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					                                         The Core: Fact or Fiction?
Write the answers to the following questions on a separate piece of paper (be sure to write the answers in
your own words and use proper grammar and spelling). Also, make a general statement about how much of
the movie was based on real science rather than science fiction. Your paper will be due by Tuesday,
October 31.

1. The premise of the movie is that the magnetic field of the Earth is collapsing, so it will no longer protect
   us from deadly the solar wind, cosmic rays and microwave radiation.
        a. What are cosmic rays?
        b. Does the magnetic field really protect us from cosmic rays? Why or why not?
        c. Would a big dose of cosmic rays really be deadly?
        d. Is there any scientifically valid connection between cosmic rays and „superstorms‟?
        e. What is microwave radiation?
        f. Is the amount of microwave radiation we receive from the Sun deadly?
        g. Does our magnetic field really protect us from microwave radiation? Why or why not?
        h. Would microwaves actually cause the oceans to boil away?
2. Is using a peach a good analogy to illustrate the different layers of the Earth? What are the main layers
   of the Earth (starting from the inside out)?
3. In the movie they determine that the reason the magnetic field of the Earth is collapsing is because the
   liquid iron core of the Earth has stopped rotating.
        a. Does the Earth even have a liquid iron core?
        b. If so, does the core even rotate, and is that rotation responsible for creating the magnetic field?
            Why or why not?
        c. Is it likely that the core of the Earth would stop rotating? Why or why not?
        d. If the core did stop rotating, what are some of the effects that would have on the surface of the
            Earth?
        e. Is the magnetic field of the Earth constant, or does its polarity change? About how often does the
            polarity flip?
4. To save us all from certain destruction, they build a ship of special material that gets stronger as it gets
   hotter that can withstand the enormous pressure and temperature found deep within the Earth. Does
   any such material exist today? Do you think it ever will?
5. During their travels they collide with some giant crystals and find themselves in the middle of a giant
   geode that is hundreds of meters across.
        a. Is there such a thing as a geode that large? What is the largest geode you can find information
            about on the internet (do a search on “world‟s largest geode”), and give some details about it.
        b. Is it likely that a geode hundreds of meters long could form deep within the mantle? Why or why
            not?
        c. If a geode so large did form so deep in the mantle, what would most likely happen the moment it
            was punctured?
6. After restarting the core, the surviving crew members come back up through the space between two
   crustal plates in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.
        a. Is there a plate boundary near Hawaii?
        b. We know that volcanoes form at plate boundaries, and Hawaii was formed by volcanoes. How
            did the island chain form from volcanoes if it is not on a plate boundary?
7. Finally, a bit of math. When they make it through the crust and hit the mantle they say it will take them
   24 hours to reach the core. What is the average speed the ship is traveling? (in either m/hr or km/hr, and
   show your math)
   If you‟re rusty on math, go here for a reminder on how to calculate average speed:
   http://www.mansfieldct.org/Schools/MMS/staff/hand/lawsavevelocity2003.htm )


Note: To help answer these questions refer to the following web site:
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/movies/thecore_review.html

				
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