Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

IRC+10216

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1847-2

Definition

IRC+10216, also known by its variable star name CW Leonis, is a red giant star on the asymptotic giant branch with a carbon-rich atmospheric composition, i.e., the atmospheric abundance of carbon exceeds that of oxygen. It is probably the most nearby object of its kind, and it loses substantial amounts of matter from its surface. This stellar wind creates a dense circumstellar envelope which is rich in molecules and carbon dust. More than 80 different circumstellar molecular species have been detected, the majority being long, unsaturated, carbon chains of different types (incl. anions) and many of them being unique to the circumstellar medium.

See Also

Keywords

Bioorganic Chemistry Molecular Species Carbon Chain Stellar Wind Variable Star 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Space SciencesChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden