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The layers of the Earth, a differentiated planetary body

In planetary science, planetary differentiation is the process of separating out different constituents of a planetary body as a consequence of their physical or chemical behaviour, where the body develops into compositionally distinct layers; the denser materials of a planet sink to the center, while less dense materials rise to the surface. Such a process tends to create a core and mantle. Sometimes a chemically distinct crust forms on top of the mantle. The process of planetary differentiation has occurred on planets, dwarf planets, the asteroid 4 Vesta, and natural satellites (such as the Moon).


Planetary differentiation sections
Intro  Heating  Chemical differentiation  Physical differentiation  Density differences on Earth  Theories of core formation  Notes  

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