CW Leonis

CW Leonis is a carbon star that is embedded in a thick dust envelope. It’s the closest carbon star to Earth. CW Leonis is believed to be in a late stage of its life, blowing off its own sooty atmosphere in the process of forming a white dwarf. Various chemical elements and about 50 molecules have been detected in the outflows from CW Leonis, including nitrogen, oxygen, water, silicon, and iron.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / T. Ueta / H. Kim

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