The Earth’s Layers
Have you ever wondered why a bottle of soda fizzes – and sometimes bubbles over – when you open it? The answer is pressure. A bottle of soda contains high pressure. Leave the cap on and nothing happens. As soon as you take the cap off, though, some of the liquid soda escapes and becomes a gas. This is why it fizzes.
The inside of the Earth also contains a lot of pressure. After the Earth was made, it began to cool. The outer shell became a hard crust of rock. The inside of the Earth is still unbelievably hot because of nuclear reactions that are still going on. The temperature of the rock here is much hotter than molten lava, but it isn’t liquid. It remains a solid because of the pressure.
Fun Facts About the Layers of Earth for Kids
- The very center of the Earth is the core, which is mostly iron and nickel. The inner core is solid and measures 1,516 miles in diameter.
- The outer core of the Earth is liquid metal – also mostly nickel and iron. Together, the inner core and outer core are about as large as Mars. The outer core is 1,408 miles in diameter.
- Meteorites often contain bits of nickel and iron. Scientists believe they may be pieces from other planets which exploded.
- The mantle of the Earth is solid rock, but it’s not completely hard. Because of the intense heat, the mantle is moldable, like play dough. The mantle slowly moves. This movement causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
- The mantle is 1,800 miles deep.
- The crust of the Earth is made of granite and other solid rock. Sand, soil and crushed rock sit atop the crust. The crust ranges in depth from 3 to 43 miles.
Earth’s Layers Vocabulary
- Pressure: Force applied to an area divided by the size of the area
- Crust: Outermost layer of a planet
- Nuclear: Involving atomic energy
- Molten: Melted; glowing red-hot
- Meteorites: Metallic or stony objects that are the remains of meteors
- Mantle: Layer of the Earth between the core and the crust
- Diameter: Straight line through the center of a circle that runs between two points on the outside (circumference) of the circle.
All About Earth’s Layers Video for Kids
Check out this cool video about the Structure of Earth for kids:
Layers of the Earth Q&A
Question: How do scientists know about the Earth’s layers?
Answer: Scientists learn about the Earth by studying other planets, earthquakes and volcanoes and even by drilling into the Earth.
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