The Earth’s Core may be Hollow
Created by Anthony John Williams (born 03 12 1951, Durban, South Africa) I watched a documentary last month (March 2013) discussing and proposing the probable form of the Earth’s core. Generally by compressing material in a very strong container, temperatures and pressure were increased to the point considered likely in the Earth’s core, resulting in molten material and crystalline formation. The opinion expressed, and that I understand of the scientific community generally, was that the hottest, densest and highest pressure lies at the Earth’s inner core. Another test by someone else on the same documentary was the recording of resultant waves through Earth from major earthquakes, which hinted at a quicker transmission of the waves through Earth along the north south axis than east west. I don’t remember too much about the tests, other than it got me thinking about the effects of gravity, mass, pressure and temperature, and what I think may be a more realistic make-up of the Earth’s core. In direct contrast with the documentary hypothesis, I think it far more probable that the Earth’s core is less dense than the outer regions of the sphere, and consists mostly of lightweight material and gasses and may even be largely hollow. To explain may I ask that you imagine and consider the following, much of which is already accepted science:
- The formation of Earth (and the other planets, moon etc) has basically evolved out of the early hot disc shape mass of materials, dust and gasses revolving about the Sun, where the gravity of the denser ‘globs’ of material in this giant disc, attract the surrounding material to become increasingly larger over time. At some point these growing bodies begin rotating on their own axes, some with other moons in turn revolving around them, continuing to attract any remaining material within their increasing gravitational influence. As more material is attracted, the mass of the planet increases, and with this increased mass, a corresponding increased pressure, density and temperature. This causes all or much of the interior of each planet to become molten, allowing the planets to become fully spherical in shape. For those of you unaware of this fact, if you were to gently pour out into space, in close vicinity, a mass of objects, such as ball-bearings, pebbles etc, these objects would attract each other through their own tiny gravitational fields, and tend toward clumping together as one large cluster, which in turn if ‘slippery’ enough, as with molten material, would form into a sphere of these objects. In the ‘vacuum’ of space, water poured out would instantly evaporate, but if in an airtight environment, such as aboard a space ship, the water would form into a perfect floating sphere. I mention this as I will come back to this example later.
- After the basic formation of a planet like Earth over time, the outer crust begins to cool, but temperatures below this crust are still high, where the enormous pressures of mass retain a molten state. In this molten state, atoms are free to move about and will form into a variety of materials, depending on their position in the molten sphere; i.e. in terms of pressure from the surrounding mass, the resulting density and consequent temperature. Where the mass of material in a planet is greatest, it is safe to assume that the pressure, density and temperature is also highest. So where in a planet is this mass the greatest? It is my hypothesis that with the rotation of a planet, the heaviest or most dense materials, through centrifugal force, have a tendency to move out toward the surface, most prominently away from the north-south axis of rotation, ending up thickest along the equator, and diminishing up toward the poles. The surface of Earth rotates at over two thousand miles an hour relative to a fixed point in space, so the effects of centrifugal force, acting outward from the centre, increase with distance from the centre and are strongest at or close to the surface. I believe that in the early formation of Earth, our planet was significantly smaller and rotated at a greater velocity, with a higher centrifugal force, creating an even stronger movement of the heavier elements and mass toward the outer regions of the planet, away from the central core.
Diagram 1. Early formation of Earth
A. Rapidly spinning molten mass. Denser material pushed out from centre by centrifugal forces.
B. As more space debris material was drawn in by gravity, the molten mass of early Earth continues to grow in size. Denser material continued to move outward, within the molten mass, through centrifugal force.
C. Denser material amasses in the outer regions of the growing planet, most prevalent on the equator. This greater density and volume of material becomes the strongest gravitational attraction, both from the outer surface of the planet, and from the smaller and less dense core volume.
D. Planet Earth continues to expand in size as space material continues to smash into it's surface. Rotation slows as it grows. The outer surface cools in patches of solid material, especially at the poles.
E. The early moon also attracts impacts from large quantities of space debris, becoming a molten sphere through the heat from the pressure of such growing mass. The gravity of planet Earth attracts the denser moon material toward the surface facing Earth.
3. In addition to the effects of centrifugal force on the densest materials, moving them outward from the central core as outlined above, the effects of gravity due to mass must also be considered. Gravity will be strongest in line with the greatest mass, pressure, density and temperature, i.e. generally where the largest dense volume of material is positioned in a spherical object such as our planet, which I believe has gathered at the outer regions of Earth. I believe it probable that free moving material within a molten core of a planet or moon, while these planets or moons are in a molten state, will be attracted toward the greatest gravitational mass.
4. To better explain the concept regarding gravity moving outward from the centre of a planet like Earth, I ask that you first consider the following ‘imaginary’ scenario. Consider a planet sized 24- hour rotating solid sphere, say 1000 kilometers in radius, with a centre void of 100 kilometer radius, as per the diagram below.
Diagram 2. Imagined Scenario within a Planet-sized Sphere.
Zone A. 200 km diameter spherical void. Gravitational attraction on inner surface of void is outward, away from the centre, toward the greatest mass. The centre of the void is zero point, where gravity acts equally in all directions, away from the centre.
Zone B. Gravitational attraction is towards zone C.
Zone C. Greatest volume and mass. Gravitation attractor from zones A and B and D.
Zone D. Gravitational pull 'down' toward zone C.
This inner void A has a solid shell surround. Between this inner shell and the outer shell of this planet sized sphere is solid but mostly molten material. If one were to place objects on the solid shell surface of the inner void space, it is clear that these objects would have gravitational attraction, not back toward the zero mass at the centre of the void, but outward from the centre toward the outer surface. If one were to launch an object from this inner void surface toward and through the dead centre, this object would experience zero gravity (or rather equal gravity in all directions) before then falling increasingly hard toward the void shell on the opposite side from it’s position of launch.
5. Moving back from the ‘imaginary’ scenario above, let us consider our planet Earth in more detail. As the volume and mass of our planet increased, in it’s early molten stages, as described earlier, and furthermore combined with the centrifugal forces of rotation, the greatest volume of material developed further and further away from the centre. This greater volume of material interprets directly into greater mass, gravitational attraction, increasing density and temperature, creating the ‘heaviest’, most dense materials in this outer zone of the planet, most prominent below the equator, and reducing toward the poles.
As Earth grew in size and mass, the denser molten material or elements at the Earth’s center would have continued to be attracted outward toward this greatest and densest mass, by gravity and centrifugal forces. This would have left increasingly less dense material in the Earth’s inner core, as well as gasses forced back into the inner core, creating high pressure gas pockets. Both magma and gasses are also forced out through the Earth’s outer crust in violent volcanic activity on the surface
Diagram 3. Continued formation of Earth
Zone A. Cooler solidified 'crust' of less dense material. Hot gasses are forced back into this core area, from the molten high pressure zone, forming large gas-filled pockets, prior to the cooling, as well as once this zone had cooled and solidified. Similarly hot gasses and lava eruptions are forced out through the Earth's cooling outer crust.
Zone B. Medium density molten material, with growing percentage of cooler solids toward the core. Denser material still being gravitationally attracted toward zone C, through the molten state material.
Zone C. Greatest mass volume, density, temperature and pressure. This zone is the heart of gravitational attraction from zones A, B, D and E.
Zone D. Similar to zone B.
Zone E. Cooler solid crust on surface. High volcanic activity and gasses driven up from zone C, to later become our atmosphere.
Zone F. Cooler solid Moon. The densest material has solidified in the half of the Moon facing Earth, permanently locking it's position facing us, and stopping it from rotating away.
Over time the inner core will in high probability result into lighter porous material, large gas filled caverns or voids, and possibly vast hollow volumes. This lesser volume and lower density of materials translates into comparatively lower temperatures and it is likely that vast hollow spaces, originally gas filled, would have a cooler porous crust, protecting these inner voids from the heat and molten outer layers. As the Earth stabilized in growth and over vast periods of time, the high pressure toxic gasses may have been absorbed into the porous rock within the voids of the inner core resulting in reduced pressure and temperature.
Diagram 4. Present Time, Earth.
Zone A. Large areas of relatively cool void 'pockets' and spaces surrounded by lighter density rock material. Earlier volcanic action gasses forced into these voids are likely absorbed into the lighter density rock over time. Difficult to guess the composition of the remaining air or gas in these voids. If life of some sort has found its way into this area, down through the cooler more porous rock columns leading up to the Poles, then it is possible that such life has helped turn any remaining poisonous gasses into less harmful gasses.
Zone B. Medium and lighter density solid material, with cooler more porous material toward the core.
Zone C. High and medium density semi-molten material, with growing percentage of cooler solids toward the core. Denser material still being gravitationally attracted toward zone D, through any molten state material.
Zone D. Greatest molten mass volume, density, temperature and pressure. This zone is the heart of gravitational attraction from zones A, B, C, E and F.
Zone E. Similar to Zone C. Cooler solid crust toward the Zone F and semi-molten denser material toward Zone D.
Zone F. Earth's present day surface and atmosphere.
Zone G. Cold solid Moon. The densest material has solidified in the half of the Moon facing Earth, permanently locking it's position facing us, and stopping it from rotating away.
6. The effect of the Earth’s rotation in creating greatest mass and gravity furthest flung from the north south polar axis (i.e. most prominent around the equator) may mean that the inner core voids may have formed in a donut shape around the polar axis. A massive central column of material may exist along the north south polar axis like a vast axle, through the donut shaped void or series of voids. With lesser mass density of material below the north and south poles, the Arctic and Antarctic, there is also likely to be less thickness of molten material. Mankind in future may attempt to create a tunnel down to the Earth’s core via the Antarctic. If life had managed to find it’s way, however unlikely, to the Earth’s inner core, I believe that it may not be too hot nor under too much pressure, to support life.
Footnote: I have also considered the logic that with a non rotating homogenous liquid sphere in space (i.e unaffected by surrounding gravitational influence) an object moving in toward the centre has the gravitational pull from all the mass in front of it, i.e from it’s present location, through to the centre as well as the remaining volume out toward the opposite face or surface of the sphere. This means that the mass in front of such an object will always be greater than the mass behind or to the sides until the object reaches the centre where the mass will be equal in all directions. However by rotating such a sphere (or molten state planet), the centrifugal forces will in my opinion, move the denser materials outward from the centre toward the surface, creating the greater mass closer to the surface. This greater mass of the denser, heavier materials will in turn have the strongest gravitational pull, and continue increasingly over time, to attract more material from the centre, increasing the density, pressure and heat in these outer layers. Gasses forced out from this increasingly dense layer will escape outward through the surface of the sphere but also back inward toward the centre. This will create a more porous gassed filled central core, with only lightweight materials, possibly creating vast voids of ‘hollow’ space. Because the greatest dense mass will develop in the equatorial regions, tapering to less dense toward the poles, as mentioned above, the centrifugal effect through rotation about it’s axis may result in a ‘donut’ or ‘flattened ball’ inner core volume of hollow or porous material. This ‘donut’ shape or “flattened ball’ shape at the inner core is hard to explain in words. The densest material moves outward away from the axis, but not as strongly upward toward the poles. This may result in the medium to less dense material continuing to link and initially flow along the north south axis. Where considering molten material as with our planet, the porous and less dense material will also be under less pressure and therefore cool and harden first, as with the surface. Over time the porous walls around the inner core and axial shaft will provide insulation from the greater heat of the outer core and the highly pressurized noxious gasses will be mostly absorbed back into the lightweight porous rock. The void pressures will thereby reduce substantially over time, as will the temperatures. The inner core could possibly become life supporting if life could find access.
Testing the hypothesis:
Without drilling to the centre of our planet, checking the most likely scenario will be very difficult. The scale involved, the uncertainty of the motion of molten materials under such pressure and in a rotating body, and the slow speed of change within such a planetary sphere makes certainty difficult to calculate. It would however be possible to create a smaller test, which may be quite revealing. The test would have to be carried out in space to reduce the gravitational effects from the Sun, Earth or moon. It will require a pressurized compartment, such as on board a spacecraft. A liquid sphere consisting of different densities of liquid, such as the effective colour contrasts seen in some varied density cocktails, would be created by mixing the liquids and pouring them out in stages into the pressurized volume at room temperature. Initially pour one third of the liquid into the air to form a sphere, and without rotation of this sphere, see where the various densities of liquid settle. This may need to be checked by inserting a probe through to the centre, if visual confirmation not possible from the outside. Would the densest liquid settle in the centre, the outside or somewhere in between? The next stage would be to gently rotate the liquid sphere, and record the changes, if any, of the positions taken up by the varied density liquids, with each increase in speed. Mix and gently add the next third of the liquid while the sphere is spinning. Stir up the liquid in the rotating sphere right down into the centre, briefly, and see whether the denser material now moves further out from the centre. This will mimic to some extent, the probable turbulence within a molten state planet. Allow the liquids to settle into their possibly new positions. If the densest liquid has settled in the inner core and not moved out toward the surface, speed up rotation, occasionally stirring the innards, until this occurs and record this rotation speed. Maintain this rotation speed and allow the liquids to settle into their possibly new layer positions. Has the densest liquid settled closer to the surface? Add the last third of the mixed liquid onto the surface of the rotating sphere and allow it to settle. Does this addition volume effect the density layer positions? This mimics the the Earth growing over time through attracted space debris material. Slow the rotation of the sphere down, in stages, to see whether and at what stage the outer denser materials sink toward the centre or whether they remain further out from the core. Does the densest material sink to the centre and if so does this happen at a slower rotation speed of this larger sphere, compared with the increased rotation speed of the smaller sphere when this densest material moved outward? Finally inject increasing stages of air or gas directly into the centre of the sphere and see whether it remains at the centre or bubbles out to the surface. At what proportion of air to sphere volume does this bubbling out to the surface occur? Reduce the volume of air or gas to the point where it does not bubble out to the surface (or say one tenth the volume of the sphere), and increase the rotation of the sphere again until the rotational speed is reached where the densest material positions itself nearer or at the surface. Does the air or gas bubble remain in place at the centre? Does a donut or flattened shape bubble form around the axis?
Why the Moon always faces Earth
In line with my considerations in the above chapter, and in brief, I believe that the gravity of Earth attracted the denser material in the moon, during it’s molten state, toward the moon’s surface, facing our planet. That means that the moon has a heavier mass facing Earth, sufficient to stop the moon rotating away from our direction.