Q:

How thick is the Earth's inner core?

A:

Quick Answer

The Earth's inner core is roughly 750 miles thick and it is primarily composed of iron. The iron in the Earth's core reaches temperatures as high as 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but remains a solid because of the intense surrounding pressure from Earth's outer layers. The ball-shaped concentration of iron that is the Earth's inner core is always moving, causing all of the planet to be magnetic.

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Full Answer

The Earth's inner core is directly beneath the mantle, which is a layer that consists of semi-solid minerals and rocks and a sheet of hot magma. The Earth's crust borders the mantle and is the outer most layer on the planet. The crust is a solid layer that is responsible for supporting all forms of biological life on Earth.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    From what is the Earth's inner core made?

    A:

    The Earth's inner core is made up almost entirely of iron. The iron is extremely hot but does not melt, due to the high amount of pressure from the rest of the planet.

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  • Q:

    How thick is Earth's inner core?

    A:

    Seismological studies have measured the Earth's inner core at approximately 760 miles in diameter. The presence of the solid nickel-iron alloy inner core was extrapolated in 1936 by Inge Lehmann from reflections of seismic waves off the boundary area between the outer and inner cores, known as the Lehmann discontinuity.

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  • Q:

    Why is Earth geologically active?

    A:

    Earth is geologically active because its internal heat keeps the outer core and lithosphere molten, encouraging plate movement and volcanic activity. Earth's crust consists of tectonic plates floating atop the malleable mantle, which in turn rises and falls over the semi-liquid outer core. The intense heat forces molten rock up toward the surface, creating new crust and driving intense geologic activity.

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  • Q:

    How hot is the inner core of the Earth?

    A:

    According to National Geographic, the inner core of the Earth ranges between 9,000 and 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is approximately as high as the temperature of the sun's surface.

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