Space Science Reviews vol:119 issue:1-4 pages:215-243
A large fraction of ISO observing time was used to study the late stages of stellar evolution. Many molecular and solid state features, including crystalline silicates and the rotational lines of water vapour, were detected for the first time in the spectra of (post-)Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars. Their analysis has greatly improved our knowledge of stellar atmospheres and circumstellar environments. A surprising number of objects, particularly young planetary nebulae with Wolf-Rayet (WR) central stars, were found to exhibit emission features in their ISO spectra that are characteristic of both oxygen-rich and carbon-rich dust species, while far-IR observations of the PDR around NGC 7027 led to the first detections of the rotational line spectra of CH and CH+.