New research has shed light on the age of Earth’s inner core.
Turns out it’s younger than previous estimates, according to U.S. and Chinese scientists who collaborated on a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters earlier this month.
The new study estimates the Earth’s core is between 1 to 1.3 billion years old, which is lower than the previously estimated range of 1.3 to 4.5 billion years. But it’s also considerably higher than a recent estimate of only 565 million years.
The researchers came to this conclusion by recreating conditions similar to the centre of the Earth inside a laboratory chamber.
The Earth’s core is mostly made of iron, with the inner core being solid and the outer core being liquid.
Over a period of two years, the scientists tried to recreate the Earth’s core by squeezing laser-heated samples of iron between two diamond anvils.
“We encountered many problems and failed several times, which made us frustrated, and we almost gave up,” said the study’s co-author Youjun Zhang, an associate professor at Sichuan University in China.