A close halo of large transparent grains around extreme red giant stars
An intermediate-mass star ends its life by ejecting the bulk of its envelope in a slow, dense wind. Stellar pulsations are thought to elevate gas to an altitude cool enough for the condensation of dust, which is then accelerated by radiation pressure, entraining the gas and driving the wind. Explaining the amount of mass loss, however, has been a problem because of the difficulty of observing tenuous gas and dust only tens of milliarcseconds from the star. For this reason, there is no consensus...[Show more]
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