CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earth's internal structure, computer artwork. The Earth has an equatorial diameter of 12,756 kilometres. It has a core of solid iron and nickel (yellow), which is around 2500 kilometres in diameter. This is surrounded by a molten outer core (orange) which is around 7000 kilometres wide. Convection of molten metals in the outer core is responsible for the generation of Earth's magnetic field. Between the outer core and the surface crust is the mantle (brown). This is a highly viscous liquid, on which the solid plates of the crust float. The crust ranges in thickness from around 5 to 70 kilometres. The atmosphere extends upwards around 100 kilometres from the surface.
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