously, though. Science is awesome.

So is Gwyneth Paltrow (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#43556569)

I mean People Magazine crowned her "World's Most Beautiful Woman", so she is far hotter than many people thought.

Re:So is Gwyneth Paltrow (5, Funny)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#43557141)

That's because everybody tends to use the metric Helen (1k ship launching capability) instead of the more accurate Troy Helen (1.186k ships)...

So if Earth loses it's crust and mantle.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556675)

Then it's going to leave behind an awesome disco ball? God is groovy.

I call BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43556957)

We've not even been to the deepest depths of the ocean, and they still are on what we call the surface of this planet. For all we know Earth is dirt all the way down with hella pressure, causing heat. We could determine the possible heat at depths, only by taking temperature samples at varying depths, and then assuming the temps continue that trend to the core. But how the hell would we ever be able to just say "The center of the planet is make of ___" without having any sort of science to back that up? People will tell you, (use your best redneck voice) "We gots a magnetic field round us, so it's gotta be some'n wiff the core...", but what is the scientific process that presented us with that idea?

Re:I call BS (2)

Paco103 (758133) | about a year ago | (#43557239)

We've not even been to the deepest depths of the ocean. . . .

Actually, we have [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I call BS (2)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about a year ago | (#43557257)

...but what is the scientific process that presented us with that idea?

In a word, geology. Actually worth learning something about before claiming it's all BS.

Re:I call BS (3, Funny)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year ago | (#43557413)

For all we know Earth is dirt all the way down

Are you sure it's dirt and not turtles?

So, what impact to "age of the earth" calculations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557285)

As a kid I used to hear that the earth was 4,000,000,000 years old - "based on the heat of the earth's core." I am no physicist, so, what impact does this have on the estimated age of the earth?

Re:So, what impact to "age of the earth" calculati (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43557407)

The core is supposed to have formed after the earth per se. The current model used for the formation of our solar system is much more speculative than some pseudoscientist slashdot posters picking on the superstitious would have you believe.

this wouldn't be the first time (2)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about a year ago | (#43557641)

this phrase was used by geologist wearing beer goggles...

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