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The journey to the centre of the earth is a voyage like no other we can imagine. Over 6 300 km below the earth's surface an extraordinary inner world the size of mars awaits us. Dive through the molten iron of the outer core and eventually you will reach a solid sphere – an iron-clad world held within a metal sea and unattached to anything above. At the earth's core is the history of our planet written in temperature and pressure, crystals and minerals... Our planet appears tranquil from outer space. And yet the arcs of volcanoes, the earthquake zones and the auroral glow rippling above our heads are testimony to something remarkable happening inside... For thousands of years these phenomena were explained in legend and myth. Only in recent times has the brave new science of seismology emerged.
One hundred and fifty years after the extraordinary, imaginative feat of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, David Whitehouse embarks on a voyage of scientific discovery into the heart of our world. Seismologists today reveal a planet astonishingly buried within a planet. We watch as supercomputers convert signals from the ground into three-dimensional scans of subterranean continents, visit laboratories where scientists attempt to reproduce the intense conditions at the centre of the Earth, travel down the throat of a volcano, look into the deepest hole ever drilled, and imagine a voyage through enormous crystals of iron. Whitehouse's enthralling journey vividly charts all we are able to understand about the mysteries of the deep Earth. His book encompasses the history of our planet and the latest findings about its inner core, allowing us to embark on an adventure that brings us closer to the enigma of our existence.
Dr David Whitehouse is a scientist, journalist and the author of five books, including The Sun and The Moon. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a regular broadcaster on science-related matters for the BBC and Sky News. Asteroid 4036 Whitehouse is named after him.