An Interferometrically Derived Sample of Miras with Phase using Spitzer: Paper I – A First Look

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We show some preliminary 10-37 micron high-resolution spectra taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2008-9 of Mira variables distributed across the M, S and C chemical subclasses. Our entire Spitzer sample of 25 galactic Miras was observed from two to several times during this observing campaign and all have simultaneously measured near-infrared interferometric diameters acquired using the Palomar Testbed Interferometer. Because our sources are very bright for Spitzer IRS (typically 5-100 Janskys), we have excellent signal to noise and for many sources see marked changes in overall flux levels as a function of phase. Further, we are able to identify many strong emission lines and emission features due to silicate and carbon dusts and molecular constituents. We introduce the sample and the design of our experiment, discuss the data reduction required for such bright sources using Spitzer, show several examples of spectra with phase and discuss some preliminary findings. Finally, we discuss future steps for Paper II, to be presented later in the year.