page title
10
mi
16
km
thermometer
32
°F
0
°C
JOURNEY
TO
THE
center logo
OF EARTH

The slip of tectonic plates and the fiery eruptions of volcanoes are just the surface manifestations of the beating heart of our planet. Earth is composed of layers, each one playing a different role in protecting all life from solar storms, recycling the planet's crust and even changing our climate. The ground beneath our feet is a dynamic place that affects us every day. 

We may marvel at mountains that tower above our heads or hold our breath when confronted with dizzying views of canyons, but none of that would be possible without the inner Earth. Join us as we peel back the layers of our planet, exploring what scientists know about our world and what mysteries remain.

SURFACE

Predicting Chaos: New Sensors Sniff Out Volcanic Eruptions Before They Happen

How Earthquakes and Volcanoes Reveal the Beating Heart of the Planet

Finders, Keepers: Five of the Best Places to Go Gem Hunting in the U.S.

The Blasphemous Geologist Who Rocked Our Understanding of Earth's Age

This 340-Million-Year-Old Ocean Crust Could Date Back to Pangaea

The Tiny World of Glacier Microbes Has an Outsized Impact on Global Climate

Dinosaurs Literally Reshaped The Planet

Ancient Spacedust Reveals Surprising Twist in Evolution of Earth’s Early Atmosphere

Meet the Diverse and Bizarre “Stars” of the Deep Sea

These Stunning Satellite Images Turn Earth Into Art

What Are You Flying Over? This App Will Tell You

Visit a Vertical Underwater Cave in Belize

We Finally Know How Much the Dino-Killing Asteroid Reshaped Earth

Iron Meteorites Play Hide-and-Seek Under Antarctic Ice

The Curious History of The International Flat Earth Society

Life and Rocks May Have Co-Evolved on Earth

We Are Missing At Least 145 Carbon-Bearing Minerals, and You Can Help Find Them

Weird New Type of Carbon Is Harder (and Brighter) Than Diamond

Earth’s Water May Be as Old as the Earth Itself

200 Years After Tambora, Some Unusual Effects Linger

CRUST

The crust is Earth's outer shell and it's composed of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.

25 mi   40 km thermometer 1,600°   871°C

Cave Formations Carry Clues About Ancient Earthquakes

Oklahoma Just Had Its Biggest Quake Ever, and There May Be More to Come

Melting Glaciers Are Wreaking Havoc on Earth's Crust

Slow Earthquakes Are a Thing

The Geology Behind Italy’s Catastrophic Quake

This 340-Million-Year-Old Ocean Crust Could Date Back to Pangaea

Go Deep: 5 Places on Earth to See Seriously Old Rocks

What Happened in the Seconds, Hours, Weeks After the Dino-Killing Asteroid Hit Earth?

Seismic Slowdowns Could Warn of Impending Earthquakes

Defying Critics, Paleontologist Paul Olsen Looks for Hidden Answers Behind Mass Extinctions

Tides Trigger Tiny Earthquakes Along the San Andreas Fault

Study Says Earth's Plate Tectonics May Be Just a Phase

Scientists Explore Breathtaking Hydrothermal Vents in Virtual Reality

What Caused the 2011 D.C. Earthquake?

San Andreas May Have Had Help Triggering a Historic Earthquake

Dive Between Two Continents in This Frigid Fissure in Iceland

Inner Earth Is Teeming With Exotic Forms of Life

This African Plant Leads the Way to Diamond Deposits

Giant New Magma Reservoir Found Beneath Yellowstone

This is What An Underwater Volcano Sounds Like

MANTLE

The mantle is a large layer between the crust and outer core. It's made of silicates like olivine and garnet.

1,825 mi   2,900 km thermometer 7,900°F   4,300°C

Seeing Is Believing: How Marie Tharp Changed Geology Forever

Slow Earthquakes Are a Thing

New Moon-Formation Theory Also Raises Questions About Early Earth

Go Deep: 5 Places on Earth to See Seriously Old Rocks

Tides Trigger Tiny Earthquakes Along the San Andreas Fault

Diamonds Illuminate the Origins of Earth's Deepest Oceans

What Caused the 2011 D.C. Earthquake?

A Decades-Long Quest to Drill Into Earth's Mantle May Soon Hit Pay Dirt

Largest Asteroid Crater Ever Discovered Underground in Australia

What We Can Learn by Digging Up the Secrets of Earth's Deep Carbon

There May Be a Second Massive Ocean Deep Beneath the Surface

OUTER CORE

Earth's outer core is a fluid layer composed mainly of iron and nickel that surrounds the inner core.

3,225 mi   2,200 km thermometer 11,000°F   6,000°C

To Uncover Earth’s Origins, Scientists Must Look Beyond It

Humble Magnesium Could Be Powering Earth's Magnetic Field

Is Global Warming Changing How Fast the Earth Spins?

Earth’s Magnetic Field Is at Least Four Billion Years Old

INNER CORE

Earth's inner core is a solid ball of mostly iron suspended within the liquid outer core.

4,005 mi   1,300 km thermometer 13,000°F   7,200°C

Crushing Pressures Start to Reveal the Truth About Earth's Core

Happy Birthday to Inge Lehmann, the Woman Who Discovered Earth's Inner Core