How do you calculate the mass of planet Earth? What are the implications of Earth’s calculated physical measurements such as its mass?
Earth’s mass is calculated using theories and properties including gravity:
F=GmM/r2 (Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation)
F=ma (Newton’s second law of motion)
This gives the massive figure of roughly 6.0 x 10(to the power of 24) kg or 6 sextillion tonnes, with the actual calculated Earth mass written as 5,973,700,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms or
Making Earth the densest planet in our solar system. But our surface is not that dense so the centre or core areas have to be even denser than the average.
Earth’s density mystery
The Earth’s surface layers have no geological features or material that is heavy enough to give Earth the massive mass it needs.
Essentially, most of the Earth’s mass must be located towards the centre of the planet. The next step is to ask which heavy materials make up the core. The answer here is that it’s almost certainly made mostly of iron. The core is thought to be around 80% iron, though the exact figure is up for debate.
The main evidence for this is the huge amount of iron in the universe around us. It is one of the ten most common elements in our galaxy, and is frequently found in meteorites. Given how much there is of it, iron is much less common at the surface of the Earth than we might expect. So the theory is that when Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago, a lot of iron worked its way down to the core.
That’s where most of the mass is, and it’s where most of the iron must be too. Iron is a relatively dense element under normal conditions, and under the extreme pressure at the Earth’s core it would be crushed to an even higher density, so an iron core would account for all that missing mass.
How we know what lies at Earth’s core
A massive iron core would also help explain Earth’s magnetic fields. But this theory was formed when our planet was considered to be an isolated object and not electromagnetically in connection with the Sun every 8 minutes if not constantly through the Suns plasma (solar wind) and Flux Transfer Events. And it needs to be a partly molten metal core as the magnetic poles migrate and move around.
The Earth’s Iron Catastrophe theory explains what the early Earth was like and how its iron migrated into the core.
The “iron catastrophe” – perhaps the most significant single event in Earth history – occurred when the temperature of the planet reached, and passed, the melting point of iron (1538°C). Of course no one was there to observe this amazing event, but based on laboratory experiments, mathematical calculations, and physical evidence of Earth’s internal chemistry scientists hypothesize that it was this event, known informally as the “iron catastrophe,” that organized Earth with the internal layers that characterize the modern planet.
When the melting point was reached, droplets of liquid iron, one of Earth’s most abundant elements (about 35% overall), flowed (slowly at first) toward the planet interior under the pull of gravity. Compounds of lighter elements rich in silicon (Si), oxygen (O), and other light elements that were also molten (i.e., Al, Na, Ca, K) were displaced toward the surface. Ultimately this led to the present internal structure of Earth in a process called chemical differentiation.
The Iron Catastrophe | Hopkins Schools
We know what we call the force of gravity does, we do not know what gravity actually is.
As the figures used to calculate the mass and density of planet Earth are interlinked if you change one of them you can significantly change the others.
If gravity can change then so can the mass and density of planets? If Earth’s radius could grow or shrink?
What else could possibly change in an Electric Universe?
Everything Is Electric?
The site visits of the 2016 EU geology tour started with the re-arranged itinerary to now include the big guns of Meteor crater and the Grand Canyon on the same day. A general t...
Stromatolites are dated as being some of the oldest lifeform on the planet and the oldest fossils, over 3 billion years old. Yet some stromatolites are living today and a uniq...
Electochemical volcanoes connected by electric arc volcano circuitry in Bali? Surprisingly, we noticed that both the earthquake activity and the ground deformation signal were l...