In our latest Research Note from the UW Massive Stars research group!, undergraduate researcher Tzvetelina Dimitrova – advised primarily by UW grad student Kathryn Neugent – has identified a heap of red supergiants in the Local Group galaxy IC10. IC10 is a fascinating nearby galaxy since it’s currently undergoing a huge burst of star formation, so identify this big batch of evolved massive stars serves as a great test of stellar population models. Tzvetelina used near-IR photometry of nearly 100,000 (!) stars to measure stellar temperatures and luminosities, cut out stars that were too warm or too dim to be red supergiants, and then used Gaia data to remove foreground Milky Way red dwarfs. In the end, she found 138 new red supergiant members or candidate members of IC10! This will be an excellent sample for future studies of red supergiants, and of how massive star populations form and evolve in other galaxies.
The paper has been published in the Research Notes of the AAS and can be found here.