Last modified on November 29, 2020, at 03:38

Frosty Leo nebula

Frosty Leo nebula
Frosty Leo.jpg
Observational Data
Designation IRAS 09371+1212
Right ascension 09h 39m 53.96s[1]
Declination +11° 58′ 52.6″[1]
Constellation Leo
Type of object Protoplanetary nebula
Distance from Earth 6,784 ly[2]

The Frosty Leo nebula (IRAS 09371+1212) is a protoplanetary nebula, one of the rarest types of nebulae.[3] Its name derives from the fact it contains a lot of water in the form of ice grains due to the low temperature and is situated in constellation of Leo, the lion. The nebula is unusual in that it is not located close to the plane of our galaxy, the Milky Way and so is not partially obscured by dust clouds or other nebulae. This means its complex structure can be observed in great detail.

There is some variation in the distance to the nebula, with some sources placing it a 3,000 light years, other considerably higher at 6,800 ly.[2][3] The luminosity is thought to be around 179±25 times greater than that of the Sun. The nebula is believed to have a temperature of 75±4 kelvin.[2] Its structure comprises a spherical halo and disc that surround a central star, as well as enormous loops and lobes of gas.


  1. 1.0 1.1 IRAS 09371+1212 from the SIMBAD Astronomical Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Vickers, S., Frew, D., Parker, Q. and Bojičić, I. (2014). New light on Galactic post-asymptotic giant branch stars – I. First distance catalogue. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 447(2), pp.1673-1691. arXiv:1403.7230 [astro-ph.SR]
  3. 3.0 3.1 The frosty Leo Nebula. Retrieved on 2018-10-05.