AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 58 Dust (and Ice) Gets in Your Eyes
Poster, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[58.04] Galaxy-Wide Census of Luminous Dust-Generating/Embedded Sources from 2MASS

E. S. Wood, S.V. Marchenko (Western Kentucky U.)

Is there any dependence of the stellar dust-production rate on the average metallicity of the medium from which the stars were formed? In an attempt to answer this question, we developed a technique to find dust-generating or dust-embedded stars using the recently compiled 2MASS point source catalogue. Constructing color-color and magnitude-color diagrams from the filtered 2MASS data, we have been able to detect luminous dust- generating sources in some Local Group galaxies, the Milky Way inclusive. We have been able to separate, to some extent, the dust producers from the highly reddened, main-sequence stars. Our selection criteria practically eliminate ``conventional" AGB dust sources. Once completed, this census will produce a comprehensive list of the galactic and extra-galactic luminous dust-producing/embedded sources. Preliminary examination of M33, a galaxy with a steep metallicity gradient, shows that high-metallicity regions yield more dust-producing sources.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.