Knowhere is the severed head of a deceased Celestial avatar, home of the mining colony of Exitar. Its galactic coordinates are M3RD 17H17211+2121224.
"Hundreds of years ago, the Tivan Group sent workers in to mine the organic matter within the skull. Bone, brain tissue, spinal fluid. All rare resources. Highly valued in black markets across the galaxy."
Hundreds of years ago, the Tivan Group set up mining operations in the decapitated head of the Celestial avatar, in order to harvest the valuable bone, brain tissue, and spinal fluid from it. The absence of rules and regulations turned Knowhere into a safe haven for outlaws.
Securing the Aether
"You know why we're here." "Of course, but if I may ask, why not keep it secure in your own vault?" "The Tesseract is already on Asgard. It is not wise to keep two Infinity Stones so close together."
In 2014, the Guardians of the Galaxy arrived at Knowhere with the intention of selling the Orb to Tivan. After he explained that the Orb was a containment device for one of the Infinity Stones, his assistant Carina attempted to free herself from his servitude by using the Orb, but she and the Collector's Museum were destroyed, releasing Cosmo and Howard the Duck in the process.
Meanwhile, Drax the Destroyer, obsessed with avenging the deaths of his wife and daughter, alerted Ronan the Accuser to their presence. Ronan's forces attacked Knowhere while he and Drax faced each other in hand-to-hand combat. Easily overpowering Drax and leaving him to die, Ronan took possession of the Orb. Sometime following the Battle of Xandar, Taneleer Tivan sat at the remains of his museum, getting licked by Cosmo and having a drink with Howard the Duck.
"Thor, why would he go to Knowhere?" "Because for years, the Reality Stone's been safely stored by a man named the Collector." "If it's with the Collector, then it's not safe. Only an idiot would give that man a stone."