Prospects for Studies of Stellar Evolution and Stellar Death in the JWST Era
I review the prospects for studies of the advanced evolutionary stages of low-, intermediate- and high-mass stars by the JWST and concurrent facilities, with particular emphasis on how they may help elucidate the dominant contributors to the interstellar dust component of galaxies. Observations extending from the mid-infrared to the submillimeter can help quantify the heavy element and dust species inputs to galaxies from AGB stars. JWST’s MIRI mid-infrared instrument will be so sensitive that observations of the dust emission from individual intergalactic AGB stars and planetary nebulae in the Virgo Cluster will be feasible. The Herschel Space Observatory will enable the last largely unexplored spectral region, from the far-IR to the submm, to be surveyed for new lines and dust features, while SOFIA will cover the wavelength gap between JWST and Herschel, a spectral region containing important fine structure lines, together with key water-ice and crystalline silicate bands. Spitzer has significantly increased the number of Type II supernovae that have been surveyed for early-epoch dust formation but reliable quantification of the dust contributions from massive star supernovae of Type II, Type Ib and Type Ic to low- and high-redshift galaxies should come from JWST MIRI observations, which will be able to probe a volume over 1000 times larger than Spitzer.
KeywordsMass Loss Rate Dust Emission Stellar Evolution Planetary Nebula Asymptotic Giant Branch
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