Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EARTH OBSERVATION
Scientists expect to calculate amount of fuel inside Earth by 2025
by Staff Writers
College Park MD (SPX) Sep 13, 2016


By 2022, scientists expect to be able to detect at least 536 antineutrino events per year at these five underground detectors: KamLAND in Japan, Borexino in Italy, SNO+ in Canada, and Jinping and JUNO in China. Image courtesy Ondrej Sramek. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Earth requires fuel to drive plate tectonics, volcanoes and its magnetic field. Like a hybrid car, Earth taps two sources of energy to run its engine: primordial energy from assembling the planet and nuclear energy from the heat produced during natural radioactive decay. Scientists have developed numerous models to predict how much fuel remains inside Earth to drive its engines - and estimates vary widely - but the true amount remains unknown.

In a new paper, a team of geologists and neutrino physicists boldly claims it will be able to determine by 2025 how much nuclear fuel and radioactive power remain in the Earth's tank. The study, authored by scientists from the University of Maryland, Charles University in Prague and the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, was published on September 9, 2016, in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

"I am one of those scientists who has created a compositional model of the Earth and predicted the amount of fuel inside Earth today," said one of the study's authors William McDonough, a professor of geology at the University of Maryland. "We're in a field of guesses. At this point in my career, I don't care if I'm right or wrong, I just want to know the answer."

To calculate the amount of fuel inside Earth by 2025, the researchers will rely on detecting some of the tiniest subatomic particles known to science - geoneutrinos. These antineutrino particles are byproducts of nuclear reactions within stars (including our sun), supernovae, black holes and human-made nuclear reactors. They also result from radioactive decay processes deep within the Earth.

Detecting antineutrinos requires a huge detector the size of a small office building, housed about a mile underground to shield it from cosmic rays that could yield false positive results. Inside the detector, scientists detect antineutrinos when they crash into a hydrogen atom.

The collision produces two characteristic light flashes that unequivocally announce the event. The number of events scientists detect relates directly to the number of atoms of uranium and thorium inside the Earth. And the decay of these elements, along with potassium, fuels the vast majority of the heat in the Earth's interior.

To date, detecting antineutrinos has been painfully slow, with scientists recording only about 16 events per year from the underground detectors KamLAND in Japan and Borexino in Italy. However, researchers predict that three new detectors expected to come online by 2022--the SNO+ detector in Canada and the Jinping and JUNO detectors in China--will add 520 more events per year to the data stream.

"Once we collect three years of antineutrino data from all five detectors, we are confident that we will have developed an accurate fuel gauge for the Earth and be able to calculate the amount of remaining fuel inside Earth," said McDonough.

The new Jinping detector, which will be buried under the slopes of the Himalayas, will be four times bigger than existing detectors. The underground JUNO detector near the coast of southern China will be 20 times bigger than existing detectors.

"Knowing exactly how much radioactive power there is in the Earth will tell us about Earth's consumption rate in the past and its future fuel budget," said McDonough. "By showing how fast the planet has cooled down since its birth, we can estimate how long this fuel will last."

Reseach Report: "Revealing the Earth's mantle from the tallest mountains using the Jinping Neutrino Experiment"


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
University of Maryland
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
EARTH OBSERVATION
Vega to launch ESA's wind mission
Paris (ESA) Sep 09, 2016
ESA and Arianespace have signed a contract to secure the launch of the Aeolus satellite. With this milestone, a better understanding of Earth's winds is another step closer. The contract, worth euro 32.57 million, was signed at ESA headquarters in Paris, France, by ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, and CEO of Arianespace, Stephane Israel. Josef Aschba ... read more


EARTH OBSERVATION
Space tourists eye $150mln Soyuz lunar flyby

Roscosmos to spend $7.5Mln studying issues of manned lunar missions

Lockheed Martin, NASA Ink Deal for SkyFire Infrared Lunar Discovery Satellite

As dry as the moon

EARTH OBSERVATION
Opportunity departs Marathon Valley to head deeper into Endeavour Crater

Mars Rover Views Spectacular Layered Rock Formations

Storm Reduces Available Solar Energy on Opportunity

NASA Approves 2018 Launch of Mars InSight Mission

EARTH OBSERVATION
Astronaut returns home after logging record-breaking 534 days in space

'Star Trek' 50-year mission: to show the best of humanity

Vietnam's 'Silicon Valley' sparks startup boom

Taiwan tourism industry hit by drop in Chinese visitors

EARTH OBSERVATION
China's second space lab Tiangong-2 to be launched

Kuang-Chi near space test flight set for 2016

Vigil for Tiangong 2

Tiangong 2 is coming soon, real soon

EARTH OBSERVATION
US astronauts complete spacewalk for ISS maintenance

Space Station's orbit adjusted Wednesday

Astronauts Relaxing Before Pair of Spaceships Leave

'New port of call' installed at space station

EARTH OBSERVATION
What Happened to Sea Launch

SpaceX scours data to try to pin down cause rocket explosion on launch pad

India To Launch 5 Satellites In September

With operational acceptance complete, Western Range is ready for launch

EARTH OBSERVATION
New light on the complex nature of 'hot Jupiter' atmospheres

Discovery one-ups Tatooine, finds twin stars hosting three giant exoplanets

Could Proxima Centauri b Really Be Habitable

Rocky planet found orbiting habitable zone of nearest star

EARTH OBSERVATION
Deriving inspiration from the dragon tree

New material with exceptional negative compressibility

UMD physicists discover 'smoke rings' made of laser light

New material to revolutionize water proofing




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement