An invisible shield that works in opposition to the harmful radiation belt has been discovered by scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of Colorado in Boulder. The shield has been found about 11,000 kilometers above Earth where electrons move with speed close to the speed of light.
These electrons are found in the outer band of the Van Allen radiation belt and in just five minutes can rush around the planet. Van Allen radiation belt is a layer of energetic charged particles that is held in place around a magnetized planet, such as the Earth, by the planet’s magnetic field.
But by means of NASA’s Van Allen Probes, orbiting in the atmosphere of Van Allen radiation belts, these high risk radiations can move no more than about 11,000 km from the Earth’s surface, despite being so powerful.
John Foster, Associate Director of MIT’s Haystack Observatory, said that a phenomenon named ‘plasmaspheric hiss’ is keeping this harmful high-energy radiation away. The phenomenon is explained as very low-frequency electromagnetic waves in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, which removes the high-energy electrons that are trapped along the Earth’s magnetic field lines.