New understanding of the metal Earth’s core found at the very center of our planet could provide insight into how the Earth evolved from the elements from space. They may also shed more light on the basic physics of nitrogen, which is one of the most common constituents in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The nitrogen in the Earth’s core is present as a liquid metal
An international group of scientists carried out advanced research to reproduce the Earth’s core characteristics.
Employing high-energy laser rays and optical sensors, scientists witnessed nitrogen particles at over a million times than the standard atmospheric pressure and temperatures of over 3,000 degrees Celsius. Their findings validated that, under such circumstances, nitrogen is present as a liquid metal in the Earth’s core.
The discoveries offer scientists valuable insights into how nitrogen performs under the most extreme conditions, that may help them better comprehend the way the planets developed.
Nitrogen in Earth’s atmosphere could rise from the depths of the planet
The scientists’ research could also explain why the Earth is currently the only known planet with a large quantity of nitrogen in its atmosphere, in which it is present as a gas. Nitrogen in the atmosphere might rise from the very depths of the planet, where it might, for example, blend with some other liquid metals.
The study, which was carried out by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, the UK, helped by researchers from China and the United States, and issued in the Nature Communications journal, may also shed more light on how the Earth’s atmosphere has developed and can evolve in the years to come.
“The Earth’s atmosphere is the only one of all the planets where nitrogen is the main ingredient, even more than oxygen. it shows that this nitrogen could have emerged from the depths of the planet,” explained Stewart McWilliams from the University of Edinburgh’s Faculty of Physics and Astronomy.