Photo: "Star Trek" Shield May Protect Astronauts



Earth's magnetic field (above right), which extends out 40,000 miles (64,374 kilometers) toward the sun (left), protects the planet from dangerous solar radiation.

A smaller magnetic shield, recently simulated in a laboratory experiment, may someday deflect radiation away from spacecraft traveling to the moon and Mars, scientists said in November 2008.

Illustration courtesy Steele Hill/NASA


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