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A Volcano Wakes Up
Riding to Earth's Core
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Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
To Catch a Dragonfly
Bald Eagles Forever
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Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
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How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
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A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
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Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
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Thinner Air, Less Splatter
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
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When Fungi and Algae Marry
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Ready, Set, Supernova
A Whole Lot of Nothing
Gravity Tractor as Asteroid Mover
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Musclebots Take Some Steps
Shape Shifting
Riding Sunlight
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
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What is a Verb?
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Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Robots on the Road, Again
Weather
Earth's Poles in Peril
Where rivers run uphill
Catching Some Rays
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Riding to Earth's Core

Ever wonder what you’d find if you could travel to the center of the earth? Someday, we might find out, says geophysicist David Stevenson of the California Institute of Technology. Stevenson has thought up a way to send a probe to Earth’s core. For now, his plan is mostly just a cool idea. Quite a few obstacles keep it from being practical. So far, the deepest anyone has drilled into the earth is 10 kilometers. The hard crust of continents probably goes down at least another 200 kilometers. Below that lies a gooey layer called the mantle, which surrounds a liquid outer core and a solid inner core. Both inner layers are made mostly of iron. Stevenson's idea is to blast a hole 300 meters deep and 10 centimeters wide. Into the hole, he would pour melted iron, which would flow downward and create enough pressure to push the crack to Earth's center. He estimates it would take the probe about a week to get there. Blasting a big enough crack would take about the same amount of energy as that contained in a basic hydrogen bomb. The biggest challenge would be building the probe. The center of the earth gets so hot and there is so much pressure that most metals would melt. Electronic equipment would fall apart. If scientists can ever find a way around those obstacles, they might get a new view of some of Earth's deepest secrets.—E. Sohn

Riding to Earth's Core
Riding to Earth's Core








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