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Interstellar Gas and Dust

The gas between stars is mostly hydrogen and helium scattered at varying densities between the stars in our galaxy and other galaxies. The proportions of the gases are similar to those in the Sun. Interstellar gas supplies the raw material for star formation. Carbon monoxide and hydroxyl molecules (CO and OH) have also been detected within interstellar gas, along with highly ionized oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and silicon, which are likely remnants of past supernovae. The dust is made up of tiny grains of carbon, iron, and iron-magnesium silicates scattered at varying densities between the stars in our galaxy and other galaxies.

Radio Programs

Dark Clouds Clouds darken the Milky Way August 6, 2018

More Cassiopeia A A little blast hides a big blast January 3, 2018

Early Light Looking for “fog” in the early universe December 15, 2017

Emptiness The emptiness between the stars July 23, 2017

M82 A gas crisis for a vigorous galaxy March 26, 2017

Supernova 1987A III Keeping an eye on a dead star February 24, 2017

Shocking Star A star rams its way through the galaxy January 25, 2017

Smith’s Cloud A big cloud falls toward the Milky Way August 14, 2016

Tau Ceti Visiting a dusty star system — after this. January 4, 2016

Fomalhaut Grinding up some “dusty” comets September 20, 2015

Polaris Flare A future stellar nursery August 19, 2015

Local Environment Bubbles and clouds around the solar system April 10, 2015

Interstellar Clouds Looking into cloudy evening skies April 9, 2015

Interstellar Medium Filling the space between stars April 8, 2015

Denebola The “dusty” tail of the lion March 30, 2015

Johannes Hartmann Filling the space between the stars January 10, 2015

Featured Images

Milky Way Dark Rift

Dark Rift August 6, 2018

The Crescent Nebula

Colorful Demise December 14, 2017

A ring of rubble encircles the star Fomalhaut

Rubble Ring May 19, 2017

Infrared image of Alpha Camelopardalis

Plowing Through the Galaxy January 25, 2017

Infrared image of a bow shock in front of a fast star

Shocking Star January 7, 2016

The system V664 Cassiopeia is creating a planetary nebula