NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006B-0070

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Proposal Information for 2006B-0070


PI: Philip Massey, Lowell Observatory, Phil.Massey@lowell.edu
Address: 1400 W Mars Hill Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA

CoI: Geoff Clayton, Louisana State University
CoI: Emily Levesque, MIT
CoI: Knut Olsen, CTIO/NOAO
CoI: Bertrand Plez, GRAAL CNRS, Universite de Montpellier II
CoI: David Silva, AURA/TMT

Title: The Physical Properties and Excess Reddening of Red Supergiants in M31: When Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Abstract: Red supergiants (RSGs) are He-burning massive stars (10-25 M_\odot) whose physical properties have been poorly characterized until recently. Using the new MARCS stellar atmosphere models, we have successfully determined effective temperatures, radii, and bolometric luminosities for large samples of Galactic and Magellanic Cloud RSGs. For the first time this has brought stellar evolutionary theory and ``observation" into agreement for this late stage of evolution of massive stars. We now wish to extend these studies to the metal-rich environment of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), where the expected higher mass-loss rates will present the most exacting test of massive star evolutionary theory to date. In addition, we will use our spectrophotometry to investigate circumstellar dust around these stars, and determine the distribution of particle grain sizes, for comparison to similar work in progress for our Milky Way and Magellanic Cloud sample. Finally, we will also obtain JHK photometry of our stars in order to better understand some inconsistencies seen in the TiO band strengths and V-K colors predicted by the MARCS models.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006B-0070

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