A new survey of cool supergiants in the Magellanic Clouds⋆
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge,
2 Departamento de Física, Ingeniería de Sistemas y Teoría de la Señal, Universidad de Alicante, Apdo. 99, 03080 Alicante, Spain
Received: 18 November 2014
Accepted: 31 March 2015
Aims. In this study we conduct a pilot program aimed at the red supergiant population of the Magellanic Clouds. We intend to extend the current known sample to the unexplored low end of the brightness distribution of these stars, building a more representative dataset with which to extrapolate their behaviour to other Galactic and extra-galactic environments.
Methods. We select candidates using only near infrared photometry, and with medium resolution multi-object spectroscopy, we perform spectral classification and derive their line-of-sight velocities, confirming the nature of the candidates and their membership in the clouds.
Results. Around two hundred new red supergiants have been detected, hinting at a yet to be observed large population. Using near- and mid-infrared photometry we study the brightness distribution of these stars, the onset of mass-loss, and the effect of dust in their atmospheres. Based on this sample, new a priori classification criteria are investigated, combining mid- and near-infrared photometry to improve the observational efficiency of similar programs to this.
Key words: supergiants / stars: massive / stars: late-type / stars: AGB and post-AGB / Magellanic Clouds / surveys
The catalogue of observed sources is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/578/A3
© ESO, 2015