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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 2528

  Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Astronomy Colloquium
AGB Dust Production in the Local Group
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Martha Boyer, Space Telescope Science Institute
Abstract: There are two known ways to create new dust to input into the interstellar medium: in supernova explosions and in the circumstellar envelopes of evolved stars. Massive evolved stars such as red supergiants produce a lot of dust, but Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars are thought to be the dominant stellar creators of dust at both low and high redshift (z), possibly even in the host galaxy of one of the most distant quasars (z=6.4; Valiante et al. 2009). Using observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we can for the first time study entire populations of AGB stars and quantify the total AGB dust production in Local Group Galaxies. Here, I discuss recent work on dust production in nearby globular clusters and dwarf galaxies, with particular focus on the Magellanic Clouds.
Host: Barbara Whitney
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