New technique could boost researchers' view of Earth's core



Studies of the Earth's core rely exclusively on remote detection because direct access is blocked by temperature, pressure, and thousands of kilometers of solid rock. Measurements of the magnetic field or of seismic waves provide researchers with a glimpse into the core's properties. Traditionally, to get a good look at the core, researchers watch for earthquake-generated seismic body waves that travel through the Earth—either passing through or reflecting off the core—that are then picked up by a seismic wave detection array on the other side of the planet. The requirement that stations be properly aligned in comparison to the earthquake is sufficiently strict that observations are often more opportunistic than many scientists would prefer.