Earth Planets Space, Vol. 65 (No. 3), pp. 223-227, 2013
Academia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, PO Box 23-141, Taipei 10617, Taiwan, R.O.C.
(Received November 7, 2011; Revised April 18, 2012; Accepted April 22, 2012; Online published March 12, 2013)
The dust reservoir in the interstellar medium of a galaxy
is constantly being replenished by dust formed in the stellar winds of evolved stars. Due to their vicinity, nearby irregular dwarf galaxies the Magellanic Clouds provide an opportunity to obtain a global picture of the dust production in galaxies. The Small and Large Magellanic Clouds have been mapped with the Spitzer Space Telescope from 3.6 to 160 μm, and these wavelengths are especially suitable to study thermal dust emission. In addition, a large number of individual evolved stars have been targeted for 5-40 μm spectroscopy, revealing the mineralogy of these sources. Here I present an overview on the work done on determining the total dust production rate in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, as well as a first attempt at revealing the global composition of the freshly produced stardust.
Key words: Stars: AGB post-AGB stars, stars: mass loss, circumstellar matter, dust, Magellanic Clouds.