For the first time, scientists were able to measure the strength of the magnetic field inside the Earth’s crust at a depth of 2896 kilometers underground.
It was found that the magnetic field in the Earth’s crust is 50 times stronger than the surface of the planet. The new data could help researchers narrow down the possible heat sources that feed the mysterious processes that take place inside the planet.
"The measurement of the magnetic field, will show us what are the requirements for energy and that is the source of heat," - said Bruce Buffett, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, who conducted the measurements.
Scientists believe that the Earth three sources of heat: the residual heat left over from the formation of the planets about 4.5 billion years ago, when the planet was hot and molten, release of gravitational energy, as the heavy elements sink to the bottom of the liquid core, and radioactive decay long-lived elements such as potassium, uranium and thorium.
Earth cools, originally possessed by the magnetic field of the protoplanetary disk from which the solar system was formed. This field would have disappeared within 10,000 years if not for the planet’s internal clock, which restores the field thanks to heat produced inside the planet.
Due to the high temperature, the liquid outer core is formed, the thickness of about 2,250 km - boiling, or converts. And as the metal wirings are raised and lowered through the existing magnetic field they generate electric currents, which are supported by a magnetic field. This bustling electric generator creates a magnetic field moves slowly on the surface.
Buffett has achieved this breakthrough in geophysics is not himself, but by a very distant helpers: the moon and quasars (very bright and distant active galaxies).
From his glowing hearts, quasars emit a steady stream of radio waves, against which even the slightest vibration of the Earth are becoming visible. By measuring these radio waves from ground-based and satellite telescopes, it is possible to obtain very precise information about the changes in Earth’s rotation axis.
Possessing data about these changes and how they are affected by the gravitational pull of the moon, Buffett was able to make their measurements.
"I still find it amazing that with the help of distant quasars, we can know better about what is going on deep inside the planet," - said Buffett.