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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
This diagram shows the different layers found inside the Earth.
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Structure of the Interior of Earth

Earth has a diameter of about 12,756 km (7,972 mi). The Earth's interior consists of rock and metal. It is made up of four main layers:
1) the inner core: a solid metal core made up of nickel and iron (2440 km diameter)
2) the outer core: a liquid molten core of nickel and iron
3) the mantle: dense and mostly solid silicate rock
4) the crust: thin silicate rock material

The temperature in the core is hotter than the Sun's surface. This intense heat from the inner core causes material in the outer core and mantle to move around.

The movement of material deep within the Earth may cause large plates made of the crust and upper mantle to move slowly over the Earth’s surface. It is also possible that the movements generate the Earth's magnetic field, called the magnetosphere.

Last modified January 18, 2010 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA