Oxygen-rich dust production in IC 10

Lebouteiller, V.; Sloan, G. C.; Groenewegen, M. A. T.; Matsuura, M.; Riebel, D.; Whelan, D. G.; Bernard-Salas, J.; Massey, P. and Bayet, E. (2012). Oxygen-rich dust production in IC 10. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 546, article no. A94.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201220087


Context We report the detection of oxygen-rich circumstellar envelopes in stars of the nearby (700 kpc) starburst galaxy IC 10. The star formation history and the chemical environment of this galaxy makes it an ideal target to observe dust production by high-mass stars in a low-metallicity environment.

Aims The goal of this study is to identify oxygen-rich stars in IC 10 and to constrain their nature between asymptotic giant branch stars (AGBs), red supergiants (RSGs), and other infrared bright sources. We examine the mass-loss rate of the stars and compare to results obtained for the Magellanic Clouds. Our objectives are to (1) assess whether RSGs can be significant dust producers in IC 10, and (2), solve the discrepancy between the star formation history of IC 10 and the relatively low number of RSGs detected in the optical.

Methods We search for silicate dust in emission by using the spectral map observed with the Infrared Spectrograph on board the Spitzer Space Telescope. The optical (UBVRI) and infrared (JHK, Spitzer/IRAC and Spitzer/MIPS) photometry is used to assert the membership of the stars to IC 10 and disentangle between AGBs and RSGs. Radiative models are used to infer mass-loss rates and stellar luminosities.

Results The luminosity and colors of at least 9 silicate emission sources are consistent with stars within IC 10. Furthermore, the photometry of 2 of these sources is consistent with RSGs. We derive dust mass-loss rates similar to the values found in the Magellanic Clouds. Accounting for the sample completeness, RSGs are not important contributors to the dust mass budget in IC 10.

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