Volume 534, October 2011
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||05 October 2011|
Galactic distributions of carbon- and oxygen-rich AGB stars revealed by the AKARI mid-infrared all-sky survey
Department of Physics, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8602, Japan
2 Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
3 Astronomical Institute, Tohoku University, 6-3 Aramaki, Aoba-ku Sendai 980-8578, Japan
4 UCL-Institute of Origins, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
5 UCL-Institute of Origins, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK
6 Kiso Observatory, Institute of Astronomy, University of Tokyo, 10762-30 Mitake, Kiso, Nagano 397-0101, Japan
Received: 4 July 2011
Accepted: 5 August 2011
Context. The environmental conditions for asympotic giant branch (AGB) stars to reach the carbon-rich (C-rich) phase are important to understand the evolutionary process of AGB stars. The difference between the spatial distributions of C-rich and oxygen-rich (O-rich) AGB stars is essential for the study of the Galactic structure and the chemical evolution of the interstellar medium.
Aims. We quantitatively investigate the spatial distributions of C-rich and O-rich AGB stars in our Galaxy. We discuss the difference between them and its origin.
Methods. We classify a large number of AGB stars newly detected by the AKARI mid-infrared all-sky survey. In the color–color diagrams, we define their occupation zones based on the locations of known objects. We then obtain the spatial distributions of C-rich and O-rich AGB stars, assuming that they have the same luminosity for a given mass-loss rate.
Results. We find that O-rich AGB stars are concentrated toward the Galactic center and that the density decreases with Galactocentric distance, whereas C-rich AGB stars show a relatively uniform distribution within about 8 kpc of Sun.
Conclusions. Our result confirms the trends reported in previous studies and extends them to a Galactic scale. We discuss the relations between our result, the Galactic metallicity gradient, and the chemical evolution of the ISM in our Galaxy.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / infrared: ISM / stars: mass-loss / infrared: stars / Galaxy: structure
© ESO, 2011
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