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Paper: Star Formation Histories As Probed By AGB Stars
Volume: 378, Why Galaxies Care About AGB Stars: Their Importance as Actors and Probes
Page: 375
Authors: Grebel, E.K.
Abstract: Luminous AGB stars are excellent intermediate-age population tracers in external galaxies. Where present, they dominate the integrated light in the infrared. In resolved stellar populations of galaxies where fainter stars are inaccessible, AGB stars betray the presence or absence of intermediate-age populations. Long-term monitoring aids in determining their bolometric magnitudes and hence ultimately their ages. Carbon stars and C/M star ratios make it possible to study the large-scale variations in metal content and star formation rates and times in galaxies. C stars are also very well suited as kinematic tracers owing to their luminosity and easy identifiability. AGB stars are the main contributors of s-process elements and play an important role in galactic chemical evolution. Conversely, nearby galaxies offer an opportunity to study the metallicity dependence of AGB star mass loss and the resulting AGB star lifetimes. All in all, galaxies should certainly care about AGB stars. A number of dedicated programs are being conducted to obtain a complete census of AGB stars in nearby galaxies. With the advent of JWST and currently existing infrared facilities, AGB star studies are being increasingly emphasized.
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