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Earth's Core Spins Faster than Earth

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the round-and-round dept.

Announcements 309

Dreamwalkerofyore writes "The New York Times has an article on a recent affirmation that the earth's core rotates faster than the earth proper. From the article: 'Confirming assertions first made in 1996, a team of geophysicists are presenting data in the journal Science today showing that the earth's inner core... spins faster than the rest of the planet. Over a period of 700 to 1,200 years, the inner core appears to make one full extra spin. That extra spin could give scientists information about how the earth generates its magnetic field.'"

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Earth Core Spinning 101 (-1, Troll)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406204)

Yeah, and pacemakers will stop working, birds will crash into windows and the Golden Gate bridge will melt if it stops spinning. Wasn't this already described in the movie, "The Core"?

Oh, almost forgot the most important part. If it *ever* stops spinning, drill down to the core and set it spinning again with nuclear warheads.

Karma whore 101 (2, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406271)

1. Make reference to really bad movie.
2. Mention title of movie for the hard of hearing.
3. Create a pretend lesson learnt from the really bad movie.
4. In a new post in a duplicate account, make reference to how pathetic the original post is.
5. ????
6. Profit^H^H^H^H Karma?

Re:Karma whore 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406304)

6. itKarma?

Re:Karma whore 101 (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406321)

No, ^H deletes from back, and he had an extra space after the ^Hs therefore:

6. Pr Karma?

Re:Karma whore 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406322)

6. Pr Karma?

Re:Karma whore 101 (1)

too_poland (845066) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406320)

At least the core has something productive to do, spinning faster to get rid of bunch of trolls above.

Re:Karma whore 101 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406334)

ass raped, i think im going back to bed

Re:Earth Core Spinning 101 (2, Funny)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406309)

The Core: 2003 The article: "assertions first made in 1996" Paying attention: not you

Give my regards to the Earth's core... (5, Funny)

kzinti (9651) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406205)

So I'm just wondering: does this delta-omega have anything to do with the fact that the Earth's magnetic field reverses itself every 200,000 years or so [space.com] ? Please begin rampant conjecture and wild speculation. Extra credit to anyone who can credibly bring Roswell or right-wing conspiracies into the discussion. Fnord.

Re:Give my regards to the Earth's core... (5, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406355)

So I'm just wondering: does this delta-omega have anything to do with the fact that the Earth's magnetic field reverses itself every 200,000 years or so?

Well, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] why the reversal happens isn't well understood, so it very well could be. However there are some hints that this is the case in the Geomagnetic excursion page [wikipedia.org] :
The dominant theory is that they are an inherent aspect of the dynamo processes that maintain the Earth's magnetic field. In computer simulations, it is observed that magnetic field lines can sometimes become tangled and disorganized through the chaotic motions of liquid metal in the Earth's core
I'd suggest looking for more authorative sources if you're truly interested.

Please begin rampant conjecture and wild speculation.

Don't mind if I do. From Geomagnetic reversal at wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :
homo erectus and their ancestors certainly survived many previous reversals. There is no uncontested evidence that a magnetic field reversal has ever caused any biological extinctions.
Makes me wonder how geomagnetic reversals coincide with the speciation and evolution of our ancestors (or any animals). The extra radiation might not have killed them, but it certainly could have mixed things up, create higher then normal mutation rates. The last one was 780,000 years ago. Homo sapiens sapiens hasn't ever existed while there's been a geomagnetic reversal. It could be that by the time we came around, the mutations had died down to a normal rate.

Re:Give my regards to the Earth's core... (1, Troll)

telecsan (170227) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406407)

Please begin rampant conjecture and wild speculation.

Now someone needs to create a worm-like vehicle capable of transporting nuc-u-lar weapons to the core to get it spinning at the correct rate!

Forget the space station... take a $1billion ride to THE CORE!!!

Re:Give my regards to the Earth's core... (5, Insightful)

deop4s (885078) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406547)

Probably something - what will be interesting is if someone can figure out not only the speed, but also the direction of the spin. There's no guarantee that the inner core is actually spinning along the same axis as the mantle/crust. Seems possible that an offset of a few minutes between the axes of rotation might explain why the magnetic poles are not exactly matched with the rotation axis of the earth.

Re:Give my regards to the Earth's core... (0, Redundant)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406573)

Art Bell says that leprechauns and faires join up with the grey alien people and reverse the polarity. They are probably hired by the black helicopter folks or the Masons.

Speaking of Leprechauns... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406744)

A man was walking in he woods, It was a great day. Suddenly, the man hears a rustling in the bushes. He peeks over the bush and sees a short man dressed all in green dancing around and singing. "Holy shit" the man says "That's a Leprechaun , I gotta grab him so I can get my three wishes." So the man pounces on the Leprechaun and says "Gotcha, now give me my wishes!! I want Cindy Crawford in my bed every morning, A million dollars given to me everyday for the rest of my life, and immortality."

The Leprechaun says "Ah, Those are some hard wishes, for me to grant them I'll need you to let me bone you up the ass!!!" The man thinks for a second and says "All right, I'll do it for those things" SO the Leprechaun mounts him and starts going to town. The man says, "I can't believe I'm doing this." The Leprechaun says, "I can't believe it either" The man replies, "You can't believe I'm actually letting you bone me too huh?" "Not exactly," The Leprechaun says, "I just can't believe you really think I'm a Leprechaun!!!"

Re:Give my regards to the Earth's core... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406600)

Nice Fawlty Towers reference!!

Re:Give my regards to the Earth's core... (4, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406631)

Ok, let's start the pseudo-science and conspiracy theory generator :-)

Well, you know, in Rosswell there's a dark energy vortex, which extents to the core. This BTW is why the alien space ship crashed; it's quite unusual to have dark energy vortices on earth-like planets (it's not that unusual on gas planets, for example the Great Red Spot is in reality the result of a - much bigger - dark energy vortex [don't believe the scientist telling you it's just a big storm!]), therefore the aliens were not prepared to it. Indeed Earth is quite special to have a particularly rich dark energy vortex structure (a rather big one is e.g. at the Bermuda triangle, although that one reaches a few hundred kilometers into the air, instead going down), which is also the cause of earth rays (water just acts as focus lense for them).

Now the delta-omega in conjunction with the other periodic effects from sun and moon causes certain structures of the core to coincide with the vortex axis about every 200,000 years. This results in a temporary slowdown of the core (the rotation energy gets transferred into the vortex during that time, and then back into the core to let it spin again). This slowdown lets the magnetic field vanish. Now the time of this breakdown happens to coincide with half a period of the vortex' intrinsic oszillation, therefore when the magnetic field is re-built, it points into the opposite direction.

Ok, where do the right-wing conspiracies come in? Well, the knowledge of this is actually held back by the right-wing politicians because the dark energy vortex interacts with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Now the increasing level of CO2 might cause the vortex to move, and secret calculations show that in doing so it would permanently kill the rotation of the core and therefore destroy the magnetic field of the Earth. In order to avoid any danger to the oil sales, right-wing politicians actively suppress this knowled... wait, why are those black helicopters in front of my ... NO CARRIER

Re:Give my regards to the Earth's core... (5, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406698)

Dear kzinti;

Current scientific theories on this subject are, at best, incomplete. I would like to offer an equally plausible alternative theory; Intelligent Spinning.

The Intelligent Spinner carefully regulates the speed at which the Earth's inner core rotates relative to the crust, thus regulating with great accuracy the strength and shape of the Earth's protective magnetic shield. Since this shield is so vital to life on this planet, it is inconceivable that it exists merely by chance. Therefore, we can conclude that the Intelligent Spinner was put in place by the Intelligent Designer, as one of the many mechanisms to protect His creation.

Extrapolating from this scenario, we arrive at the conclusion that the magnetic field reversal is all part of the Intelligent Designer's plan. Indeed, so-called "scientific" estimates have failed to predict another reversal. The Science-agenda advocates would have you believe that such reversals occur every 200,000 years, however in the same breath they also claim it has been over 780,000 years since the previous one. It is apparent that these scientists are simply making excuses for their flawed theories. Indeed, as we all know the Earth is only about 6,000 years old so the very notion of a 200,000 year cycle is absurd! My Intelligent Spinner theory predicts that the magnetic poles has (and will) weaken and eventually flip whenever the Intelligent Designer deems the time is right.

As you can see, my alternative theory explains the observed natural phenomena just as well as -- indeed, better than -- the current "scientific" theories of geology. I therefore assert that my theory is at least a viable alternative and feel that equal time should be given to its teaching in the classroom.

Thank you for your time;
=Smidge=

Reversal happens like a dynamo with a loose rotor (3, Interesting)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406727)

There's a threshold where the fields around the rotor get disorganized (expect geomagnetic migrations to get all screwed up,) and then field lines reverse as the threshold is crossed.

Nothing actually happens to the rotor (it doesn't spin backwards all of a sudden) but the field lines generated are inverted.

first post (2, Interesting)

muttoj (572791) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406213)

Seems logic to me. The core is spinning and the outside of earth has drag to cope with.

Re:first post (4, Insightful)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406299)

dragging on what? the vacuum surrounding the earth?

Re:first post (2, Informative)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406762)

Close but wrong, the earth rotation is being slowed down by the moon or rather it is being slowed down by the Earth speeding up the moons orbit (hence the reason it get about a meter further away each year).

Science part: The earth is not perfectly round and is slightly pulled out where the moon is, now because the earth is rotating faster than the moon is orbiting this buldge is actualy occures slightly infront of the moon, the result is the moon gets pulled. This effect slows earth rotation and speeds up the moons orbit.

Re:first post (1)

Vicsun (812730) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406789)

Furthermore, if the core is spinning at a different speed then the rest of the Earth, it will have drag to deal with, no?

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406327)

No way! _WE_ on the _surface_ are the center of the world.

Not that hellish core that God doesn't want us to see.

Re:first post (1)

geekster (87252) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406421)

I think you're on to something! The core, or "Hell", is actually where this "God" person exist, claiming it a baaaad place. He then made up a place called "Heaven", supposedly a nice place, somewhere up in the sky which will keep us busy looking for him forever further away since space is infinite. Meanwhile he's down there in that magical happy place having fun!

Re:first post (1)

xnderxnder (626189) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406429)

.. the outside of earth has drag to cope with.

Granted, there are many many horrible drag acts out there, but a good many drag queens put on a good show!

Hold it, are we talking about the same thing?

Easily Explained (5, Funny)

Ann Elk (668880) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406218)

The core spins faster because the bodies of the US founding fathers are spinning in their graves at such high RPM.

Harness the power (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406331)

Really, we don't need oil - we need to hook up a generator to Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and George Mason!

Re:Easily Explained (4, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406340)

No, it's clearly intelligent spin. There must be some agent of unimaginable power who is actively pushing the core to faster velocities. We cannot know why someone would want to do this, but as they must be very intelligent to figure out a way to accomplish this, we must conclude that they have their reasons.

Now, the real question in my mind, is the intelligent spinner Vulcan/Hephaestus, YHWH, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster [venganza.org] ?

My theory is that it's the FSM. While Vulcan and Hephaestus were gods of the earth and of volcanoes, they were only minor characters in the Olympian pantheon, and on top of that, cripples. Clearly they are incapable of pushing the Earth's core at all. YHWH is too busy turning homosexuals into pillars of salt to be bothered with core spinning. Therefore, only a noodley appendage can spin the Earth's Core at such a velocity.

Re: Easily Explained (2, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406594)


> No, it's clearly intelligent spin.

FYI, Intelligent Spin (notice the capitalization, please!) is just a special case of Intelligent Falling [theonion.com] .

Shoulders of giants, kind of thing.

Re:Easily Explained (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406706)

The bookmark "Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" was sent to 35 recipients.

Re:Easily Explained (1)

Flying Spaghetti Mon (905129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406713)





Midget, I Touch You With My Noodly Appendage [venganza.org]



Note: core rotation speed is the cause of global warming. Some smart Midget may, one day, discover why killing Pirates increase core velocity



Please stop... (OT) (0)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406745)

Intelligent Design was created by Christians, and for Christians - it has nothing to do with (us) Jews. Can you please not drag our name through the mud by using "YHWH" in your Intelligent Design parody?

Actually, only a few of "us" believe in "creationism" - I'm not one of them. We call those people ultra-orthodox. Actually the forbidden foods are based on the idea that God didn't create pigs, shellfish and their ilk - they evolved since the time of the "creation". They didn't exist in the Garden, so the story goes. Notice how at the end of each "day" it is said "and it was good". Well after those six "days" everything turned to shit. (And who wants to eat shit?)

And let me say that most Christians don't even have clue what "YHWH" is. As far as "turning homosexuals into pillars of salt", that is a job best left for Robertson, Falwell or other members of the Army of God. "We" only say homosexual sex is wrong (and only in the context of denouncing practices such as pederasty and other forms of sexual manipulation and exploitation) and reject *any* type of lustful sex. Oh, and we don't get on cable daily and tell anyone that this or that is wrong - we mainly keep to ourselves. Jesus is the damn facist [sprengmeister.org] . Besides, it was Lot's wife who was turned into salt - Sodom was destroyed with fiery sulfur.

Still, a funny post.

Re:Easily Explained (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406567)

Force that in any harder and you'd have hurt yourself...

Founding Fathers??? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406787)


> The core spins faster because the bodies of the US founding fathers are spinning in their graves at such high RPM.

Hell, even Ronald Reagan is starting to rotate a bit.

Military applications (2, Interesting)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406220)

I don't see how this could be all that technologically useful for consumers, but for the military, I'd like to see little plastic spheres that, when twisted, generate their own little magnetic fields without any other materials than what the enemy would expect to be naturally residing in an area. Drop a few around a desert or combat area, and watch their compasses/electrical equipment go out.

Re:Military applications (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406243)

If we could cheaply generate fields that strong, we would not need nuclear power plants, we could generate all the energy we need using induction.

Re: Military applications (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406726)


> I don't see how this could be all that technologically useful for consumers, but for the military

I'm more interested in its effect on my pool game.

Re:Military applications (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406765)

You'd have to generate an awesome magnetic field to disrupt electronic equipment, if that is even possible. Consider what happens when you have a magnet near a computer: magnetic media get corrupted, and CRT tubes go wonky as the beam is deflected, but otherwise they'll continue to function normally.

Compasses are a bit easier, but won't be used as much now that GPS is here.

Complete? (5, Funny)

Boronx (228853) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406229)

Whoah, it looks like it's going to complete one full spin in the next decade, that's going to make Y2K look like a walk in the park.

Re:Complete? (5, Funny)

neverutterwhen (813161) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406237)

Y2K was a walk in the park.

Re:Complete? (1)

Thorwak (836943) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406269)

Maybe if you didn't work on any of the ancient systems needing conversion. It was overhyped, I agree, but that was partly what made it seem like a walk in the park to everyone else.

Y2K was a paid walk in the park... (1)

Lanboy (261506) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406319)

rewriting old code for insane cash.

Re:Complete? (2, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406699)

Y2K was a walk in the park.

You apparently missed Pat Robertson's leadups....

Hmmm... (5, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406232)

Given that the Earth's rotation is slowing down, isn't it immediately apparent that the liquid core must spin faster than the outside. It's just basic fluid dynamics. If apply a torque to the outside of a fluid filled region, the middle of that region will feel the effect last.

It is not so simple. (2, Insightful)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406364)

And what is causing the spin-down? Is it friction against empty space?
If it is gravitation from other bodies? I would think this would affect the entire earth, not just the outer part of the earth(you can not shield gravitation. )

You can say that tidal friction causes this, but wouldn't the same gravity of the moon create tides in the flowing lava?

Re:It is not so simple. (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406396)

Is it friction against empty space?
I'd always understood it to be Earth/atmosphere/ocean interactions under the influence of the moon. They're basically surface effects. I could be wrong though, it's been a long time since I looked into any of this
If it is gravitation from other bodies?
I'd say not, unless you're counting the moon -- and the moon's gravitional effect is usually restricted to periodic, tidal forces. It's pretty hard for exceedingly distant bodies to exert a net torque by gravity.

Re:It is not so simple. (2, Informative)

CoderBob (858156) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406655)

It is gravitation that tends to cause the spin to slow down. The moon is locked into a 1:1 ratio of rotation:revolution, so it always presents the same "side" to the earth (no, not the "dark side of the moon v. light side of the moon bit. Even when the moon is a waning crescent, it is presenting the same surface features towards the Earth).

What will be interesting for Earth is to see which of the two largest bodies in terms of gravitation wins out, or if there will always be some form of resonance. Will we always present the same portion of Earth to the sun, so that one side of the planet bakes while the other freezes (which I believe is where Mercury is headed. Try going here: http://www.mira.org/fts0/planets/092/text/txt001x. htm [mira.org] for a description of Mercury's rotational period), or will we always present the same surface to the moon while we orbit the sun?

Re:It is not so simple. (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406409)

wouldn't the same gravity of the moon create tides in the flowing lava?
Lava's a lot denser than water. More density means lower velocites meaning less friction (modulo differing drag coefficients, and the fact that the crust/core boundary isn't as neatly defined as the fluid/solid interface at the ocean bottom).

Re:It is not so simple. (1)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406442)

>wouldn't the same gravity of the moon create tides in the flowing lava?

<drevil>I think we refer to this as red-hot magMa</drevil>

Re:It is not so simple. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406704)

You can say that tidal friction causes this, but wouldn't the same gravity of the moon create tides in the flowing lava?

Of course they do. The whole planet is slightly deformed.

Tidal friction has also slowed down the moon rotation so much that it now shows us the same side all the time.

Re: Hmmm... (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406753)


> Given that the Earth's rotation is slowing down, isn't it immediately apparent that the liquid core must spin faster than the outside. It's just basic fluid dynamics. If apply a torque to the outside of a fluid filled region, the middle of that region will feel the effect last.

At noon let's all face west and run five miles real fast, to see if we can get the shell back up to speed.

So the real question is... (2, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406234)


With this different rotation at the core, what type of Baseball pitch is the earth? And was it thrown left or right handed?

Personally I think we've been thrown a curve-ball.

Sorry couldn't resist.

If the core ever stops spinning (5, Funny)

strannik (81830) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406239)

We'll need to do core dump analysis.

Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (5, Interesting)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406240)

If the core slows down due to friction with the mantle, will there be an effect on the magnetic field surrounding the Earth? Without the magnetic field, my understanding is that the Van Allen radiation belt will also not exist, and that in turn would expose the Earth to the full-on radiation of the Sun.

I'm no scientist, of course. But I wonder what the implications of the spinning core means. Also, how long would it take to stop spinning, or to develop a wobble?

There have been a slew of large earthquakes around the world lately. Could it be related?

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (4, Funny)

Aerion (705544) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406324)

I understand that there was a well-done documentary [imdb.com] about this subject made a few years ago. You should check it out.

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406439)

Except that all of the science in that movie is completely and totally incorrect. Seriously.

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (1)

!o ovtmajn (909840) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406339)

If the core slows down due to friction with the mantle, will there be an effect on the magnetic field surrounding the Earth? The slowdown due to friction is very slow...I do not recall the numbers, but the timemust be VERY long compared to other catastrophes which would visit us in the meantime :) There have been a slew of large earthquakes around the world lately. Could it be related? I think the timescales at which any changes in the core's rotation appear are much longer than the average human lifetime. I am not sure if any such connection between earthquakes and the core's (mis)behavious should exist...

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406369)

heh, good one...

but in case you're serious, I'd recommend reading TFA... geological phenomenon like this are measure on timescales of millions or even billions of years. the core has probably slowed down about 0.02% since humans first started walking upright, so I think we have a little time before it gets to be a serious problem

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (1)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406395)

I'd recommend reading TFA... geological phenomenon like this are measure on timescales of millions or even billions of years.

Or 700 to 1200 years, as is described in the article. Why would I comment if I hadn't read the article?

Who cares how long it takes for this type of thing to occur? I'm sure I won't be around for the heat death of the universe, but it's an interesting thing to know that there will be a Big Crunch at some point off in the future. Same thing here. If the core is gradually slowing down or speeding up or even staying the same, there must be some implications for this. But as I mentioned before, none were explained in the article.

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406437)

Why would I comment if I hadn't read the article?

Oh that was wonderful man, I snorted my drink when I read that! Classic

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (1)

typidemon (729497) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406373)

seeing it has been spining for billions of years, I don't know if there is going to be a problem anytime soon.

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406468)

and that in turn would expose the Earth to the full-on radiation of the Sun.

We've been exposed to it before and survived. Which is very interesting, when you consider Mars doesn't have one. Perhaps being outside of one on a planet isn't THAT bad (AFAIK it'd be better to be on Mars then on Earth without one, as Mars is further away).

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (1)

mergatoriod (149240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406510)

Apparently the earth has ceased to have magnetic poles many times in the past and is set to lose is field in 1-2K years. A reversal leaves a geological record and also would cause an increase in genetic mutation, increasing genetic diversity. Which is a good thing?

Re:Will the Earth cease to have magnetic poles? (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406674)

Also, how long would it take to stop spinning, or to develop a wobble?

The Earth already has a wobble. It's called axial precession and is a 26,000 year cycle. There's a page here [columbia.edu] that seems to cover a bunch of the Earth's odd tilt and wobble cycles.

Hampster Theory (1)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406245)

Jeez no one subscribes to the Giant Hampster in a Giant Wheel at the core of the Earth theory anymore? I mean if that hampster dies then we are all really screwed.

Re:Hampster Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406425)

Is that a wee beastie that lives inside a hamper? I have visions of a cute, twitching nose peeking out of a picnic basket...

I don't mean to discount the scientists here... (1)

oiper (575250) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406246)

...but I think we all know that the Earth's center is hollow. I mean, where else would the Molton Rock people be living? They can't survive in a liquid iron environment. That's just stupid.

This theory should be taught in schools.... (2, Funny)

killeena (794394) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406333)

alongside the "Spinning Core" theory. This theory is just as valid, and children need to be taught different points of view.

Sorry, had to do it.

what about this? (0, Redundant)

Guru Goo (875426) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406254)



http://tinyurl.com/cyrcm

bugmenot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406277)

cypunks/cypunks or get another one [bugmenot.com]

Re:bugmenot (1)

portwojc (201398) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406335)

Honestly what is the problem with the New York Times login?

I signed up way back at the stary and I have never received any email to the address I signed up with.
That address was solely created for the nytimes.com site too.

Get over it.

They also discovered... (1)

.sig (180877) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406289)

While researching this, the scientists also discovered that the earth is not flat, and that gravity usually pulls towards the center.

Seriously, though, what's the big deal? This wasn't even news 10 years ago, so why make a big fuss over it now...

Re:They also discovered... (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406298)

I was wondering the same thing. I remember being taught this from about 7th grade through to Intro to Astronomy in college ( 2 years ago ). I think the only thing that shocked me about this article is the fact that it's been designated "news". I can understand a few months, maybe even a year or two, but this long?

Whatever, though. At least it gave me to bitch about. I'm happy. :)

Re:They also discovered... (1)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406342)

oh come on, this is /. , home of old news. the dupe of this article is planned for aug. 19, 2015.

Re:They also discovered... (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406559)

Because it was proved now. You should see the scientists that were doing the tests celebrating.

Very interesting... (0, Redundant)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406291)

I wonder if friction accounts for an appreciable amount of the heat at the earth's core. Science has conventionally theorized that it was hot down there due to extreme pressures and later thinking suggests that there may be some heat generated by radioactive decay of Uranium and other radioactive elements.

Re:Very interesting... (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406791)

Friction is not an energy source. Without nuclear reactions/something, it would cool down just as fast, just that there would be some linkage between kinetic energy and heat.

Could.... (1)

RevengeOfPoopJuggler (872968) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406293)

but doesn't.

So what (1, Funny)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406300)

My spinning wheel is much faster and I don't do a announcement about it.

any effect on tilt/precession (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406336)

Anyone know if this might have any effect on the axial tilt and precession (41,000 and 26,000 year wobble cycles) of the Earth?

Are we due for a reversal of the poles? (1)

deepanjan_nag (596448) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406350)

I had heard on Discovery that it is due to the rotation of the Earth's core that we have the concept of poles. Our poles keep switching their polarities. Is thare any indication that such a change is going to happen anytime soon? Going by statistics, our poles should have changed by now.

Re:Are we due for a reversal of the poles? (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406383)

> I had heard on Discovery that it is due to the rotation of the Earth's core that we have the concept of poles.

Are you meaning magnetic poles ? Because the concept of geographic poles is due to the fact that planets are rotating on themselves, and poles are the intersection of the axis of rotation with planet surface.

And on the sixth day.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406352)

God overclocked the core, and saw that it was good.

Aha... (1, Redundant)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406353)

Over a period of 700 to 1,200 years, the inner core appears to make one full extra spin.

Couple that with the fact that a human's unprompted circadian cycle is actually about 25 hours long, and it begins to explain a lot... to someone...

Has a cure (5, Funny)

La Gris (531858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406359)

Everyone head to the east with their car and go as fast as possible.

And everyone around the world, press the breaks all at once, while riding to the east.

That may be enough to accelerate the Earth's rotation :)

New York Times? Why?????????? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406414)

How about New Scirntist's [newscientist.com] coverage? Or LiveScience.com [livescience.com] ?

No bugmenot required, and they're science sites.

Slashdot gets more retarded every day, I swear.

(this post's mind-reading captcha="resorts")

Mars magnetic field's hiding? (4, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406423)

I wonder what the rotation rate of Mars' core is. We know [planetary.org] it's either liquid or solid and liquid (the latter being what Earth has), so it could have a difference, which would create a magnetic field. Only problem is, Mars doesn't have a magnetic field. However, Mars' field might also be hiding, as it does on Earth when changing the north and south poles [wikipedia.org] which can take hundred to thousands of years. Now we've only been watching Mars with any sophistication for decades, which means Mars could have a field that's currently undergoing a reversal. If it isn't undergoing a reversal, and the two rotations are different, then it would prove enlightening on why that is the case.

one BILLION amps (1)

ultracool (883965) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406441)

From TFA: "The thing is acting like a huge rotor in an electric motor," Dr. Richards said. "Except this one is running a billion amps." Wow, so you can jump start your car from anywhere in the world!

Re:one BILLION amps (2, Interesting)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406613)

If you get an antenna big enough (e.g. 200 ft), you will find that there is quite a lot of energy flowing through it, and if you want to use it for anything, you'll have to ground it.

Revolutions (1)

base_chakra (230686) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406447)

This just in: the center of a 12" record travels at a greater number of RPMs than the outer edge. Reactions from the Doobie Brothers were not reported.

Re:Revolutions (1, Insightful)

jsgates (232994) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406618)

Eh, wrong. They don't spin around at different RPM's, the outer edge spins faster than the center.

Re:Revolutions (2, Informative)

beefstu01 (520880) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406760)

This just in: the center of a 12" record travels at a greater number of RPMs than the outer edge. Reactions from the Doobie Brothers were not reported

Uh... no. The tangential velocity at the edge is much greater than the tangential velocity in the center. Both points have the exact same angular velocity, otherwise the record would break into many pieces. Silly boy, don't you remember Physics I?

Re:Revolutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406788)

Really? Please elaborate.

It also bounces. (4, Interesting)

kulakovich (580584) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406467)


The Earth's core also bounces from North to South. Not sure if it is a remnant of the colision that formed the Moon, or part of its conservation of momentum from the outer crust trying to change it's vector, the core being a giant defacto gyroscope.

Eventually I will post the math. =)

kulakovich

nukes (1)

Arctic Dragon (647151) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406526)

Cool, the nukes worked [imdb.com] . ;-)

Still..... (1)

jbuzzell (124917) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406550)

no cure for cancer.

Yeah but in the southern hemisphere ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13406593)

... the earths core actually spins the other direction!

1996 (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406634)


Great to see the timely Slashdot article. I need a reminder about these things every nine years or so.

Superman's fault (4, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13406721)

It's Superman's fault. All cuz that bitch, Lois Lane, went and died, so he flew real fast and sped up the crust, then switched it back, but now the inside is still all fucked up....
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