Multiwavelength Study of Pulsation and Dust Production in Mira Variables Using Optical Interferometry for Constraints

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Conference Proceeding

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Optical interferometry is a technique by which the diameters and indeed the direct pulsations of stars are routinely being measured. As a follow-on to a 7 year interferometric campaign to measure the pulsations of over 100 mira variables, our team has been using the Spitzer Space Telescope to obtain 95 mid-infrared spectra of 25 miras during their pulsations over one year while simultaneously ascertaining their near-infrared diameters using the Palomar Testbed Interferometer. These data will then be combined with modeling from NLTE and radiative transfer codes to place hard constraints on our understanding of these stars and their circumstellar environments. We present some initial results from this work and discuss the next steps toward fully characterizing the atmosphere, molecular photosphere and dust production in mira variables.