July 11-15, 2011
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Self-Obscured Dusty Massive Stars in Nearby Galaxies

Rubab Khan (Ohio State University)

When very massive evolved stars are optically obscured by dust from their own mass loss, much or even all of the stellar flux is re-emitted by their dusty envelopes leading to SEDs with peak luminosities in the mid-IR. The large, rich, publicly available Spitzer data-sets are ideal for identifying and studying such objects. We present preliminary results from a systematic survey for rare, luminous, dusty, massive stars in nearby (D < 10 Mpc) galaxies. We identify the brightest mid-IR sources in archival Spitzer images, attempt to classify them and to characterize massive stellar population in the local neighborhood. We also consider their implication for our current understanding of massive stellar evolution.
(to be confirmed by the SOC)