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Space photos of the day: Extreme heat

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The Z Machine running at Sandia National Laboratories created a plasma that was unexpectedly hot. The plasma reached a temperature in excess of two billion Kelvin, making it arguably the hottest human-made thing ever in the history of the Earth and, for a brief time, hotter than the interiors of stars. The Z Machine experiment, pictured here, purposely creates high temperatures by focusing 20 million amps of electricity into a small region further confined by a magnetic field.

PHOTO: Z Machine Collaboration/Sandia National Lab/Lockheed Martin/NNSA/DOE/NASA

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