The Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars in Nearby Dwarf Galaxies, NGC 6822, IC 1613, and NGC 205

  • Published : 2009.10.15


To investigate properties of the stellar contents of the resolved asymptotic giant branch stars in the nearby dwarf galaxies, we obtained wide-field JHKs images of the dwarf irregular galaxies NGC 6822, IC 1613 and the dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 205, using the WIRCam near-infrared imager of the CFHT. The obtained (J-Ks, Ks) and (H-Ks, Ks) color-magnitude diagrams for the resolved stars in the galaxies contain populations of foreground stars, super giant stars, red giant stars and the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. Using corollary photometric data in the visible bands, AGB stars were selected in the color-magnitude diagrams with a wide wavelength baseline in color indices. In color-color diagrams of the resolved AGB stars, we identified C stars from M giant stars for each galaxies, i.e., 726 C stars in NGC 6822, 126 C stars in IC 1613 and 593 C stars in NGC 205. The number ratios of C stars to M-giants were estimated to be $0.59\pm0.03$ in NGC 6822, $0.30\pm0.03$ in IC 1613 and $0.14\pm0.01$ in NGC 205. From analyses of the correlations of the spatial distribution of the C/M ratios with the HI properties and dynamical structures of the target galaxies, we discuss environmental effects of the star formation in the galaxies. We also discuss the epochs of the AGB star formation in the galaxies by comparing theoretical isochrones with the color distributions and luminosity functions of the AGB stars.