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|Paper IPM / Astronomy / 15230||
The population of nearby dwarf galaxies in the Local Group constitutes a complete galactic environment, perfect suited for studying the connection between stellar populations and galaxy evolution. In this study, we are conducting an optical monitoring survey of the majority of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group, with the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT), to identify long period variable stars (LPVs). These stars are at the end points of their evolution and therefore their luminosity can be directly translated into their birth masses; this enables us to reconstruct the star formation history. By the end of the monitoring survey, we will have performed observations over ten epochs, spaced approximately three months apart, and identified long-period, dust-producing AGB stars; five epochs of data have been obtained already. LPVs are also the main source of dust; in combination with Spitzer Space Telescope images at mid-IR wavelengths we will quantify the mass loss, and provide a detailed map of the mass feedback into the interstellar medium. We will also use the amplitudes in different optical passbands to determine the radius variations of the stars, and relate this to their mass loss.
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