A Census of Thermally Pulsing AGB Stars in the Andromeda Galaxy and a First Estimate of Their Contribution to the Global Dust Budget

Goldman, Steven R.; Boyer, Martha L.; Dalcanton, Julianne; McDonald, Iain; Girardi, Léo; Williams, Benjamin F.; Srinivasan, Sundar and Gordon, Karl (2022). A Census of Thermally Pulsing AGB Stars in the Andromeda Galaxy and a First Estimate of Their Contribution to the Global Dust Budget. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 259(2), article no. 41.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4365/ac4d9e

Abstract

We present a near-complete catalog of the metal-rich population of thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the northwest quadrant of M31. This metal-rich sample complements the equally complete metal-poor Magellanic Cloud AGB catalogs produced by the SAGE program. Our catalog includes Hubble Space Telescope (HST) wide-band photometry from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury survey, HST medium-band photometry used to chemically classify a subset of the sample, and Spitzer mid- and far-IR photometry that we have used to isolate dust-producing AGB stars. We have detected 346,623 AGB stars; these include 4802 AGB candidates producing considerable dust, and 1356 AGB candidates that lie within clusters with measured ages, and in some cases metallicities. Using the Spitzer data and chemical classifications made with the medium-band data, we have identified both carbon- and oxygen-rich AGB candidates producing significant dust. We have applied color–mass-loss relations based on dusty-AGB stars from the LMC to estimate the dust injection by AGB stars in the PHAT footprint. Applying our color relations to a subset of the chemically classified stars producing the bulk of the dust, we find that ∼97.8% of the dust is oxygen-rich. Using several scenarios for the dust lifetime, we have estimated the contribution of AGB stars to the global dust budget of M31 to be 0.9%–35.5%, which is in line with previous estimates in the Magellanic Clouds. Follow-up observations of the M31 AGB candidates with the JWST will allow us to further constrain stellar and chemical evolutionary models, and the feedback and dust production of metal-rich evolved stars.

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