Friday, June 10, 2011

Volcano in Chile

Image taken June 8 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

Since June 4 Chile's Puyehue volcano has been violently erupting, sending smoke and ash many miles into the atmosphere. In this photo the ash cloud appears to have made a turn, going North before being caught in Easterly winds and drifting past the mouth of Rio de la Plata. The cloud has closed airports in Argentina and even Brazil.

What could cause such smoke and fury? Why is Earth's interior, along with that of other planets, so hot? The textbook answer is "radioactive decay," but radioactive elements are rare in Earth's core. Meteorites dating from the time of Earth's formation are composed of nickel and iron. Radioactive elements were created in supernova explosions, and arrived much later.

Earth's crust, in which we sit, has the largest proportion of radioactive elements. Earth's core has temperatures in thousands of degrees, hot enough to melt lead. Even the most radioactive samples that can be found in the crust are not hot enough to melt. The hypothesis of radioactive decay in Earth's core is not supported by geological evidence.

If Earth formed around a tiny Black Hole, radiation from the singularity would keep the core hot indefinitely. The Black Hole would be barely the size of a grain of sand, but have a mass nearly 1/10 that of the Moon. With the surface area of a pinhole, it would be far too tiny to suck us up. For the Black Hole to swallow Earth, the inrushing material would have to exceed the speed of light. The tiny amount that is swallowed would generate radiation, which would oppose gravity's inward pull while keeping the core hot.

A Black Hole in Earth would rotate independently of the planet, dragging ionized material along with it. This would generate a magnetic field that would not necessarily be aligned with Earth's geographic poles. From time to time the magnetic pole would appear to migrate or change direction, exactly as has been recently observed on Earth. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from the radiation of Space, making life possible on the surface.

Humans have long looked at volcanoes with terror and awe. Earth's internal heat formed the continents we live on. Beneath the surface, many forms of life thrive in darkness by living off this heat. The magnetic field protects us from harmful radiation. We owe all this to a tiny Black Hole, but humans may not be evolved enough to recognize a Black Hole beneath their feet. No wonder it is angry.

Video from Russia Today.

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Blogger Online Dating said...

Amazing picture....thanks for that post! Online Dating

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Bitacora said...

what a great picture of the volcano and the awesome video of the lightnings, this is the kind of post that I like the most!

8:43 AM  
Anonymous India Pharmacy said...

I really love this country, just hope those within its land are able to overcome with little loss the traumas that mother earth are throwing at them. I know they are a very supportive people and will grow even stronger from any and all trials that comes they’re way.

6:10 AM  
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2:54 AM  

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