Scientists for the first time have discovered the so-called molten jet stream within the Earth’s molten iron core using latest data obtained from three European satellites called Swarm.
The three satellites were launched in 2013 with the goal of studying Earth’s magnetic field. The latest satellite data that helps create an sharpest ‘x-ray’ view of the planet.
- The molten jet stream is an accelerating band of molten iron circling the North Pole. It just like the jet stream in the atmosphere
- It moves about 40 km per year, currently in a westward direction. This speed is three times faster than normal outer-core speeds and hundreds of thousands of times faster than rate at which Earth’s tectonic plates move.
- It is located along a boundary between two different regions in the core. This movement is caused when liquid in core flows toward the boundary from both sides and then is squeezed out sideways.
- Significance: The satellite data has helped clarify Earth’s inner workings and magnetic field. It showed that changes in the magnetic field are actually being caused by the molten jet stream.
- The discovery can also add light in changing magnetic field of earth and may relate it with switch in direction of the jet stream.