Infrared variable stars in the compact elliptical galaxy M32

Jones, O. C.; Nally, C.; Sharp, M. J.; McDonald, Iain; Boyer, M. L.; Meixner, M.; Kemper, F.; Ferguson, A .M. N.; Goldman, S. R. and Rich, R. M. (2021). Infrared variable stars in the compact elliptical galaxy M32. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 504(1) pp. 565–575.



Variable stars in the compact elliptical galaxy M32 are identified, using three epochs of photometry from the Spitzer Space Telescope at 3.6 and 4.5 μm, separated by 32 to 381 days. We present a high-fidelity catalogue of sources detected in multiple epochs at both 3.6 and 4.5 μm, which we analysed for stellar variability using a joint probability error-weighted flux difference. Of these, 83 stars are identified as candidate large-amplitude, long-period variables, with 28 considered high-confidence variables. The majority of the variable stars are classified as asymptotic giant branch star candidates using colour-magnitude diagrams. We find no evidence supporting a younger, infrared-bright stellar population in our M32 field.

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