Earth's inner core's strange behaviour could 'alter length of a day'

There’s all sorts of strange activity taking place far below our feet, and it could change the length of time a day on Earth takes.

In a pretty mind-blowing development, a new study has confirmed that our planet’s inner core is slowing down when compared to the Earth’s surface.

According to a new study from experts at the University of Southern California (USC), the core has been slowing down since around 2010.

The Earth’s inner core is a sphere made of solid iron and nickel, while its core is liquid iron and nickel. The inner core is around the size of the Moon and sits 3,000 miles under the surface.

A press release read: “The new USC study provides unambiguous evidence that the inner core began to decrease its speed around 2010, moving slower than the Earth’s surface.”

earth's inner core's strange behaviour could 'alter length of a day'

(iStock)

Relative to its speed in previous decades, it’s slowing down – and the researchers concluded this after analysing earthquakes.

Vidale and Wei Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences also delved into the data on repeating earthquakes to establish the findings.

The slowing speed of the inner core is a result of the liquid core churning and due to the magnetic pull from layers of the Earth’s mantle.

Vidale speculated that the change in the inner core could “alter the length of a day by fractions of a second”.

Vidale said: “It’s very hard to notice, on the order of a thousandth of a second, almost lost in the noise of the churning oceans and atmosphere.”

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