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|Paper IPM / Astronomy / 16118||
The evolution of galaxies is driven by the birth and death of stars. AGB stars are at the end points of their evolution and therefore their luminosities directly reflect their birth mass; this enables us to reconstruct the star formation history. These cool stars also produce dust grains that play an important role in the temperature regulation of the interstellar medium (ISM), chemistry, and the formation of planets. These stars can be resolved in all of the nearby galaxies. Therefore, the Local Group of galaxies offers us a superb near-field cosmology site. Here we can reconstruct the formation histories, and probe the structure and dynamics, of spiral galaxies, of the many dwarf satellite galaxies surrounding the Milky Way and Andromeda, and of isolated dwarf galaxies. It also offers a variety of environments in which to study the detailed processes of galaxy evolution through studying the mass-loss mechanism and dust production by cool evolved stars. In this paper, I will first review our recent efforts to identify mass-losing Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars and red supergiants (RSGs) in Local Group galaxies and to correlate spatial distributions of the AGB stars of different mass with galactic structures. Then, I will outline our methodology to reconstruct the star formation histories using variable pulsating AGB stars and RSGs and present the results for rates of massâloss and dust production by pulsating AGB stars and their analysis in terms of stellar evolution and galaxy evolution.
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