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Earth's Inner Layers

The crust, mantle and core are defined by composition; the lithosphere and asthenosphere from mechanical properties.

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What if Earth Were Hollow?

What if Earth Were Hollow?

Credit: NASA
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo17WorldReversed.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

What if you tried to get to the other side of our planet the short way? That’s right, what if you tried to dig a hole through the center and out again? You’d run into a lot of interesting problems!

Amazing But True!

The video below explores what would happen if you could dig a hole through the Earth. You can’t actually do it because it’s much too hot, but it’s fun to think about. Take Coriolis Effect, for example. Mostly people talk about Coriolis Effect for objects on Earth’s surface. But what effect does Coriolis have with depth in the Earth? What would happen to Earth’s gravitational pull on you?

Explore More/Show What You Know/Can You Apply It?

With the link below, learn more about the physics of Earths interior. Then answer the following questions.

  1. If you jumped into your hole, there is a chance that you would not come out the other side. What would happen to you and why?
  2. For the next questions we need to eliminate Coriolis Effect, air resistance and friction. What would be the gravitational pull on you at the very center of the Earth and why?
  3. What would life at the surface be like if there were no core?
  4. At the end of the video, they describe what would happen if Earth were hollow but had the same mass. If Earth only had a crust and the mass of the crust was the same as it is now, what would be the gravitational pull of the planet? Why?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: NASA; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo17WorldReversed.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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