used to a world composed of solids, liquids
and gases, but most of
the visible universe – 99% of it – is
made of plasma. Scientists can study plasmas
in the lab, but their devices are limited
in size and bounded by walls. When humans
launched into the Space Age we gained a new
plasma lab, one as big as space itself.
Studying plasma opens a window to the stars
From studies in space, we've learned much
about plasmas and the relation of these charged
particles to processes that occur in the
cosmos. We've come to realize that this mysterious
form of matter holds the key to unlocking
many of the puzzles of our universe.
By studying processes that occur in Earth's
magnetosphere, in interplanetary space,
and at other planets, we are better able
to appreciate the important role plasma
science plays in understanding our plasma
universe. This space plasma laboratory
is truly a window to the stars.