Astrophys. J., 790, 22 (2014/July-3)
Evolution of thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch stars. IV. Constraining mass loss and lifetimes of low mass, low metallicity AGB stars.
ROSENFIELD P., MARIGO P., GIRARDI L., DALCANTON J.J., BRESSAN A., GULLIEUSZIK M., WEISZ D., WILLIAMS B.F., DOLPHIN A. and ARINGER B.
Abstract (from CDS):
The evolution and lifetimes of thermally pulsating asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) stars suffer from significant uncertainties. In this work, we analyze the numbers and luminosity functions of TP-AGB stars in six quiescent, low metallicity ([Fe/H] ≲ -0.86) galaxies taken from the ACS Nearby Galaxy Survey Treasury sample, using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photometry in both optical and near-infrared filters. The galaxies contain over 1000 TP-AGB stars (at least 60 per field). We compare the observed TP-AGB luminosity functions and relative numbers of TP-AGB and red giant branch (RGB) stars, NTP–AGB/NRGB, to models generated from different suites of TP-AGB evolutionary tracks after adopting star formation histories derived from the HST deep optical observations. We test various mass-loss prescriptions that differ in their treatments of mass loss before the onset of dust-driven winds (pre-dust). These comparisons confirm that pre-dust mass loss is important, since models that neglect pre-dust mass loss fail to explain the observed NTP–AGB/NRGB ratio or the luminosity functions. In contrast, models with more efficient pre-dust mass loss produce results consistent with observations. We find that for [Fe/H] ≲ -0.86, lower mass TP-AGB stars (M ≲ 1 M☉) must have lifetimes of ∼0.5 Myr and higher masses (M ≲ 3 M☉) must have lifetimes ≲ 1.2 Myr. In addition, assuming our best-fitting mass-loss prescription, we show that the third dredge-up has no significant effect on TP-AGB lifetimes in this mass and metallicity range.
galaxies: dwarf - galaxies: individual: (DDO 71, DDO 78, SCL-DE1, NGC 2976, KKH37, HS117) - stars: AGB and post-AGB - stars: general
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