In this x-ray photo provided by NASA, the sun is shown early in the morning of Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. The dark arc near the top right edge of the image is a filament of plasma blasting off the surface - part of the coronal mass ejection. The bright region is an unassociated solar flare. NASA/AP
This view of the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights, in the 80 - 120 km altitude region, (location unknown) shows a spiked and sinuous band of red and green airglow above the Earth Limb and a charged plasma glow around the orbiter. NASA
A technician applies a plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coating to a J-75 blade in 1976. NASA
The Aurora Borealis or 'northern lights' and the Manicouagan Impact Crater reservoir (foreground) are seen over Quebec, Canada, in this photograph taken by astronaut Donald R. Pettit, Expedition Six NASA science officer, on board the International Space Station (ISS). NASA
In 1572, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe observed and studied the explosion of a star that became known as Tycho's supernova. More than four centuries later, Chandra's image of the expanding ball of plasma shows an expanding bubble of multimillion degree debris (green and red) inside a more rapidly moving shell of extremely high energy electrons (filamentary blue). NASA/CXC/Rutgers/J.Warren & J.Hughes et al.
This traveling wave accelerator is being operated by Raymond W. Plamer of the Lewis Electromagnetic Propulsion Division in 1961. A neutral plasma of electrons and ions is produced in the source at the left. This plasma moves to the right and is accelerated by a moving magnetic field in the four black coils. Such acceleration produces thrust, perhaps enough to propel a future spacecraft beyond the Moon. NASA
This image from testing of ChemCam shows a ball of luminous plasma erupting from the surface of an iron pyrite crystal in the sample chamber approximately 10 feet from the instrument. The laser beam itself is invisible. The ChemCam instrument, built for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, uses a pulsed laser beam to vaporize a pinhead-size target, producing a flash of light from the ionized material -- plasma -- that can be analyzed to identify chemical elements in the target. NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL
Lightning lights up the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida during thunderstorms on Sept. 27. The Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, is one of the largest buildings in the world. Originally built for assembly of Apollo and Saturn vehicles, it was later modified to support space shuttle operations. Tom Moler/NASA
This is an artist's concept of the Saturnian plasma sheet based on data from Cassini magnetospheric imaging instrument. It shows Saturn's embedded "ring current," an invisible ring of energetic ions trapped in the planet's magnetic field. Saturn is at the center, with the red "donut" representing the distribution of dense neutral gas outside Saturn's icy rings. NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
The Sun’s magnetic field and releases of plasma directly affect Earth and the rest of the solar system. Solar wind shapes the Earth’s magnetosphere and magnetic storms are illustrated here as approaching Earth. These storms, which occur frequently, can disrupt communications and navigational equipment, damage satellites, and even cause blackouts. The white lines represent the solar wind; the purple line is the bow shock line; and the blue lines surrounding the Earth represent its protective magnetosphere. NASA
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope transforms a dark cloud into a silky translucent veil, revealing the molecular outflow from an otherwise hidden newborn star. Using near-infrared light, Spitzer pierces through the dark cloud to detect the embedded outflow in an object called HH 46/47. Herbig-Haro (HH) objects are bright, nebulous regions of gas and dust that are usually buried within dark clouds. NASA/JPL-Caltech/A. Noriega-Crespo (SSC/Caltech), Digital Sky Survey
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has provided a detailed view of a ten thousand light-year long jet of plasma which has been ejected from the core of a galaxy 270 million light-years away. Observations made with the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera reveal that the jet has an unusual braided structure, like a twisted pair of wires. "This is the first time that such a structure has been seen in an optical jet," says F. Duccio Macchetto, ESA's Principal Investigator on the FOC and Head of the Science Programs Division at the Space Telescope Science Institute. NASA/ESA
Here is a close-up view of dark 'tentacles' or 'tadpoles' moving towards the solar surface in this solar flare of April 21, 2002 seen by TRACE. One theory proposed in this press release is that they are due to voids created by magnetic reconnection in the flare. This version of the visualization does not display the instrument clock time tags. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
The Islamic State fighter who first appeared in the video of the beheading of journalist James Foley last August was formerly known only as ‘Jihadi John’, but Thursday he was revealed to be Mohammed Emwazi, a British citizen.