Earth's Core

InSight was sent on a mission to answer questions about the Red Planet's crust, mantle and core, known as the "inner space."

Mars InSight Lander Offers a Sneak Peek at the Red Planet's Inner Layers

The robotic explorer was sent to Mars to study its formation—and the data is now making its way back to Earth

The rotation and convection of molten iron at the center of the planet creates a dynamo effect, generating Earth's magnetic field.

Earth's Magnetic Field Could Take Longer to Flip Than Previously Thought

New research suggests a polarity reversal of the planet takes about 22,000 years, significantly longer than former estimates

That's so metal.

New Research

Planetary Smash-Up May Have Produced This Distant Iron Exoplanet

Computer simulations suggest Kepler 107c could have been formed when two rocky planets collided, stripping it down to its metal core

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Magnetic North Is Cruising Toward Siberia, Puzzling Scientists

It has drifted so far that scientists made an emergency revision to the World Magnetic Model

New Research

Earth's Mysterious Hum Recorded in the Deep Sea for the First Time

The discovery could help unlock the planet's deepest secrets

Ask Smithsonian 2017

How Does Earth's Geomagnetic Field Work?

You asked, we answered

This new map shows Earth's magnetic field from space.

New Research

This Magnetic Map Shows Earth as You’ve Never Seen It Before

Behold a new, super high-res view of Earth’s magnetic field

Rocky bodies that slammed into early Earth might have been integral in setting up the conditions for our magnetic field.

Journey to the Center of Earth

Humble Magnesium Could Be Powering Earth's Magnetic Field

The common element could have been driving the planet's dynamo for billions of years

New Research

Is Global Warming Changing How Fast the Earth Spins?

New research suggests that as glaciers melt, the planet's axis is shifting

An aurora glows near Australia in a photo taken from the International Space Station. Auroras are products of charged particles from the sun interacting with Earth's magnetic field.

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

Tiny grains of Australian zircon hold evidence that our magnetic shielding was active very soon after the planet formed

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

Pioneering geologist used earthquakes to unravel the mystory of the Earth’s core

Yum! A candy-colored view of the planet Mercury shows differences in its chemical makeup.

New Research

Earth May Have Become Magnetic After Eating a Mercury-Like Object

Swallowing a sulfur-rich protoplanet could help explain two lingering mysteries in the story of Earth's formation

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