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The nature of M33’s AGB stars Rowe, Jason F.

Abstract

Using the CFH12k imager on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, photometry of 1.3 million stars is used to investigate stellar populations in the metal poor ([Fe/H]=-0.6) late type spiral galaxy M33. M33 has a distance modulus of D=24.64 and AGB stars are highly luminous, allowing resolved population studies with 4 metre class telescopes. AGB stars are identified and classified in C (carbon) and M-type stars. Examining star counts and colour-magnitude selected stellar populations, the galactic structure of M33 is examined. Further, we search for evidence of galactic interactions as seen in other nearby galaxies, such as M31. We use the ratio of C-stars to M-stars to investigate the metallicity distribution throughout the disk. The C/M-star ratio is found to increase and flatten with galactocentric distance in agreement with viscous disk formation models. The C-star Luminosity function is found to be similar to the SMC and M31 making C-stars possible distance indicators.

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