Home » BUZZ » How Did Earth Become a Habitable Planet?
2-MIN READ

How Did Earth Become a Habitable Planet?

By: Buzz Staff

Trending Desk

Last Updated: July 28, 2022, 07:30 IST

india, India

Study Finds Clues Into Earth’s Evolution Into A Habitable Planet. (Shutterstock image)

Study Finds Clues Into Earth’s Evolution Into A Habitable Planet. (Shutterstock image)

The study has highlighted several key dates in the Earth's core's history which maps out the evolution of Earth from a deserted planetary body to a habitable place in the universe.

Earth is a segregated planet, in the sense that it is made up of layers – Crust, Mantle, Outer Core, Inner Core. Among these layers, the outer core has quite an essential contribution as it contains liquid iron that helps the planet generate its protective magnetic field. This magnetic field helps the Earth shield out harmful radiations and solar winds emanating from the Sun.

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester has deepened the understanding of this core-induced magnetic field which, in turn, can help Earth prevent a Mars-like fate.

Roughly 565 million years ago, the strength of the magnetic field deteriorated starkly. Scientists put this deterioration at 10 percent of what it is today. This made the planet more susceptible to solar winds. But fortunately, a mysterious boost brought back the strength, right before the Cambrian explosion of multicellular life. This boost helped in shaping the planet that we see today.

The study, published in Nature Communications, has highlighted several key dates in the Earth’s core’s history which maps out the evolution of Earth from a deserted planetary body to a habitable place in the universe. This evolution has the inner core of the earth playing a major role.

RELATED STORIES

“The inner core is tremendously important. Right before the inner core started to grow, the magnetic field was at the point of collapse, but as soon as the inner core started to grow, the field was regenerated,” explained John Tarduno, dean of research for Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at Rochester.

The research focused on the minerals and crystals that rise to the Earth’s surface. Tarduno and his team used a CO2 laser and a device called Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) to study the magnetism locked in these ancient crystals, which Tarduno calls the “perfect magnetic recorders.”

The study found that 550 million years ago, the magnetic field was on a verge of collapse but the solid inner core recharged and helped in the renewal of strength of the magnetic field produced by the outer core. “Plate tectonic movements on Earth’s surface indirectly affected the inner core and the history of these movements is imprinted deep within Earth in the inner core’s structure,” Tarduno said.

The researchers believe that Mars once had a magnetic field strong enough for life to survive but due to the loss of strength, it is today a dry and inhabitable planet. The study will pave the path further to devise a mechanism to sustain the magnetic field of the Earth.

Read all the Latest News and Breaking News here

first published:July 28, 2022, 07:30 IST
last updated:July 28, 2022, 07:30 IST
Read More