Volume 403, Number 3, June I 2003
|Page(s)||943 - 954|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters, and populations|
|Published online||23 May 2003|
Galactic mass-losing AGB stars probed with the IRTS. II*
LERMA, UMR 8112, Observatoire de Paris, 61 Av. de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
2 Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-8510, Japan
3 National Astronomical Observatory, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8588, Japan
Corresponding author: T. Le Bertre, Thibaut.LeBertre@obspm.fr
Accepted: 11 March 2003
We are using the 2002 data-release from the Japanese space experiment IRTS to investigate the spatial distribution of galactic mass-losing (> yr-1) AGB stars and the relative contribution of C-rich and O-rich ones to the replenishment of the ISM. Our sample contains 126 C-rich and 563 O-rich sources which are sorted on the basis of the molecular bands observed in the range 1.4–4.0 μm, and for which we estimate distances and mass loss rates from near-infrared photometry (K and L'). There is a clear dependence on galactocentric distance, with O-rich sources outnumbering C-rich ones for kpc, and the reverse for kpc. The contribution to the replenishment of the ISM by O-rich AGB stars relative to C-rich ones follows the same trend. Although they are rare (~10% in our sample), sources with 10-6 yr-1 yr-1 dominate the replenishment of the ISM by contributing to ~50% of the total of the complete sample. We find 2 carbon stars at more than 1 kpc from the Galactic Plane, that probably belong to the halo of our Galaxy.
Key words: stars: carbon / stars: mass-loss / stars: AGB and post-AGB / ISM: evolution / Galaxy: solar neighbourhood / infrared: stars
© ESO, 2003
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