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Title: Evolution of thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch stars. IV. Constraining mass loss and lifetimes of low mass, low metallicity AGB stars

The evolution and lifetimes of thermally pulsating asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) stars suffer from significant uncertainties. In this work, we analyze the numbers and luminosity functions of TP-AGB stars in six quiescent, low metallicity ([Fe/H] ≲ –0.86) galaxies taken from the ACS Nearby Galaxy Survey Treasury sample, using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photometry in both optical and near-infrared filters. The galaxies contain over 1000 TP-AGB stars (at least 60 per field). We compare the observed TP-AGB luminosity functions and relative numbers of TP-AGB and red giant branch (RGB) stars, N{sub TP-AGB}/N{sub RGB}, to models generated from different suites of TP-AGB evolutionary tracks after adopting star formation histories derived from the HST deep optical observations. We test various mass-loss prescriptions that differ in their treatments of mass loss before the onset of dust-driven winds (pre-dust). These comparisons confirm that pre-dust mass loss is important, since models that neglect pre-dust mass loss fail to explain the observed N{sub TP-AGB}/N{sub RGB} ratio or the luminosity functions. In contrast, models with more efficient pre-dust mass loss produce results consistent with observations. We find that for [Fe/H] ≲ –0.86, lower mass TP-AGB stars (M ≲ 1 M{sub ☉}) must have lifetimes of ∼0.5 Myr andmore » higher masses (M ≲ 3 M{sub ☉}) must have lifetimes ≲ 1.2 Myr. In addition, assuming our best-fitting mass-loss prescription, we show that the third dredge-up has no significant effect on TP-AGB lifetimes in this mass and metallicity range.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy G. Galilei, University of Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 3, I-35122 Padova (Italy)
  3. Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova—INAF, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padova (Italy)
  4. Astrophysics Sector, SISSA, Via Bonomea 265, I-34136 Trieste (Italy)
  5. Raytheon Company, 1151 East Hermans Road, Tucson, AZ 85756 (United States)
  6. Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Turkenschanzstraße 17, A-1180 Wien (Austria)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365625
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 790; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASYMPTOTIC SOLUTIONS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DUSTS; EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; GIANT STARS; LIFETIME; LUMINOSITY; MASS TRANSFER; METALLICITY; PHOTOMETRY; SPACE; STARS; STELLAR WINDS; TELESCOPES