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National Geographic Magazine Exploring Space
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Decorate your desktop with a selection from Exploring Space. Click on thumbnails below to browse through the images. To download, click one of the monitor options (lower right). Follow specific instructions for Windows and Macintosh.


A Star is Born
About 100 million to 300 million years after the big bang, in what had been an ocean of darkness, the first star was born. It happened inside a swirling cloud of hydrogen and helium gas gathered together by the gravity of dense, invisible “dark matter.” As the gases cooled, the center of the cloud collapsed into a dense clump. Over hundreds of thousands of years the clump in turn collapsed, triggering fusion and the birth of a star.

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Instructions
For Windows 95 or Higher

1. Determine which size is appropriate for your monitor.

2. Click on the size you wish to download.

3. After the image appears in your browser, click the right-hand button on your mouse.

4. On the menu that pops up, select SET AS WALLPAPER.

For Macintosh

1. Determine the image size appropriate for your monitor.

2. Click the size you wish to download.

3. After it appears in your browser, drag the image onto your desktop.

4. From the Apple Menu (at the top left of your screen) select CONTROL PANELS, then DESKTOP PICTURES or APPEARANCE. (If the new window reads APPEARANCE, select the tab that reads DESKTOP.)

5. If necessary, click REMOVE PICTURE to clear the current desktop picture.

6. Click SELECT PICTURE or PLACE PICTURE, then locate and click the image file.

7. Click OK or CHOOSE.

8. Finally, click SET DESKTOP.

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Download: 15 inches (38 centimeters) or smaller Download: 15 inches (38 centimeters) or larger Photo: Jupiter's moon Io Photo: Saturn Photo: The Sombrero galaxy Photo: John Young on the Moon Photo: A composite image of the planet at night Photo: Earth Photo: Bruce McCandless II drifts above Earth Photo: A swirling cloud of hydrogen and helium gas