Stars ~ Stars form in the densest regions of the interstellar medium, or ISM, called molecular clouds. The ISM is the name given to the gas and dust that exists between the stars within a galaxy. It is 99% gas and 1% dust, by mass. Molecular clouds are perfect star-forming regions because the combination of these atoms into molecules is much more likely in very dense regions.

Stars ~ Stars form in the densest regions of the interstellar medium, or ISM, called molecular clouds. The ISM is the name given to the gas and dust that exists between the stars within a galaxy. It is 99% gas and 1% dust, by mass. Molecular clouds are perfect star-forming regions because the combination of these atoms into molecules is much more likely in very dense regions.

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Dwarf galaxy IC 2574 shows clear evidence of intense star forming activity in its telltale pinkish regions of glowing hydrogen gas. Just as in spiral galaxies, the turbulent star-forming regions in IC 2574 are churned by stellar winds and supernova explosions spewing material into the galaxy’s interstellar medium and triggering further star formation.

Dwarf galaxy IC 2574 shows clear evidence of intense star forming activity in its telltale pinkish regions of glowing hydrogen gas. Just as in spiral galaxies, the turbulent star-forming regions in IC 2574 are churned by stellar winds and supernova explosions spewing material into the galaxy’s interstellar medium and triggering further star formation.

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The Voyager spacecraft discovered a sea of magnetic bubbles frothing up out where the solar system meets the interstellar medium

The Voyager spacecraft discovered a sea of magnetic bubbles frothing up out where the solar system meets the interstellar medium

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Iris, the Stars Are Bright Pin It Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum 11/3/14: The Iris Nebula, NGC 7023, lies 1,300 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus.

Iris, the Stars Are Bright Pin It Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum 11/3/14: The Iris Nebula, NGC 7023, lies 1,300 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus.

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A Hot Pink Shell Of My Former Self - Sh2-188, a planetary nebula.   Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum

A Hot Pink Shell Of My Former Self - Sh2-188, a planetary nebula. Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum

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Beautiful... Stars form within nebula NGC 2170, which lies in the constellation of Monoceros (The Unicorn). A dark nebula, such as this one, provides raw material for the star formation going on inside them. The newly formed, massive blue stars seen here continue to push away traces of the dust that previously hid them from view. The material that remains will eventually disperse in the interstellar medium.

Beautiful... Stars form within nebula NGC 2170, which lies in the constellation of Monoceros (The Unicorn). A dark nebula, such as this one, provides raw material for the star formation going on inside them. The newly formed, massive blue stars seen here continue to push away traces of the dust that previously hid them from view. The material that remains will eventually disperse in the interstellar medium.

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An annotated illustration of the interstellar medium. The solar gravity lens marks the point where a conceptual spacecraft in interstellar space could use our sun as a gigantic lens, allowing zoomed-in close-ups of planets orbiting other stars.

An annotated illustration of the interstellar medium. The solar gravity lens marks the point where a conceptual spacecraft in interstellar space could use our sun as a gigantic lens, allowing zoomed-in close-ups of planets orbiting other stars.

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Experiment examining a SLICE of the interstellar medium:    (Phys.org)—When you look up at the stars at night, the space between stars looks empty. But, yes there is something there. It's called the interstellar medium. An experiment from the University of Colorado will fly on a NASA suborbital sounding rocket from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on December 15 to study this space between the stars.

Experiment examining a SLICE of the interstellar medium: (Phys.org)—When you look up at the stars at night, the space between stars looks empty. But, yes there is something there. It's called the interstellar medium. An experiment from the University of Colorado will fly on a NASA suborbital sounding rocket from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on December 15 to study this space between the stars.

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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

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