Vol 13, No 3

Classification study of WISE infrared sources: identification of candidate asymptotic giant branch stars

Xun Tu, Zhong-Xiang Wang


In the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky source catalog there are 76 million mid-infrared point sources that were detected in the first three WISE bands and have association with only one 2MASS near-IR source within 3′′. We search for their identifications in the SIMBAD database and find 3.2 million identified sources. Based on these known sources, we establish three criteria for selecting candidate asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the Galaxy, which are three defined zones in a color-color diagram, Galactic latitude |b| ≤ 20°, and “corrected” WISE third-band W3c≤11. Applying these criteria to the WISE+2MASS sources, 1.37 million of them are selected. We analyze the WISE third-band W3 distribution of the selected sources, and further establish that W3≤8 is required in order to exclude a large fraction of normal stars from them. We therefore find 0.47 million candidate AGB stars in our Galaxy from the WISE source catalog. Using W3c, we estimate their distances and derive their Galactic distributions. The candidates are generally distributed around the Galactic center uniformly, with 68% (1-σ) of them within approximately 8 kpc. We discuss the idea that optical spectroscopy can be used to verify the C-rich AGB stars in our candidates, and thus a fraction of them (~10%) will be good targets for the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) survey that is planned to start in fall of 2012.


stars: AGB and post-AGB — infrared: stars — stars: carbon

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