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Interstellar Medium


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Astronomers call Interstellar Medium (ISM) to the matter and the radiation in between stars, within the same galaxy. This matter presents extremely low densities, in comparison to Earth's densities, and it can be found as ionic, atomic and molecular matter. In a nutshell, 99% of the ISM is in form of gas, mostlyhydrogen (75%) and helium (25%), while the remaining 1%, is dust, made of grains of carbon, silica and so-called "dirty ice". The study of the interstellar medium is a fascinating topic, which offers the possibility to understand how dead stars (in the form of supernova)  may impact with their environment and trigger star formation.


Explore several sky regions using ESASky to look for evidence of the interstellar medium. You will learn about the structure and properties of the ISM and how to extract information from astronomical images.
Keywords: ISM, ESASky