Spitzer SAGE Survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud. II. Evolved Stars and Infrared Color-Magnitude Diagrams

Blum, R. D., Mould, J. R., Olsen, K. A., Frogel, J. A., Werner, M., Meixner, M., Markwick-Kemper, F., Indebetouw, R., Whitney, B., Meade, M., Babler, B., Churchwell, E. B., Gordon, K., Engelbracht, C., For, B.-Q., Misselt, K., Vijh, U., Leitherer, C., Volk, K., Points, S., Reach, W., Hora, J. L., Bernard, J.-P., Boulanger, F., Bracker, S., Cohen, M., Fukui, Y., Gallagher, J., Gorjian, V., Harris, J., Kelly, D., Kawamura, A., Latter, W. B., Madden, S., Mizuno, A., Mizuno, N., Nota, A., Oey, M. S., Onishi, T., Paladini, R., Panagia, N., Perez-Gonzalez, P., Shibai, H., Sato, S., Smith, L., Staveley-Smith, L., Tielens, A. G. G. M., Ueta, T., Van Dyk, S., & Zaritsky, D.
2006, The Astronomical Journal, 132, 2034


Color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) are presented for the Spitzer SAGE (Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy's Evolution) survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). IRAC and MIPS 24 μm epoch 1 data are presented. These data represent the deepest, widest mid-infrared CMDs of their kind ever produced in the LMC. Combined with the Two Micron All Sky Survey, the diagrams are used to delineate the evolved stellar populations in the LMC, as well as Galactic foreground and extragalactic background populations. Some 32,000 evolved stars brighter than the tip of the red giant branch are identified. Of these, approximately 17,500 are classified as oxygen-rich, 7000 as carbon-rich, and another 1200 as ``extreme'' asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. Brighter members of the latter group have been called ``obscured'' AGB stars in the literature owing to their dusty circumstellar envelopes. A large number (1200) of luminous oxygen-rich AGB stars/M supergiants are also identified. Finally, there is strong evidence from the 24 μm MIPS channel that previously unexplored, lower luminosity oxygen-rich AGB stars contribute significantly to the mass-loss budget of the LMC (1200 such sources are identified).

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