Scientists have said that the significant proportion of the Earth's core is not only made up of iron and nickel but also silicon. Scientists claim they have identified the 'missing element' in the deep core of the Earth that has eluded us for decades.
Researchers from the Tohoku University in Japan said that this discovery may help them understand better about the formation of the Earth. High temperatures and pressures that are present in deep interior of our planet were recreated for the study.
“We believe that silicon is a major element – about 5 per cent (of the Earth’s inner core) by weight could be silicon dissolved into the iron-nickel alloys,” said Eiji Ohtani, lead researcher from Tohoku University. Earth's innermost part is said to be a solid ball having radius of about 1,200 kilometers.
Investigating directly will be far too deep, hence scientists study how seismic waves pass through this region to tell them something of its make-up.
The Earth's core is mainly made up of iron which is about 85 per cent of its weight and nickel, which accounts for about 10 per cent of the core.
The unaccounted five per cent of the core was studied for which alloys of iron and nickel were created and then mixed with silicon, 'BBC News' reported.They were then subjected to the immense pressures and temperatures present in the inner core.
Researchers found that this mixture matched what was seen in the Earth’s interior with seismic data.