The Plasmasphere

You're watching plasma form in front of you
To make plasma, we filled the glass sphere with gases like neon and argon, then rigged the metal wires inside to send out radio waves. These waves break up the gas atoms, creating a plasma.

This mysterious stuff called "plasma" makes up most of our universe
The glow you see inside this sphere comes from plasma. Not the plasma in your blood, but gas that has been transformed into the plasma state. In this state gas can conduct electricity: those "lightning bolts" show you where the electricity flows.

Space is filled with this stuff
Plasma is rare on Earth (it's in candle flames, neon signs, fluorescent lights) but incredibly common in outer space, where it's 99% of what we can see in the universe.

  The Space Weather Center is part of the National Space Weather Program, with funding provided by NASA and the National Science Foundation.  

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