The light of the stars is what we're usually looking at when we see a picture of a galaxies outside the Milky Way. There are other ingredients that make up a universe. The chunks of vegetables are similar to the stars.

The intergalactic medium, in which they float, is filled with clouds of dust and gas that drift between the stars. Dust from which stars are born, to which stars return, can tell us a lot about the structure and activity of the universe.

Four new images have been released, showing the distribution of dust in four of the galaxies that are closest to the Milky Way.

There is a large cloud.

They wouldn't exist without dust and gas. The stars form when a dense knot of material collapses under the weight of gravity. When a star dies, it expels its outer material back into the space around it, with new, heavier elements.

Dust from dead stars makes each generation of stars slightly different. All of us are made of star stuff.

There isn't a uniform distribution of the dust. Interplanetary dust can be pushed and sculpted by the effects of gravity and stellar winds. Understanding the formation of structures and elements is dependent on mapping them.

The Herschel Space Observatory operated by the European Space Agency obtained the new images. Herschel was the largest telescope ever to be launched when it was launched.

There is a small cloud.

Herschel's ultracold operating temperature made it possible for it to peer into the far-IR and see some of the coldest and dustiest objects in space. The cold clouds in which stars are born are included.

It wasn't able to detect more diffuse dust and gas. Christopher Clark of the Space Telescope Science Institute used data from three other telescopes to fill in the gaps.

The results show how the dust interacts with one another. There is a lot of hydrogen gas because it is the most abundant element in the universe. There are empty regions in the dust where newborn stars have blown it away with their strong winds. The blue regions are heated by stars.

Christopher Clark/STScI, E. Koch/University ofAlberta, and C. Druard/University of Bordeaux are all associated with the TriangulumGalaxy.

The researchers said that the images show new information about the interactions in the dust. Heavy elements such as oxygen, carbon, and iron can stick to dust grains; in the densest clouds, most elements are bound to dust. The way light is absorbed can be affected by this.

The dust-to-gas ratio can be changed by violent processes such as star birth.

The Herschel images show that ratios can be as high as 20 in a universe. It is important information that may help scientists understand this cycle.

They're just stunningly beautiful. Who didn't know that the soup had a rainbow of colors?