This award will support an observational program to learn about mass loss in the late stages of evolution of intermediate-mass stars, especially those in the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase of evolution. The project focuses on three main questions: (1) how each generation of stars returns nuclear-processed and unprocessed material to the interstellar medium; (2) how much dust is produced in the winds from cool, luminous giants; and (3) how mass loss depends on the chemical abundances of the parent stars. The first phases of observations will be conducted in the near-infrared, with later follow-up observations on the new Atacama Large Millimetre-submillimetre Array (ALMA).

The study of dying stars has many implications for stellar evolution, galactic astronomy, and nucleosynthesis. Undergraduate students will participate in all stages of the project.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1108645
Program Officer
Maria Womack
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-07-01
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$469,250
Indirect Cost
Name
Cornell University
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Ithaca
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
14850