The 21 micron and 30 micron circumstellar dust features in evolved C-rich objects
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The 21micron and 30micron bands are the strongest dust emission features detected in evolved low- and intermediate-mass C-rich stars (i.e. asymptotic giant branch [AGB] stars, proto-planetary nebulae [PPN], and planetary nebulae [PN]). While the 21micron feature is rare and exists only in the transient PPN phase, the 30micron feature is more common and seen in the entire late stage of stellar evolution, from AGB to PPN and PN phases, as well as in the low- metallicity galaxies: the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The carriers of these features remain unidentified. Eleven of the twelve well- identified 21micron sources also emit in the 30micron band, suggesting that their carriers may be somewhat related.