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Lightning and Plasma Photo Gallery

The Fourth State of Matter


This is a photo gallery of lightning and plasma pictures. One way to think of plasma is as an ionized gas or as the fourth state of matter. The electrons in plasma are not bound to protons, so charged particles in plasma are highly responsive to electromagnetic fields.

Examples of plasma include stellar gas clouds and stars, lightning, the ionosphere (which includes auroras), the interiors of fluorescent and neon lamps and some flames.

Images 1-12 of 36
The electrical discharge of lightning exists in the form of plasma.Lightning PhotographA plasma lamp is a familiar example of plasma.Plasma LampThis is a view of the sun from the Soft X-Ray Telescope (SXT) on the Yohkoh satellite.X-Ray SunThis is an electric discharge around a glass plate.Electric Discharge
This is a false-color x-ray image of Tycho's Supernova Remnant.Tycho's Supernova RemnantThis is lightning associated with a thunderstorm.Lightning from a ThunderstormThe Wimshurst Machine, invented in the early 1880s, is popular for demonstrating plasma.Plasma ArcThis is a photo of a Hall Effect thruster (ion drive) in operation.Hall Effect Thruster
This neon filled discharge tube displays the element's characteristic reddish-orange emission.Neon SignThis is an image of the magnetic tail of Earth's plasmasphere.Earth's MagnetosphereThis is an example of cloud-cloud lightning over Tolouse, France.Lightning AnimationAurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, above Bear Lake, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.Aurora Borealis

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