Frosty Leo Nebula – a planetary nebula

Frosty Leo Nebula – a planetary nebula

The Frosty Leo Nebula is a nickname for a planetary nebula named NGC 3195. It is located in the constellation Leo and is known for its bluish-green color and wispy appearance, which resembles frost. Planetary nebulae are formed when a star near the end of its life sheds its outer layers, which then expand and cool into a cloud of gas and dust. The central star of NGC 3195 is thought to be a white dwarf, which is the remnant of the star that once powered the nebula.

It is named for its blue-white appearance, which is caused by the reflection of light from nearby stars. The nebula is composed of dust and gas and is thought to be a site of ongoing star formation. It is a cloud of gas and dust expelled from a dying star, which is then illuminated by the intense ultraviolet radiation from the hot central star, causing it to glow. The nebula’s nickname comes from its bluish-white appearance, which resembles frost.

Frosty Leo Nebula


The Frosty Leo Nebula is a protoplanetary nebula (PPN) located approximately 3000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Leo. It is a bipolar spectral nebula. Its central star has the optical spectral type K7II and is known as Frosty Leo. It is unique in that it has an extremely deep absorption feature at 3.1 µm and is located at a distance of more than 900 pc above the plane of our galaxy. Furthermore, it is the only known PPN circumstellar outflow with crystalline ice dominating the long-wavelength emission spectrum and the only known PPN with point-reflection-symmetric deviations from axial symmetry as of 1990.


The Frosty Leo Nebula has two lobes separated by 2′′, with an almost edge-on dust ring between them. It also has two relatively faint but noticeable compact nebulosities, or ansae, separated by ~23′′ along the PPN’s polar axis. The PPN has an hourglass shape overall. It has a 15° inclination angle with respect to the plane of the sky. Its molecular envelope is expanding at a rate of ~25 kilometers per second.