Why does the earths core never cool down?

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runningman67
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Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by runningman67 »

We hear talk about the sun eventually burning itself out. The centre of earth is rather hot and yet it seems taken for granted that it will never cool, or am I wrong? Or do we simply not know?
Last edited by runningman67 on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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minchy
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by minchy »

It times like this when you want alien to have the time to post again, I'm sure he'd be able to give some complex scientific reasons.

As it is, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's because Druga is sat down there running the universe, and with all the hand movements she's making it causes a lot of friction, creating the heat.
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runningman67
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by runningman67 »

minchy wrote:It times like this when you want alien to have the time to post again, I'm sure he'd be able to give some complex scientific reasons..


Yep, over to you Mr Alien. Give us a sign :)

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Covalent
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Covalent »

I'm no expert but unlike the sun the earth's core isn't heated by a nuclear reaction nor does it get its heat from an external source so by my logic it should cool down eventually.

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minchy
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by minchy »

Covalent wrote:I'm no expert but unlike the sun the earth's core isn't heated by a nuclear reaction nor does it get its heat from an external source so by my logic it should cool down eventually.

So it is possible that it gets it's heat from the friction of 8 arms of an old Hindu god moving very quickly then? :D
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Neutrality
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Neutrality »

Do you think its just really angry ?
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_Rogue_
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by _Rogue_ »

It is cooling but due to the immense mass of the Earth's core and the heat of radioactive decay it will take an awful long time for us to be able to notice it :)

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2011/jul/19/radioactive-decay-accounts-for-half-of-earths-heat

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Covalent
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Covalent »

minchy wrote:
Covalent wrote:I'm no expert but unlike the sun the earth's core isn't heated by a nuclear reaction nor does it get its heat from an external source so by my logic it should cool down eventually.

So it is possible that it gets it's heat from the friction of 8 arms of an old Hindu god moving very quickly then? :D

:lol: Possible yes but I think most of the heat was generated billions of years ago during the forming of the planet and it's now very slowly dissipating. Although your theory sounds much cooler.

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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Race2win »

The Earth's core is slowly cooling down, but it is kept at a high temperature by the decay of radioactive elements in the core which give off heat as they decay. If the inner earth were cold, there would be no volcanoes, but also no uplift of land or subduction and recycling of ocean sediments. Eventually all of the mountains and islands would erode and be deposited on the sea floor, leaving a waterworld. But more importantly, at the center of the Earth lies a two part core, the inner part is about the size of our moon and has a density of essentially steel. The outer core surrounding it is an ocean of liquid metal 2,300 kilometers thick. The Earth's rotation makes this ocean flow and swirl, and the moving metal generates the planet's magnetic field, which actually helps in deflecting some of the harmful radiation from space and the Sun itself. If we were to loose this magnetic field, Earth would simply drift away into space there by killing all plant and animal life because it simply wouldnt have any atmosphere.
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AngusWolfe
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by AngusWolfe »

Dragons :D
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runningman67
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by runningman67 »

I wonder what the time scale is for the earths core decay versus the Sun's decay.

I believe that eventually, everything in the universe will decay and there will be no light, heat emission whatsoever. A black grave yard of cinders. So even if we eventually leave th earth, the clocks ticking.
Unless of course God makes us another universe. :-|

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minchy
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by minchy »

AngusWolfe wrote:Dragons :D

:thumbup:
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Covalent
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Covalent »

runningman67 wrote:I wonder what the time scale is for the earths core decay versus the Sun's decay.

I believe that eventually, everything in the universe will decay and there will be no light, heat emission whatsoever. A black grave yard of cinders. So even if we eventually leave th earth, the clocks ticking.
Unless of course God makes us another universe. :-|

Then there's the Big Crunch and everything starts over again :D

mac_d
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by mac_d »

It is cooling down. But think about miles and miles of rock as insulation.

And yes, the sun will fissile out at some point, and entropy will ruin it for everyone. Heat death will occur. Thankfully, unless something is really wrong with our understanding, this is unlikely to happen in the time frame that really affects me.

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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by f1madman »

runningman67 wrote:We here talk about the sun eventually burning itself out. The centre of earth is rather hot and yet it seems taken for granted that it will never cool, or am I wrong? Or do we simply not know?


As mentioned it is cooling down, but as there is so much mass it'll take a while before we see any noticeable cooling.

Mars used to have a hot core but as its a smaller planet it lost its heat much more quickly than ours and no longer has active volcanoes and stuff.
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runningman67
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by runningman67 »

We take so many amazing things for granted.

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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by painless »

runningman67 wrote:We take so many amazing things for granted.


Yes I know. Fortunately I've learned to live with being under-appreciated (it's part of what makes me amazing)

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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by runningman67 »

painless wrote:
runningman67 wrote:We take so many amazing things for granted.


Yes I know. Fortunately I've learned to live with being under-appreciated (it's part of what makes me amazing)



I appreciate you mate :]

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minchy
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by minchy »

runningman67 wrote:
painless wrote:
runningman67 wrote:We take so many amazing things for granted.


Yes I know. Fortunately I've learned to live with being under-appreciated (it's part of what makes me amazing)



I appreciate you mate :]

It's nice to all the love floating around on this forum ;)
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Angel De La Muerte
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Angel De La Muerte »

ok I think it may of been answered, but I always assumed it was something to with the pressures that help keeps the heat?

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moby
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by moby »

I blame Global warming.

I dont know what the flux going on

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fuelscoops
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by fuelscoops »

Add some tidal flexing caused by the moons orbit to the rest of the reasons as well for good measure.

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MrMuttley
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by MrMuttley »

It's very well insulated.

Earths core is around 5000 degrees C. Very hot but nothing special. The earths crust in anything up to about 50km of rock. Rock is all but impervious to heat at those thicknesses.

Also even with no insulation something with a volume of 1080,000,000,000 Cubic km is going to take a while to cool down.

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Alienturnedhuman
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

The exact answer to this question is not a known fact, but rather the consequence of scientific deduction as we've never dug deeper than 13km into the Earth's crust.

When the Earth was formed the pressure liquidified the rock, and molten rock is very hot. There is also a lot of radiactive decay and that too heats the Earth. The gravitational pull of the Earth holds its crust in place, stopping it from expanding, maintaining the pressure and also creates frictional energy.

When NASA first sent a probe to Jupiter, it was widely believed all its moons would be dead planetary bodies, but days before the probes arrived one scientist made a daring prediction: That Io would be geologically active. No one believed it could be possible, but he was correct.

The reason was because of Io's position in it's orbit meant that gravitational pull of Jupiter and the other moons of Jupiter that orbited higher than Io all pulled on the surface, causing it to move and warm, and this kinetic and frictional energy warmed the core of the moon up, making it the most geologically active body in the solar system.

It's important to remember that no celestial body in the universe is independent. The Earth's own gravitational pull, along with that of the Moon and the Sun will all have a similar effect on maintaining active tectonic movement, which in turn helps contribute - with the other factors - in keeping the core of this planet warm.

In theory, the Earth's core would eventually go cold, however in reality that won't happen, as the Sun will devour the Earth first.

If any of this fascinates you, then you'll probably enjoy this video on YouTube - a thought experiment about what would happen if the Sun vanished (it briefly mentions the temperature in the Earth's core) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rltpH6ck2Kc

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runningman67
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by runningman67 »

Awesome!

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minchy
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by minchy »

runningman67 wrote:Awesome!

If you ask it, he will come!
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

minchy wrote:
runningman67 wrote:Awesome!

If you ask it, he will come!

I will have to be careful not to abuse this position of power I have and start making things up when I don't know the answer (although I did have to read up a little on this as I'm not a geologist)

Ironically, your joke suggestion for a reason at the start was more on the money than I suspect you thought ;)

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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by fuelscoops »

See Alien agrees with me. I MUST be right :smug:

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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by fuelscoops »

Actually (in a effort not to be entirely out done) I`ll expand on this a little.

The reason that the Moon always presents the same face to the earth no matter it`s orbital position is due to the same mechanism as Alien discribes. Being the smaller of the two bodies in question, the Moon distorts considerably more than the earth. It is thought that long ago the Moon had it`s own orbital spin independant of that of the Earth but, over time the `bulge` created by the Earth`s gravity was such that it acted as a brake, eventually slowing the spin of the Moon down to the geocentric one that we observe today. Presumably the Moon continues to have a similar, albeit, much smaller effect on us.

The interaction between the Earth and the Moon is a very complex and interesting one. One, in fact, upon which all life on Earth depends and well worth reading up on if you`re interested in sciency stuff.

Sorry to run so far off topic but after Alien`s excellent explanation I figured this thread was baked and cooling nicely on the rack.

I`ll shut up now.

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runningman67
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by runningman67 »

:nod: Kudos to the Planet F1 Forum...............Ask the question and cometh the answer. :nod:

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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by Blinky McSquinty »

The Sun is burning up it's fuel, to eventually arrive at a spectacular death, the Earth's core is cooling down (about 100 degrees Celsius per billion years), the Moon's orbit is moving it further and further away from the Earth. But all this happens on the cosmic time scale, where a million years is but a click on a second hand.

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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by MistaVega23 »

runningman67 wrote:I wonder what the time scale is for the earths core decay versus the Sun's decay.

Probably less than we think, now that they've started charging £2 a week to join their website.

I give it 6 months.
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runningman67
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Re: Why does the earths core never cool down?

Post by runningman67 »

MistaVega23 wrote:
runningman67 wrote:I wonder what the time scale is for the earths core decay versus the Sun's decay.

Probably less than we think, now that they've started charging £2 a week to join their website.

I give it 6 months.




Ha Ha. I think you are confusing The Sun with this.
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