American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Thu, 01/20/2011 - 12:09

If you've wondered what kind of research is going on these days, one place to see a lot of paper abstracts conveniently gathered together is the AGB Newsletter.

The AGB Newsletter is edited by Jacco van Loon (Keele University, UK) and Albert Zijlstra (University of Manchester, UK) and features papers related to Asymptotic Giant Branch stars; their structure, behaviour, evolution or mass loss and their impact on the evolution of galaxies.

They also include contributions on associated phenomena such as post-AGB evolution and Planetary Nebulae, as well as contributions on Red Giant Branch stars and massive red supergiants that are similar to AGB stars.
I just want to freshen this

I just want to freshen this thread by noting that the November 2012 issue of the AGB star Newsletter has been issued, with a number of interesting papers on AGB stars, RCB/DY Per stars, and symbiotics.  I look forward to reading through a number of these after the Annual Meeting concludes!

The URL is here:

and the newsletters are located under "View" on the left-hand menu.

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
AGB News

I strongly suggest that visual observers subscribe.  It is an excellent resource of information regarding the research done in the area.

AGB Newsletter - January 2013

The AGB Newsletter for January 2013 has been published.  See the following URL:

Click "View" to see a list of all published issues.  The most recent issue is at the top.

AGB Newsletter - February 2013

This month's AGB Newsletter is now available here:

There are a few papers using long-term light curves to study variability, as well as using them in conjunction with other observations like IR and interferometry.

There's also a short note on a software package for stellar modeling called MESA which I'm in the process of downloading to try out.  People who are both astrophysically and computationally inclined may wish to have a look -- computational modeling of stars (especially AGB stars) is interesting, and I'm curious to see how they've done creating a universal package that does it.

URSA Astronomical Association, Variable Star Section (Finland) (URSA)
I haven't tried MESA myself,

I haven't tried MESA myself, but I attended the CoolStars17 conference last summer where there was a presentation of it. I have to say the results looked quite promising. It can handle for example massive mass loss though heavy winds. If nothing else, you can create some very nice plots of stellar structure and learn a lot about stellar evolution. Such plots and videos are also just about perfect material if you happen to be preparing a lesson about the life of stars.

You can find the code at

AGB Newsletter -- April 2013

This month's AGB Newsletter is now available.

There are several abstracts on Betelgeuse this month, including one on high-resolution radio imaging of asymmetries in the star.  There's also one on analysis of red giant EBs observed by Kepler.


AGB Newsletter -- May 2013

The May 2013 AGB Star Newsletter was published last Thursday.  There aren't many papers on named Mira variables, but a few papers on other non-Miras.  In fact, one that caught my eye was a poster paper on the very slow novae PU Vul and V723 Cas -- they're mentioned because the donor star in PU Vul is an M giant.



Madrid Astronomical Association M1 (Spain) (AAM)
V723 Cas and PU Vul

The article about the two novae is amazing, you must download pdf. There are many powerful phenomena behind their behaviour. Many years ago I were very interested on V723 Cas because of its slow evolution and numerous brightness peaks; I could stimate this nova during three years and now I can follow it on its late phase by CCD.

In paper there are visual lightcurves of both novae; I wonder if data comes from AAVSO.

AGB Newsletter -- July 2013

Hi all,

It looks like we missed June, but the July newsletter is out.  There are several interesting articles on giant stars, both theoretical and observational.  Some of the stars mentioned have good light curves too (AH Sco, TX Cam), so it's interesting to put the studies presented there in context of their light curves.

The newsletter is available here under "View".



AGB Newsletter -- August 2013

Hi everyone,

The August 2013 issue of the AGB Star Newsletter is now available.  This issue is a little lean in named variable stars, but includes two interesting papers on the circumstellar environments of R CrB stars (R CrB and DY Cen in particular), and many other papers on circumstellar environments in general.  There is also a thoughtful memorial for Margherita Hack, who passed away in June of this year.  Finally, the opening "Food for thought" feature caught my eye -- many things related to Mira stars, chemical composition, and mass loss are still mysterious, and we still have a lot to learn!

The newsletter is available here under "View".



AGB Newsletter - Sept 2013

The Sept 2013 issue of the AGB newsletter is out.

An article on AX Per that uses extensive AAVSO data, "The Peculiar Light Curve of the Symbiotic Star AX Per of the last 125 years" by Leibowitz and Formiggini is featured.  They find a complex power spectrum of 13 harmonics of the outburst period, beating against the binary period to produce another 13 harmonics.  The authors suggest, following others, that the major outbursts of the system result from events of intense mass loss from the giant star.  This paper was featured in AAVSO's Stellar News and a link to the full paper can be found there.

Interesting to me was Pereira et al.'s "A study of two high-velocity red horizontal branch stars".  Because red giants are so bright, they are good tracers of the morphology and kinematics of the galaxy.  These two are out in the halo in very eccentic orbits, though depending on what value is assumed for the galaxy's potential, they may be unbound from our galaxy, i.e. heading for deep intergalactic space!

AGB Newsletter -- October 2013

The AGB Newsletter for October 2013 is now available.

Lots of variety in this issue as usual, but there were several papers on circumstellar structure that caught my eye, including studies of 89 Her (== V441 Her, an old PEP favorite), T Mon & X Sgr, and a long-term polarimetry study of Mira and V CVn that says changes in polarization over time indicate the presence of dust asymmetry.  Also a paper on following variable M giants with Kepler, and another on a variability survey being done from the South Pole(!).