Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I know only basic things about the earth's core. For instance, that it is 4,600 miles from here, that it is unlikely there are dinosaurs living there, that it's most likely composed of iron and nickel, and also that it is hotter than magma but solid on account of the pressure it's under. The magnetosphere, the charged bubble that protects life on earth from some of the sun's radiation, depends on the iron condensed in the core. Of the pressure deep within, Logan devotes a paragraph;
This is a pressure on the order of 3,600,000 times the pressure at the surface...At such pressure, alchemy, the conversion of one element into another, becomes a commonplace. Certain rare metals have been observed changing into one another in these anvils, and it is thought that with just a touch more squeeze, diamond itself will change into metal. When the pressure is relieved, however, it changes back. p.85
Some dream the earth has a core of crystallized iron. I suppose all we can do is dream. But some would say the earth's core dreams us. As far away as it is, it is a common point claiming all even as it relegates every one of us to its farthest horizon. The anchor of anchors.

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