An enthralling and extraordinary adventure vividly charting the mysteries of the deep Earth, the history of our planet, and the latest discoveries about its inner core.
The journey to the center of the earth is a voyage like no other we can imagine. Over 3000 km below the earth's surface, an extraordinary inner world the size of Mars awaits us. Dive through the molten iron of the outer core and eventually you will reach a solid sphere —an iron-clad world held within a metal sea and unattached to anything above. At the earth's core is the history of our planet written in temperature and pressure, crystals and minerals ...
Our planet appears tranquil from outer space. And yet the arcs of volcanoes, the earthquake zones, and the auroral glow rippling above our heads are testimony to the remarkable happenings within the earth’s core. For thousands of years these phenomena were explained in legend and myth. Only in recent times has the brave new science of seismology emerged. One hundred and fifty years after the extraordinary, imaginative feat of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, David Whitehouse embarks on a voyage of scientific discovery into the heart of our world.
Seismologists today reveal a planet astonishingly buried within a planet. We watch as supercomputers convert signals from the ground into three-dimensional scans of subterranean continents. We will visit laboratories where scientists attempt to reproduce the intense conditions at the center of the Earth, travel down the throat of a volcano, look into the deepest hole ever drilled, and imagine a voyage through enormous crystals of iron...all at the center of our incredible Earth.
Guided by the most up-to-date scientific findings, British science journalist Whitehouse (Renaissance Genius) commands an imagined voyage into Earth's interior. He frames his journey with Jules Verne's 1864 novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and interweaves elements of Verne's work into his own narrative. After a quick discussion of Verne's life and oeuvre, Whitehouse presents a quick synopsis of our current understanding of the Earth's layers and then descends into the Earth's crust as far as he is physically able in his case, going down into the Boulby potash mine in northeast England. Filling his pages with curious facts, brief biographies, and scientific theories about Earth's inner structure, Whitehouse proffers explanations of Earth's formation, the origin of the Moon, and more. For instance, he thoroughly discusses the Earth's magnetic field, reassuring readers that a flip of the field which last happened about 41,000 years ago is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Whitehouse surveys the baffling nature of Earth's solid core and concludes his work, fittingly, with discussions of the planet's possible demise as well as those of other planets near and far. This is a fascinating investigation of geologic history. Illus.