This article was brought to my attention by my daughter who is a meteorologist/writer. We are both interested in things of scientific nature from Dark Matter to Dark Skies and all sorts of things most people do not even think about. But hey! Somebody has to worry about things of larger scope. For example, a neighbor might be worrying that the rain will ruin his BBQ cookout on Sunday whereas I would be worrying that too much rain in California will cause more landslides. Same worry, different scale. Or people who live near an airport might be worried that an airplane might suddenly crash into their neighborhood whereas I would be worried about the effects of all that concentrated air pollution, sound pollution, light pollution, and ground-level CO2 pollution caused by traffic congestion associated with airports might be affecting the health of the people in that same neighborhood. You get a general idea, right? Everyone is different and should not be faulted for their differences in opinion or worries because worries no matter the scope and reach still affect the stress levels in all of us.
Back to the sky is falling… or not. The article explains the shape of the earth’s magnetic field that envelopes the earth from pole to pole in a sort of extra-fat donut shape. At each pole where the magnetic field curves back onto the surface of the earth cone-shaped areas are formed in the atmosphere. These cones are unprotected from the various cosmic particles that bombard the earth twenty-four-seven. Some of the particles come from outside our solar system, but most come from our nearest star affectionately known as Sol (hence Solar System) AKA the Sun. Without the repelling nature of the magnetic field, Earth would be scorched and dried up in short order making it an unpleasant place to vacation.
Now the odd thing “scientists” (henceforward called “they”) have discovered is that a patch of very dense air appears to be suspended on something invisible and unknown which keeps it aloft. They are currently sending up instruments and observers to find out what is going on here.
In my mind, I imagine that this cone of un-protection which allows all manner of cosmic particles to funnel into the atmosphere at the poles causes a bottleneck of very densely populated space. In other words, the cone is thicker with particles whether they be atmospheric gases or cosmic particles. Throw in the ever-mysterious dark matter and dark energy that pervades the Universe in non-uniform globs of which we know very little other than it exists and the area inside the cone is denser than the atmosphere outside the cone. Savvy? At least I savvy. As I said this is all in my mind. You don’t have any obligation to keep it in your mind.
What made me think this could be the cause of the heavy air trapped up there is what the article says about satellites that pass through the cones slowing down. For example, imagine you are running across a meadow. You run downhill and keep running through the lake at the bottom of the hill. The difference in density of the water and the air causes you to slow down quite dramatically.
Of course, the whole point of the article is to ponder on what could possibly be supporting the patch of dense atmospheric gases (air) when it should have simply fallen to the ground anywhere else outside the cone. It just made me think of those marvelous and beautiful layered cocktails they serve on cruise ships. The bottom layer is essentially thicker than the middle layer which is thicker than the top layer. But in the case of a cone of non-protection, the shape of the cone would necessarily compress the particles coming near the surface. Perhaps, if dark matter and/or dark energy could interact with other matter/energy/etc under enough pressure, then the bottom of the cone is thicker than the pocket of dense air above it.
I know this kind of blog post shows that I am definitely NOT a physicist nor any other ist for that matter. I am just a writer with a big imagination and enough superfluous knowledge to be dangerously speculative. I kind of envision Rod Sterling introducing this post saying “Imagine you are in an alternate universe and the people populating that universe are all fiction/fantasy authors…”