This sounds something like an evolution of a wake to me. I could see the plasma, which I would guess would be rotating, coalesce into spherical masses or “balls”.
Here is the NASA description:
This four-panel graphic illustrates how the binary-star system V Hydrae is launching balls of plasma into space.
Panel 1 shows the two stars orbiting each other. One of the stars is nearing the end of its life and has swelled in size, becoming a red giant.
In panel 2, the smaller star’s orbit carries the star into the red giant’s expanded atmosphere. As the star moves through the atmosphere, it gobbles up material from the red giant that settles into a disk around the star.
The buildup of material reaches a tipping point and is eventually ejected as blobs of hot plasma along the star’s spin axis, as shown in panel 3.
This ejection process is repeated every eight years, which is the time it takes for the orbiting star to make another pass through the bloated red giant’s envelope, as shown in panel 4.
Astronomers found signs of a growing planet around TW Hydra, a nearby young star, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Based on the distance from the central star and the distribution of tiny dust grains, the baby planet is thought to be an icy giant, similar to Uranus and Neptune in our Solar System. This result is another step towards understanding the origins of various types of planets.
These observation results were accepted for a publication as Tsukagoshi et al. “A Gap with a Deficit of Large Grains in the Protoplanetary Disk around TW Hya” by the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
To celebrate Hinode’s 10th anniversary, this video from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and National Astromonical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) features highlights captured during the satellite’s first decade in space. The Hinode mission is led by JAXA, with participation from NASA and the United Kingdom and European Space Agencies. Credit: JAXA/NAOJ
The power producing solar panels on the Sentinel-1A satellite have been damaged by an impact of some sort. The impacting object was tiny, in the few-millimetres class tiny. The image above from ESA shows the damage.
Even an impact with such a tiny object makes a difference:
A sudden small power reduction was observed in a solar array of Sentinel-1A, orbiting at 700 km altitude, at 17:07 GMT on 23 August. Slight changes in the orientation and the orbit of the satellite were also measured at the same time. — ESA
Sentinel 1A operations have not been impacted. There are in excess of 19,000 bits of known space debris, luckily this one was small.
Ever notice how spacecraft destined to stay in orbit for some period of time always seem to have reflective foil around them? Ever wonder how that could possibly work?
You’re in luck! ESA shows us the state-of-the-art in space insulation:
Blankets of multi-layer insulation (MLI) are used to cover satellite surfaces to help insulate them from orbital temperature extremes. These are the reason that satellites often look as though they’ve been covered in shiny Christmas wrapping.
MLI blankets are made up of multiple layers of very thin, metal-coated plastic film, with low-conducting ‘spacer’ material placed in-between such as silk, nylon or glass-fibre netting. Alternatively, MLI is sometimes deliberately crinkled to minimise any contact between layers.
In the airlessness of space, objects can be hot and cold at the same time, especially if one side is in sunshine and another is in shade. In such conditions, thermal radiation is the main driver of temperature change (rather than convection or conduction), and reflective MLI serves to minimise it.
Thermal control specialists aim to maintain the temperature of the satellite within set limits, to keep electronic and mechanical parts working optimally and to prevent any temperature-triggered structural distortion.
Placing MLI blankets on a satellite body is a skilled art in itself, with complex shapes needing to be created to fit around around edges or joints.