Star Trek style, donut-shaped force field discovered way above Earth
An invisible shield around Earth was discovered last week by scientists, one of whom said the strange “donut-like” rings which surround our planet 7,200 miles (11,600 km) above the Earth’s atmosphere are like something out of Star Trek.
The shield is invisible and strong, and has been found blocking ‘killer electrons’ from bombarding our planet in the Van Allen asteroid belt. These electrons can whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and damage space systems. If they hit Earth on a large scale, they could knock out power grids, radically changing the planet’s climate and driving up rates of cancer.
“It’s almost like these electrons are running into a glass wall in space,” said Daniel Baker, director of CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space. “Somewhat like the shields created by force fields on ‘Star Trek’ that were used to repel alien weapons, we are seeing an invisible shield blocking these electrons. It’s an extremely puzzling phenomenon.”
This challenges existing theories that these electrons drift into the upper atmosphere and are destroyed by air molecules. Scientists have no idea when or how the “baffling” shield developed.