[meteorite-list] Earths core
From: mark ford <markf_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon Aug 9 04:51:32 2004
Just been reading an interesting article in 'New scientist' (this
It is about the centre of the Earth (i.e the core) , apparently there is
simply far too much heat to be explained by the conventional 'still
molten since it formed' theory (or from gravitation actions).
One theory that is being taken seriously is that fissile radioactive
elements (These being the heaviest elements) would sink into the core
mixture) and start a nuclear chain reaction, so the extra heat could be
generated from nuclear processes. Scientists are looking for the tell
tale anti neutrino's that could indicate nuclear reactions going on.
They point out that natural nuclear reactors exist on earth already, in
area's where uranium is sufficiently concentrated in the rock, it has
If this where the case, there ought to be similar processes going on
other planetary bodies (indeed this might explain why mars still appears
to have volcanism when it shouldn't really have, for it's size?).
Would we not expect to find iron meteorites with nuclear reaction
by-products or even higher than normal un-reacted radioisotope
concentrations - if this were feasible?
Or is it a case of Asteroids being too small to differentiate enough for
the heavier elements to collect in sufficient quantities?
Maybe we just haven't had a sample of 'inner core' yet, and somewhere
out there are chunks of natural reactor!!
Received on Mon 09 Aug 2004 04:48:30 AM PDT