Seeking Art in Science

The Art of Science
Jerry Ross / Princeton University Art of Science Competition

Xenon Plasma Accelerator
The first-prize winner, this photo depicts an exhaust plume from a Hall Thruster, a propulsion system that uses plasma (ionized gas, such as xenon) instead of chemical fuel to power spacecraft for both near-Earth and deep-space travel. Researchers at Princeton have been interested in experimenting with the Hall Thruster, because space vehicles propelled by plasma require less fuel overall.

Get the Latest Photos from
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.