the best science on the web about
Earth’s structure

Inside the Earth
Image: iStockphoto.com/adventtr

Inside the Earth

Three solids and one liquid: These make up the layers inside our planet. Innermost lies a solid iron core, white hot yet unable to melt. Next up is a shell of liquid iron, creating a magnetic field.

Above this flows a river of hot rock. And on top sits the crust, familiar by terrestrial landscapes. Discover what these layers do.



National Geographic
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Dynamic Earth: Earth’s Structure

Dynamic Earth: Earth’s Structure

Quake-generated seismic waves provided geologists a wealth of knowledge about Earth’s internal workings. Delve into a cross-section of Earth for details about its insides.
More...

Interactive
Annenberg Learner
Edible Earth

Edible Earth

Our planet may look like a solid orb of rock, but there’s more to it deep inside. Make a model of Earth’s four main layers that’s good enough to eat. More...

Activity
AMNH
Scientist Profile: Volcano Scientist

Scientist Profile: Volcano Scientist

Karin Block is an igneous petrologist (a volcano scientist) who studies the history of rocks beneath New York. Before that she worked with music artists, such as Will Smith and the Backstreet Boys. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
The Core of the Earth

The Core of the Earth

In 1936, Inge Lehnamm discovered that seismic waves changed velocity as they passed through the Earth's core — a finding that changed our understanding of the inside of our planet. More...

Profile
Discovery
A Massive Model of the Earth’s Core

A Massive Model of the Earth’s Core

The "sea of molten metal" that forms Earth's core generates our planet's magnetic field. But how? That's what Dan Lathrop hopes to find out with his nearly 10-foot model. More...

Video
BBC
Earth Structure Quiz

Earth Structure Quiz

Answer just nine questions to help you discover more about the interior of the Earth. For example, what in the world is the Moho? More...

Interactive
Visionlearning
Earth Structure: A Virtual Journey to the Center of Earth

Earth Structure: A Virtual Journey to the Center of Earth

The scientific window into the interior of the Earth is how seismic waves travel. Explore deep inside the layers to find out how Earth's composition affects its behavior.
More...

Article
Visionlearning
How Do Scientists Determine the Composition of the Interior of Earth and Other Planets?

How Do Scientists Determine the Composition of the Interior of Earth and Other Planets?

It’s not possible to travel deep inside Earth or to other planets to take physical samples for study. Discover how scientists determine the interiors of far-away objects in the solar system. More...

Article
Scientific American
Magma “Ocean” May Have Flowed Inside Early Earth

Magma “Ocean” May Have Flowed Inside Early Earth

Earth's interior has been cooling ever since the planet first formed. Find out what scientists think this says about the mantle layer between the outer crust and the inner core. More...

Article
National Geographic
Why Earth’s Inner and Outer Cores Rotate in Opposite Directions

Why Earth’s Inner and Outer Cores Rotate in Opposite Directions

Using a computer model, researchers discovered how the Earth's magnetic field controls the spin of the planet's inner and outer cores. Turns out their movements are linked, even though they go in different directions. More...

Article
LiveScience

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