New UW Massive Stars research group paper alert! This paper was led by graduate student Kathryn Neugent and tackles the challenging question of whether we’re properly modeling the mass loss rates of red supergiants (which can be extremely complex!) and accurately predicting their physical properties as a result. Kathryn used careful observations of red supergiants in the Andromeda Galaxy to measure their luminosity function (which is very sensitive to how much mass these stars lose) and compared this new function to the predictions of stellar evolution models. The good news? The models’ prescription for red supergiant mass loss agrees excellently with mass loss!
The paper is currently in press with ApJ and can be found on arXiv.