CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earth's magnetic core. Artwork of the internal structure of the Earth, showing the magnetic field (white lines) generated by the eddies (blue spirals) set up in the liquid core. The mantle (solid and semi-molten rock, orange) extends downwards for 2855 kilometres from below the crust. The outer core (yellow-orange) is a liquid layer of iron and nickel, extending downwards for another 2210 kilometres. The inner core (centre) is a solid sphere of iron-nickel alloy, with a radius of around 1278 kilometres. The Earth's magnetic field extends outwards into space for tens of thousands of kilometres, protecting the planet from high-energy radiation from the Sun.
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