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SPIRITS Catalog of Infrared Variables: Identification of Extremely Luminous Long Period Variables

Karambelkar, V. R. and Adams, S. M. and Whitelock, P. A. and Kasliwal, M. M. and Jencson, J. E. and Boyer, M. L. and Goldman, S. R. and Masci, F. and Cody, A. M. and Bally, J. and Bond, H. E. and Gehrz, R. D. and Parthasarathy, M. and Lau, R. M. (2019) SPIRITS Catalog of Infrared Variables: Identification of Extremely Luminous Long Period Variables. Astrophysical Journal, 877 (2). Art. No. 110. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab1a41.

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We present a catalog of 417 luminous infrared variable stars with periods exceeding 250 days. These were identified in 20 nearby galaxies by the ongoing SPitzer InfraRed Intensive Transients Survey survey with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Of these, 359 variables have M_[4.5] (phase-weighted mean magnitudes) fainter than −12 and periods and luminosities consistent with previously reported variables in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). However, 58 variables are more luminous than M_[4.5] = −12, including 11 that are brighter than M_[4.5] = −13, with the brightest having M_[4.5] = −15.51. Most of these bright variable sources have quasi-periods longer than 1000 days, including four over 2000 days. We suggest that the fundamental period–luminosity relationship, previously measured for the LMC, extends to much higher luminosities and longer periods in this large galaxy sample. We posit that these variables include massive asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars (possibly super-AGB stars), red supergiants experiencing exceptionally high mass-loss rates, and interacting binaries. We also present 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 μm photometric catalogs for all sources in these 20 galaxies.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Adams, S. M.0000-0001-5855-5939
Whitelock, P. A.0000-0002-4678-4432
Kasliwal, M. M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Jencson, J. E.0000-0001-5754-4007
Boyer, M. L.0000-0003-4850-9589
Goldman, S. R.0000-0002-8937-3844
Masci, F.0000-0002-8532-9395
Cody, A. M.0000-0002-3656-6706
Bally, J.0000-0001-8135-6612
Bond, H. E.0000-0003-1377-7145
Gehrz, R. D.0000-0003-1319-4089
Additional Information:© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 January 22; revised 2019 March 26; accepted 2019 April 9; published 2019 May 31. We thank Dave Cook, Maria Drout, Shazrene Mohamed, and John Menzies for useful discussions. This work is based on observations made with Spitzer, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. The SPIRITS team acknowledges generous support from the NASA Spitzer grants for SPIRITS. P.A.W. thanks the South African NRF for research funding. J.E.J. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant No. DGE-1144469. R.D.G. was supported by NASA and the United States Air Force. This research has made use of the VizieR catalog access tool, CDS, Strasbourg, France. The original description of the VizieR service was published in A&AS 143, 23. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC, Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Research Foundation (South Africa)UNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
Gaia Multilateral AgreementUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: AGB and post-AGB; stars: oscillations (including pulsations)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190531-091631048
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:V. R. Karambelkar et al 2019 ApJ 877 110
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95972
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:31 May 2019 17:39
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:17

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