The sun is an orb of shimmering energy. It pours out life-giving
light and withering heat, but also an invisible torrent of charged
particles called the solar wind. Made of plasma—gases heated until their
atoms disintegrate into electrons and ions—the solar wind blasts past
every planet in the solar system at supersonic speeds.
“From just outside earth’s atmosphere all the way to the part of the
sun you see during the day, is all plasma,” says Stuart Bale. A
Berkeley professor of physics and director of the university’s Space
Sciences Laboratory, Bale studies the plasmas that stream from stars
and suffuse entire galaxies.
Read more at http://sciencematters.berkeley.edu/archives/volume7/issue55/story1.php.