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Intergalactic Medium

Although intergalactic space is very close to a total vacuum, surrounding and stretching between galaxies there is a rarefied plasma that is thought to possess a filamentary structure and that is slightly denser than the average density in the Universe. This material is called the intergalactic medium (IGM) and is mostly ionized hydrogen, i.e. a plasma consisting of equal numbers of electrons and protons. The IGM is thought to exist at a density of 10 to 100 times the average density of the Universe (10 to 100 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter). It reaches densities as high as 1000 times the average density of the Universe in rich clusters of galaxies.

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