Like a virtual journey to the center of the Earth, laboratory experiments are helping resolve a decades-old mystery that even Jules Verne couldn’t explain: what Earth’s core is made of.
In particular, oxygen makes up a smaller percentage of the core than scientists had thought, suggests a study in the Nov. 24 Nature. Knowing the core’s contents helps researchers better understand how Earth clumped together 4.5 billion years ago, says coauthor Yingwei Fei, a geochemist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.