how do we KNOW that the middle of the Earth is super hot


This isn’t a shitpost I swear. I just don’t get it.

In: Physics

Pressure creates heat. When you make a snowball, the centre is slightly warmer than the outside because it’s under pressure from the weight of all the snow around it.

Now imagine the same effect but thousands of times greater, because the earth is thousands of times bigger and heavier.

The pressure comment above is great


We have mines that go miles beneath the surface of the earth. The simplest answer is that we’ve measured how hot it gets the further we go beneath the earths surface.

We know that the center is super hot by several ways.

1. The earths magnetosphere has a unique shape that changes slightly; which is due to the liquid iron in the earth’s core. Iron is only a liquid at extremely high temps.

2. We have dug very deep. The Kola Superdeep Borehole is about 40,000 feet deep and one of the biggest challenges with digging deeper is that it starts to get so hot that the “drill bits” they use start to melt.

3. At the depths of the ocean there are thermal vents which release immensely hot liquids. Clearly the only place the heat can come from is down since the ocean above is literally freezing.

4. Volcanoes. We know that volcanoes store lava deep in the earth and obviously lava is very hot.