NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0461

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0461


PI: David Atlee, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, atlee@noao.edu
Address: None, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, United States

CoI: Janine Pforr, National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Title: A Spectroscopic Study of the Contribution of TP-AGB Stars to Integrated NIR Starlight

Abstract: The interpretation of galaxy spectral energy distributions to determine parameters such as stellar masses and star formation rates is one of the most ubiquitous problems in extragalactic astronomy. This problem is usually solved by the use of stellar population synthesis models. However, this process suffers from several systematic uncertainties, including the contribution of stars ascending the thermally-pulsating asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB). We propose NIR spectroscopy of post-starburst galaxies with GNIRS to measure this contribution. We will measure the strong molecular features expected due to the significant contribution of TP-AGB stars in stellar populations with ages of ~ 300 Myr and determine the contribution of TP-AGB stars to the integrated starlight. Our proposal is part of a multi-wavelength suite of observations that will measure both the direct and re-processed emission of TP-AGB stars to constrain their contribution to integrated stellar populations as a function of age.


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



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