Presentation #114.01 in the session “Evolved Stars”.
Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars are major contributors of cosmic dust to the interstellar medium. Understanding the formation of cosmic dust ejected from these stars is essential to understanding the broader topics of evolution and composition of stellar and interstellar objects in our universe. In this talk, I will present my dissertation research, which investigated the formation of circumstellar dust by using a sample of oxygen-rich Mira variables for which maser emission has been identified. This project started with an analysis of several methods of continuum elimination using the archetypal dusty star, Mira, to account for the continuum emission in the observed spectra. Using high-resolution spectroscopy data along with ancillary data from the published literature, I examined a relationship between the presence of maser emission and the dust spectra for the sample of Mira variables. I have investigated these spectra via continuum elimination by first matching the positions and widths of observed spectral features with those seen in laboratory spectra and then determining whether trends exist between the maser emission and dust spectral features.