Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 461, L37-L40 (2016/September-1)
AGB stars in Leo P and their use as metallicity probes.
Abstract (from CDS):
Leo P is the most metal-poor yet star-forming galaxy in the local volume, and has the potential to serve as a local counterpart to interpret the properties of distant galaxies in the early universe. We present a comprehensive search of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in Leo P using deep infrared imaging. AGB stars are the major dust contributors; the metal poor nature of Leo P can help to shed light on the dust formation process in very low-metallicity environments, similar to the early Universe. We select and classify oxygen-rich and carbon-rich candidate AGB stars using J - K versus K colour-magnitude diagram. To filter out contaminations from background galaxies, we exploit the high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope imaging and identify 9 oxygen-rich AGBs and 13 carbon-rich AGB stars in Leo P. We then use the ratio of carbon-rich and oxygen-rich AGB stars (C/M ratio) as an indicator of on-site metallicity and derive the global metallicity [Fe/H]=-1.8 dex for Leo P, in good agreement with previous studies using isochrone fitting. Follow-up observations of these Leo P AGB stars in the mid-infrared [e.g. Spitzer, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)] will be invaluable to measure the dust formation rates using Spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting.