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Paper: TP-AGB Stars in M31: Results from PHAT
Volume: 497, Why Galaxies Care about AGB Stars III: A Closer Look in Space and Time
Page: 413
Authors: Girardi, L.; Beerman, L. C.; Boyer, M. L.; Dalcanton, J. J.; Dolphin, A.; Fouesnaeu, M.; Hamren, K.; Johnson, L. C.; Lang, D.; Lewis, A.; Marigo, P.; Rosenfield, P.; Senchyna, P.; Seth, A. C.; Veyette, M.; Weisz, D. R.; Williams, B. F.
Abstract: The Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) is an HST multi-cycle treasury program that mapped one-third of M31 from the UV through the near-IR. It provides photometry in up to 6 filters for about 117 million stars distributed across ∼20 kpc of the M31 disk, with a spatial resolution comparable to that routinely attained for the Magellanic Clouds from the ground. These data are revolutionising our view of the spatial distribution of stars and dust across M31. Here we present an overview of PHAT data and results, with a focus on the thermally-pulsing asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) stars. We comment on (1) the overall spatial distribution of TP-AGB stars as compared to stars of the red giant branch (RGB); (2) the detection of a dramatic drop in the C/M ratio toward the inner M31 disk; (3) the large population of TP-AGB stars in star clusters; (4) an improved view of the planetary nebula population; and (5) the unusual populations of UV-bright stars in the M31 bulge, which correspond to either post-AGB or “failed-AGB” stars. These rich datasets allow us to test the evolution of TP-AGB stars in a metal-rich and star-forming environment, avoiding the incompleteness and distance uncertainties that severely limit similar studies in the Milky Way.
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