Image description: A cloud forms as an F/A-18 Hornet aircraft accelerates up to supersonic speed. Aircraft flying this fast push air up to the very limits of its speed, forming what’s called a bow shock in front of them. Similar bow shocks are also found in a variety of forms in space, and new research suggests they may contribute to heating of the material around them. Learn more about plasma waves from NASA.
Photo by Ensign John Gay, U.S. Navy.