the golden record images -Famous "Voyager 1" spacecraft was launched by NASA on September 5, 1977. Despite its primary missions (to study the outer Solar System and interstellar medium) the spacecraft had another – to send a message to other life forms in the universe.

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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.

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Sh2-188, a planetary nebula, consists of a one-sided shell of material colliding with the interstellar medium, triggering shock wave structures. - Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Do We Live Inside a Bubble in the Interstellar Medium? NASA Astronomers Say "Yes" - http://www.scoop.it/t/science-news/p/1716152767/do-we-live-inside-a-bubble-in-the-interstellar-medium-nasa-astronomers-say-yes

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