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Paper: The Local Group: Inventory and History
Volume: 445, Why Galaxies Care about AGB Stars II: Shining Examples and Common Inhabitants
Page: 463
Authors: Tolstoy, E.
Abstract: An overview is presented of what we know about the Local Group of galaxies, primarily from optical imaging and spectroscopy. AGB stars are on the whole a very sparse and unrepresentative stellar population in most Local Group galaxies. However, more detailed studies of star formation histories and chemical evolution properties of populations, such as main sequence dwarf stars and red giant branch stars, allow a better understanding of the evolutionary context in which AGB stars can be observed. There are a variety of galaxy types in the Local Group which range from predominantly metal-poor (e.g. Leo A) to metal-rich (e.g. M 32). Dwarf galaxies are the most numerous type of galaxy in the Local Group and provide the opportunity to study a relatively simple, typically metal-poor, environment that is likely similar to the conditions in the early history of all galaxies. The range of star formation histories, peak star formation rates, and metallicities should provide enough information to properly calibrate observations of AGB stars in more distant systems, and indeed in integrated spectra. Here I summarise what we know about the star formation histories of nearby galaxies and their chemical evolution histories and then attempt to make a connection to their AGB star properties.
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