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Earth’s inner core may have a whole other core inside it



Earth’s heart may have a secret chamber. The planet’s inner core isn’t just a solid ball of nickel and iron, researchers say, but contains two layers of its own: a distinct central region nestled within an outer shell.

Scientists say they have confirmed the existence of this innermost inner core using a type of previously undescribed seismic wave that not only travels through Earth’s core but also bounces back and forth through the interior, collecting invaluable data about the core’s structure along the way.

Focusing on earthquakes of magnitude 6 or larger that struck in the last decade, the researchers combined data on these quakes that were collected at seismic stations around the world. Combining these signals made it possible to detect even very faint reflections of the seismic waves. Of the 200 or so quakes…

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