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 Reliability Checks on the Indo-US Stellar Spectral Library Using Artificial Neural Networks and Principal Component AnalysisThe Indo-US coudé feed stellar spectral library (CFLIB) madeavailable to the astronomical community recently by Valdes et al. (2004,ApJS, 152, 251) contains spectra of 1273 stars in the spectral region3460 to 9464Å at a high resolution of 1Å (FWHM) and a widerange of spectral types. Cross-checking the reliability of this databaseis an important and desirable exercise since a number of stars in thisdatabase have no known spectral types and a considerable fraction ofstars has not so complete coverage in the full wavelength region of3460-9464Å resulting in gaps ranging from a few Å to severaltens of Å. We use an automated classification scheme based onArtificial Neural Networks (ANN) to classify all 1273 stars in thedatabase. In addition, principal component analysis (PCA) is carried outto reduce the dimensionality of the data set before the spectra areclassified by the ANN. Most importantly, we have successfullydemonstrated employment of a variation of the PCA technique to restorethe missing data in a sample of 300 stars out of the CFLIB. Detection Limits from the McDonald Observatory Planet Search ProgramBased on the long-term radial velocity surveys carried out with theMcDonald Observatory 2.7 m Harlan J. Smith Telescope from 1988 to thepresent, we derive upper limits to long-period giant planet companionsfor 31 nearby stars. Data from three phases of the McDonald Observatory2.7 m planet-search program have been merged together, and for 17objects data from the pioneering Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope radialvelocity program have also been included in the companion-limitsdetermination. For those 17 objects, the baseline of observations is inexcess of 23 yr, enabling the detection or exclusion of giant planets inorbits beyond 8 AU. We also consider the possibility of eccentric orbitsin our computations. At an orbital separation of 5.2 AU, we can excludeon average planets of Msini>~(2.0+/-1.1)MJ (e=0) andMsini>~(4.0+/-2.8)MJ (e=0.6) for 25 of the 31 stars inthis survey. However, we are not yet able to rule out true Jupiters,''i.e., planets of Msini~1MJ in 5.2 AU orbits. These limits areof interest for the Space Interferometry Mission, Terrestrial PlanetFinder, and Darwin missions, which will search for terrestrial planetsorbiting nearby stars, many of which are included in this work. Dwarfs in the Local RegionWe present lithium, carbon, and oxygen abundance data for a sample ofnearby dwarfs-a total of 216 stars-including samples within 15 pc of theSun, as well as a sample of local close giant planet (CGP) hosts (55stars) and comparison stars. The spectroscopic data for this work have aresolution of R~60,000, a signal-to-noise ratio >150, and spectralcoverage from 475 to 685 nm. We have redetermined parameters and derivedadditional abundances (Z>10) for the CGP host and comparison samples.From our abundances for elements with Z>6 we determine the meanabundance of all elements in the CGP hosts to range from 0.1 to 0.2 dexhigher than nonhosts. However, when relative abundances ([x/Fe]) areconsidered we detect no differences in the samples. We find nodifference in the lithium contents of the hosts versus the nonhosts. Theplanet hosts appear to be the metal-rich extension of local regionabundances, and overall trends in the abundances are dominated byGalactic chemical evolution. A consideration of the kinematics of thesample shows that the planet hosts are spread through velocity space;they are not exclusively stars of the thin disk. A Comparative Study on Lithium Abundances in Solar-Type Stars With and Without PlanetsWe have investigated the abundance anomalies of lithium for stars withplanets in the temperature range of 5600-5900 K reported by Israelianand coworkers, as compared to 20 normal stars in the same temperatureand metallicity ranges. Our result indicates a higher probability oflithium depletion for stars with planets in the main-sequence stage. Itseems that stellar photospheric abundances of lithium in stars withplanets may be somewhat affected by the presence of planets. Twopossible mechanisms are considered to account for the lower Liabundances of stars with planets. One is related to the rotation-inducedmixing due to the conservation of angular momentum by the protoplanetarydisk, and the other is a shear instability triggered by planetmigration. These results provide new information on stellar evolutionand the lithium evolution of the Galaxy. Simulating observable comets. III. Real stellar perturbers of the Oort cloud and their outputContext: .This is the third of a series of papers on simulating themechanisms acting currently on the Oort cloud and producing the observedlong-period comets.Aims.In this paper we investigate the influence ofcurrent stellar perturbers on the Oort cloud of comets under thesimultaneous galactic disk tide. We also analyse the past motion of theobserved long-period comets under the same dynamical model to verify thewidely used definition of dynamically new comets. Methods.The action ofnearby stars and the galactic disk tide on the Oort cloud was simulated.The original orbital elements of all 386 long-period comets of qualityclasses 1 and 2 were calculated, and their motion was followednumerically for one orbital revolution into the past, down to theprevious perihelion. We also simulated the output of the close futurepass of GJ 710 through the Oort cloud. Results.The simulated flux of theobservable comets resulting from the current stellar and galacticperturbations, as well as the distribution of perihelion direction, wasobtained. The same data are presented for the future passage of GJ 710.A detailed description is given of the past evolution of aphelion andperihelion distances of the observed long-period comets. Conclusions. Weobtained no fingerprints of the stellar perturbations in the simulatedflux and its directional structure. The mechanisms producing observablecomets are highly dominated by galactic disk tide because all currentstellar perturbers are too weak. Also the effect of the close passage ofthe star GJ 710 is very difficult to recognise on the background of theGalactic-driven observable comets. For the observed comets we found only45 to be really dynamically "new" according to our definition based onthe previous perihelion distance value. Lithium Abundances of F-, G-, and K-Type Stars: Profile-Fitting Analysis of the Li I 6708 DoubletAn extensive profile-fitting analysis was performed for the Li(+Fe)6707-6708Å feature of nearby 160 F-K dwarfs/subgiants (including27 planet-host stars) in the Galactic disk ( 7000 K ≳Teff ≳ 5000 K, -1 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ +0.4), in orderto establish the photospheric lithium abundances of these stars. Thenon-LTE effect (though quantitatively insignificant) was taken intoaccount based on our statistical equilibrium calculations, which werecarried out on an adequate grid of models. Our results confirmed most ofthe interesting observational characteristics revealed by recentlypublished studies, such as the bimodal distribution of the Li abundancesfor stars at Teff ≳ 6000 K, the satisfactory agreementof the upper envelope of the A(Li) vs. [Fe/H] distribution with thetheoretical models, the existence of a positive correlation betweenA(Li) and the stellar mass, and the tendency of lower lithium abundancesof planet-host stars (as compared to stars without planets) at thenarrow transition'' region of 5900 K ≳ Teff ≳5800 K. The solar Li abundance derived from this analysis is 0.92 (H =12.00), which is by 0.24dex lower than the widely referenced standardvalue of 1.16. Spectroscopic Study on the Atmospheric Parameters of Nearby F--K Dwarfs and SubgiantsBased on a collection of high-dispersion spectra obtained at OkayamaAstrophysical Observatory, the atmospheric parameters (Teff,log g, vt, and [Fe/H]) of 160 mid-F through early-K starswere extensively determined by the spectroscopic method using theequivalent widths of Fe I and Fe II lines along with the numericaltechnique of Takeda et al. (2002, PASJ, 54, 451). The results arecomprehensively discussed and compared with the parameter values derivedby different approaches (e.g., photometric colors, theoreticalevolutionary tracks, Hipparcos parallaxes, etc.) as well as with thepublished values found in various literature. It has been confirmed thatour purely spectroscopic approach yields fairly reliable and consistentresults. Optical and near-infrared spectroscopy of nova V1494 Aquilae 1999 no. 2Optical and near-infrared spectroscopic observations of the fast novaV1494 Aquilae 1999 no. 2 covering various phases - early decline,transition and nebular - during the first 18 months of its post-outburstevolution are presented in this paper. During this period, the novaevolved in the PfePofeCospectral sequence. The transition from an optically thick wind to apolar blob-equatorial ring geometry is seen in the evolution of thespectral line profiles. There is evidence of density and temperaturestratification in the ejecta. Physical conditions in the ejecta havebeen estimated based on our observations. Spectroscopic Properties of Cool Stars (SPOCS). I. 1040 F, G, and K Dwarfs from Keck, Lick, and AAT Planet Search ProgramsWe present a uniform catalog of stellar properties for 1040 nearby F, G,and K stars that have been observed by the Keck, Lick, and AAT planetsearch programs. Fitting observed echelle spectra with synthetic spectrayielded effective temperature, surface gravity, metallicity, projectedrotational velocity, and abundances of the elements Na, Si, Ti, Fe, andNi, for every star in the catalog. Combining V-band photometry andHipparcos parallaxes with a bolometric correction based on thespectroscopic results yielded stellar luminosity, radius, and mass.Interpolating Yonsei-Yale isochrones to the luminosity, effectivetemperature, metallicity, and α-element enhancement of each staryielded a theoretical mass, radius, gravity, and age range for moststars in the catalog. Automated tools provide uniform results and makeanalysis of such a large sample practical. Our analysis method differsfrom traditional abundance analyses in that we fit the observed spectrumdirectly, rather than trying to match equivalent widths, and wedetermine effective temperature and surface gravity from the spectrumitself, rather than adopting values based on measured photometry orparallax. As part of our analysis, we determined a new relationshipbetween macroturbulence and effective temperature on the main sequence.Detailed error analysis revealed small systematic offsets with respectto the Sun and spurious abundance trends as a function of effectivetemperature that would be inobvious in smaller samples. We attempted toremove these errors by applying empirical corrections, achieving aprecision per spectrum of 44 K in effective temperature, 0.03 dex inmetallicity, 0.06 dex in the logarithm of gravity, and 0.5 kms-1 in projected rotational velocity. Comparisons withprevious studies show only small discrepancies. Our spectroscopicallydetermined masses have a median fractional precision of 15%, but theyare systematically 10% higher than masses obtained by interpolatingisochrones. Our spectroscopic radii have a median fractional precisionof 3%. Our ages from isochrones have a precision that variesdramatically with location in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. We planto extend the catalog by applying our automated analysis technique toother large stellar samples. The Planet-Metallicity CorrelationWe have recently carried out spectral synthesis modeling to determineTeff, logg, vsini, and [Fe/H] for 1040 FGK-type stars on theKeck, Lick, and Anglo-Australian Telescope planet search programs. Thisis the first time that a single, uniform spectroscopic analysis has beenmade for every star on a large Doppler planet search survey. We identifya subset of 850 stars that have Doppler observations sufficient todetect uniformly all planets with radial velocity semiamplitudes K>30m s-1 and orbital periods shorter than 4 yr. From this subsetof stars, we determine that fewer than 3% of stars with-0.5<[Fe/H]<0.0 have Doppler-detected planets. Above solarmetallicity, there is a smooth and rapid rise in the fraction of starswith planets. At [Fe/H]>+0.3 dex, 25% of observed stars have detectedgas giant planets. A power-law fit to these data relates the formationprobability for gas giant planets to the square of the number of metalatoms. High stellar metallicity also appears to be correlated with thepresence of multiple-planet systems and with the total detected planetmass. This data set was examined to better understand the origin of highmetallicity in stars with planets. None of the expected fossilsignatures of accretion are observed in stars with planets relative tothe general sample: (1) metallicity does not appear to increase as themass of the convective envelopes decreases, (2) subgiants with planetsdo not show dilution of metallicity, (3) no abundance variations for Na,Si, Ti, or Ni are found as a function of condensation temperature, and(4) no correlations between metallicity and orbital period oreccentricity could be identified. We conclude that stars with extrasolarplanets do not have an accretion signature that distinguishes them fromother stars; more likely, they are simply born in higher metallicitymolecular clouds.Based on observations obtained at Lick and Keck Observatories, operatedby the University of California, and the Anglo-Australian Observatories. The Cornell High-Order Adaptive Optics Survey for Brown Dwarfs in Stellar Systems. I. Observations, Data Reduction, and Detection AnalysesIn this first of a two-paper sequence, we report techniques and resultsof the Cornell High-Order Adaptive Optics Survey (CHAOS) for brown dwarfcompanions. At the time of this writing, this study represents the mostsensitive published population survey of brown dwarf companions tomain-sequence stars for separations akin to our own outer solar system.The survey, conducted using the Palomar 200 inch (5 m) Hale Telescope,consists of Ks coronagraphic observations of 80 main-sequencestars out to 22 pc. At 1" separation from a typical target system, thesurvey achieves median sensitivities 10 mag fainter than the parentstar. In terms of companion mass, the survey achieves typicalsensitivities of 25MJ (1 Gyr), 50MJ (solar age),and 60MJ (10 Gyr), using the evolutionary models of Baraffeand coworkers. Using common proper motion to distinguish companions fromfield stars, we find that no systems show positive evidence of asubstellar companion (searchable separation ~1"-15" projected separation~10-155 AU at the median target distance). In the second paper of theseries we will present our Monte Carlo population simulations. Stars within 15 Parsecs: Abundances for a Northern SampleWe present an abundance analysis for stars within 15 pc of the Sunlocated north of -30° declination. We have limited our abundancesample to absolute magnitudes brighter than +7.5 and have eliminatedseveral A stars in the local vicinity. Our final analysis list numbers114 stars. Unlike Allende Prieto et al. in their consideration of a verysimilar sample, we have enforced strict spectroscopic criteria in thedetermination of atmospheric parameters. Nevertheless, our results arevery similar to theirs. We determine the mean metallicity of the localregion to be <[Fe/H]>=-0.07 using all stars and -0.04 when interlopersfrom the thick disk are eliminated. Abundance trends in kinematical groups of the Milky Way's diskWe have compiled a large catalogue of metallicities and abundance ratiosfrom the literature in order to investigate abundance trends of severalalpha and iron peak elements in the thin disk and the thick disk of theGalaxy. The catalogue includes 743 stars with abundances of Fe, O, Mg,Ca, Ti, Si, Na, Ni and Al in the metallicity range -1.30 < [Fe/H]< +0.50. We have checked that systematic differences betweenabundances measured in the different studies were lower than randomerrors before combining them. Accurate distances and proper motions fromHipparcos and radial velocities from several sources have been retreivedfor 639 stars and their velocities (U, V, W) and galactic orbits havebeen computed. Ages of 322 stars have been estimated with a Bayesianmethod of isochrone fitting. Two samples kinematically representative ofthe thin and thick disks have been selected, taking into account theHercules stream which is intermediate in kinematics, but with a probabledynamical origin. Our results show that the two disks are chemicallywell separated, they overlap greatly in metallicity and both showparallel decreasing alpha elements with increasing metallicity, in theinterval -0.80 < [Fe/H] < -0.30. The Mg enhancement with respectto Fe of the thick disk is measured to be 0.14 dex. An even largerenhancement is observed for Al. The thick disk is clearly older than thethin disk with tentative evidence of an AMR over 2-3 Gyr and a hiatus instar formation before the formation of the thin disk. We do not observea vertical gradient in the metallicity of the thick disk. The Herculesstream has properties similar to that of the thin disk, with a widerrange of metallicity. Metal-rich stars assigned to the thick disk andsuper-metal-rich stars assigned to the thin disk appear as outliers inall their properties. CHORIZOS: A χ2 Code for Parameterized Modeling and Characterization of Photometry and SpectrophotometryWe have developed CHi-square cOde for parameterRized modeling andcharacterIZation of phOtometry and Spectrophotmetry (CHORIZOS). CHORIZOScan use up to two intrinsic free parameters (e.g., temperature andgravity for stars, type and redshift for galaxies, or age andmetallicity for stellar clusters) and two extrinsic parameters (amountand type of extinction). The code uses χ2 minimization tofind all models compatible with the observed data in the modelN-dimensional (N=1, 2, 3, 4) parameter space. CHORIZOS can use eithercorrelated or uncorrelated colors as input and is specially designed toidentify possible parameter degeneracies and multiple solutions. Thecode is written in IDL and is available to the astronomical community.Here we present the techniques used, test the code, apply it to a fewwell-known astronomical problems, and suggest possible applications. Asa first scientific result from CHORIZOS, we confirm from photometry theneed for a revised temperature-spectral type scale for OB starspreviously derived from spectroscopy. The fundamental parameters of the Algol binary AI Draconis revisited We present the results of an analysis of our infrared light curves ofthe Algol-type binary AI Draconis in the J, H and K bands, and ofpublished light curves in the B, V and Strömgren uvby bands,together with spectra obtained by us. The analysis of the light curveswas carried out using a code based on ATLAS model atmospheres and Rochegeometry.The small contribution of the secondary cool component to the totallight of the system in the visible, producing light curves with veryshallow secondary eclipses, makes the stellar and orbital parametersderived from light-curve analysis in the visible spectral rangeuncertain. The larger contribution of the secondary star to the infraredfluxes makes this range particularly well suited to the derivation ofprecise orbital and stellar parameters in binaries of Algol type. Fromthe simultaneous solution of the infrared JHK light curves, we derivethe following absolute orbital and stellar parameters for the twocomponents: = 10160 +/- 160 K,Req,1= 2.12 +/- 0.04 Rsolar,log()1= 4.23; = 5586 +/-110 K, Req,2= 2.36 +/- 0.04 Rsolar,log()2= 3.76; M1= 2.86 +/- 0.09Msolar, q=M2/M1= 0.44 +/- 0.03; a= 7.62+/- 0.09 Rsolar, i= 76.53°+/- 0.3°, e~= 0.0. Here, and log() indicate average surfacevalues, Req is the equivalent radius of the deformed star anda is the orbital size.In our light-curve solutions, the secondary star of AI Dra fills itsRoche lobe (as also indicated by the spectroscopy), thus discountingclaims, based on UBV light curves, that both components of the binaryare located within their Roche lobes. The visible and infraredphotometry show no evidence of any significant infrared excess in thesystem, and the distance of AI Dra is estimated as d= 169 +/- 17 pc.Based on the spectra of AI Dra and template stars in the ranges8210-9060, 6250-7130 and 4040-4920 Å, we classify the stellarcomponents of AI Dra and find that the most probable spectral types areA0V (or perhaps A1V) for the primary and F9.5V for the secondary(although it could reach as far as G4V), respectively. From ourspectroscopic observations, the spectral evolution of AI Dra withorbital phase is also presented. Furthermore, we obtain the projectedrotational velocity of the secondary, whose value turns out to becompatible with the star filling its Roche lobe. Lithium abundances of the local thin disc starsLithium abundances are presented for a sample of 181 nearby F and Gdwarfs with accurate Hipparcos parallaxes. The stars are on circularorbits about the Galactic centre and, hence, are identified as belongingto the thin disc. This sample is combined with two published surveys toprovide a catalogue of lithium abundances, metallicities ([Fe/H]),masses, and ages for 451 F-G dwarfs, almost all belonging to the thindisc. The lithium abundances are compared and contrasted with publishedlithium abundances for F and G stars in local open clusters. The fieldstars span a larger range in [Fe/H] than the clusters for which [Fe/H]~=0.0 +/- 0.2. The initial (i.e. interstellar) lithium abundance of thesolar neighbourhood, as derived from stars for which astration oflithium is believed to be unimportant, is traced from logɛ(Li) =2.2 at [Fe/H]=-1 to logɛ(Li) = 3.2 at +0.1. This form for theevolution is dependent on the assumption that astration of lithium isnegligible for the stars defining the relation. An argument is advancedthat this latter assumption may not be entirely correct, and, theevolution of lithium with [Fe/H] may be flatter than previouslysupposed. A sharp Hyades-like Li dip is not seen among the field starsand appears to be replaced by a large spread among lithium abundances ofstars more massive than the lower mass limit of the dip. Astration oflithium by stars of masses too low to participate in the Li dip isdiscussed. These stars show little to no spread in lithium abundance ata given [Fe/H] and mass. Determination of fundamental characteristics for stars of the F, G, and K spectral types. The surface gravities and metallicity parameters.Not Available A near-infrared stellar spectral library: I. H-band spectra.This paper presents the H band near-infrared (NIR) spectral library of135 solar type stars covering spectral types O5-M3 and luminosityclasses I-V as per MK classification. The observations were carried outwith 1.2 meter Gurushikhar Infrared Telescope (GIRT), at Mt. Abu, Indiausing a NICMOS3 HgCdTe 256 x 256 NIR array based spectrometer. Thespectra have a moderate resolution of 1000 (about 16 A) at the H bandand have been continuum shape corrected to their respective effectivetemperatures. This library and the remaining ones in J and K bands oncereleased will serve as an important database for stellar populationsynthesis and other applications in conjunction with the newly formedlarge optical coude feed stellar spectral library of Valdes et al.(2004). The complete H-Band library is available online at: http://vo.iucaa.ernet.in/~voi/NIR_Header.html The Atmospheric Lithium Abundances of Solar AnaloguesWe have analyzed the lithium abundance in the atmospheres of 20 starsthat are solar analogues based on high-resolution echelle spectra usingmodel atmospheres in a non-LTE approach. In terms of their lithiumabundances, the stars (which are located in a narrow range oftemperatures of 5650 5900 K) can be divided into two groups: one withlow lithium abundances, as in the solar atmosphere, and one with lithiumabundances that are higher than the solar value by about 1 dex (with theaccuracy of the lithium abundances being 0.15 dex). Chemical Composition of 15 Photometric Analogues of the SunThe results of a spectroscopic analysis of 15 stars that are photometricanalogues of the Sun are reported. The effective temperatures andsurface gravities in the stellar atmospheres are derived from publishedphotometric indices and the HIPPARCOS parallaxes. The abundances of 33elements ranging from lithium to europium are analyzed based onhigh-dispersion spectra taken with the new Coudé echellespectrometer of the Terskol Observatory in the northern Caucasus. Themain parameters of most of the stars agree with the data of an [Fe/H]catalog published in 2001. Our study of the chemical compositions of thesample stars indicates that photometric analogues of the Sun can bedivided into three groups according to their elemental abundances: sixstars have solar chemical composition, four have abundance excesses, andfive have some abundance deficiencies. The sample contains twometal-deficient subgiants (HD 133002 and HD 225239). Our resultsdemonstrate that photometric similarity is not a sufficient criterion toconsider a star as solar analogue. When several criteria, includingchemical composition, are simultaneously taken into account, only fourstars from the sample can be considered true solar analogues: HD 10307,HD 34411, HD 146233 (18 Sco), and HD 186427 (16 Cyg B). These resultsconfirm the previously published suggestion that 18 Sco is the mostprobable twin of the Sun: essentially all the parameters of the twostars coincide within the errors. Chromospheric Ca II Emission in Nearby F, G, K, and M StarsWe present chromospheric Ca II H and K activity measurements, rotationperiods, and ages for ~1200 F, G, K, and M type main-sequence stars from~18,000 archival spectra taken at Keck and Lick Observatories as a partof the California and Carnegie Planet Search Project. We have calibratedour chromospheric S-values against the Mount Wilson chromosphericactivity data. From these measurements we have calculated medianactivity levels and derived R'HK, stellar ages,and rotation periods from general parameterizations for 1228 stars,~1000 of which have no previously published S-values. We also presentprecise time series of activity measurements for these stars.Based on observations obtained at Lick Observatory, which is operated bythe University of California, and on observations obtained at the W. M.Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University ofCalifornia and the California Institute of Technology. The KeckObservatory was made possible by the generous financial support of theW. M. Keck Foundation. The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar SpectraWe have obtained spectra for 1273 stars using the 0.9 m coudéfeed telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This telescope feedsthe coudé spectrograph of the 2.1 m telescope. The spectra havebeen obtained with the no. 5 camera of the coudé spectrograph anda Loral 3K×1K CCD. Two gratings have been used to provide spectralcoverage from 3460 to 9464 Å, at a resolution of ~1 Å FWHMand at an original dispersion of 0.44 Å pixel-1. For885 stars we have complete spectra over the entire 3460 to 9464 Åwavelength region (neglecting small gaps of less than 50 Å), andpartial spectral coverage for the remaining stars. The 1273 stars havebeen selected to provide broad coverage of the atmospheric parametersTeff, logg, and [Fe/H], as well as spectral type. The goal ofthe project is to provide a comprehensive library of stellar spectra foruse in the automated classification of stellar and galaxy spectra and ingalaxy population synthesis. In this paper we discuss thecharacteristics of the spectral library, viz., details of theobservations, data reduction procedures, and selection of stars. We alsopresent a few illustrations of the quality and information available inthe spectra. The first version of the complete spectral library is nowpublicly available from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory(NOAO) via ftp and http. Synthetic Lick Indices and Detection of α-enhanced Stars. II. F, G, and K Stars in the -1.0 < [Fe/H] < +0.50 RangeWe present an analysis of 402 F, G, and K solar neighborhood stars, withaccurate estimates of [Fe/H] in the range -1.0 to +0.5 dex, aimed at thedetection of α-enhanced stars and at the investigation of theirkinematical properties. The analysis is based on the comparison of 571sets of spectral indices in the Lick/IDS system, coming from fourdifferent observational data sets, with synthetic indices computed withsolar-scaled abundances and with α-element enhancement. We useselected combinations of indices to single out α-enhanced starswithout requiring previous knowledge of their main atmosphericparameters. By applying this approach to the total data set, we obtain alist of 60 bona fide α-enhanced stars and of 146 stars withsolar-scaled abundances. The properties of the detected α-enhancedand solar-scaled abundance stars with respect to their [Fe/H] values andkinematics are presented. A clear kinematic distinction betweensolar-scaled and α-enhanced stars was found, although a one-to-onecorrespondence to thin disk'' and thick disk'' components cannot besupported with the present data. Stellar Chemical Signatures and Hierarchical Galaxy FormationTo compare the chemistries of stars in the Milky Way dwarf spheroidal(dSph) satellite galaxies with stars in the Galaxy, we have compiled alarge sample of Galactic stellar abundances from the literature. Whenkinematic information is available, we have assigned the stars tostandard Galactic components through Bayesian classification based onGaussian velocity ellipsoids. As found in previous studies, the[α/Fe] ratios of most stars in the dSph galaxies are generallylower than similar metallicity Galactic stars in this extended sample.Our kinematically selected stars confirm this for the Galactic halo,thin-disk, and thick-disk components. There is marginal overlap in thelow [α/Fe] ratios between dSph stars and Galactic halo stars onextreme retrograde orbits (V<-420 km s-1), but this is notsupported by other element ratios. Other element ratios compared in thispaper include r- and s-process abundances, where we find a significantoffset in the [Y/Fe] ratios, which results in a large overabundance in[Ba/Y] in most dSph stars compared with Galactic stars. Thus, thechemical signatures of most of the dSph stars are distinct from thestars in each of the kinematic components of the Galaxy. This resultrules out continuous merging of low-mass galaxies similar to these dSphsatellites during the formation of the Galaxy. However, we do not ruleout very early merging of low-mass dwarf galaxies, since up to one-halfof the most metal-poor stars ([Fe/H]<=-1.8) have chemistries that arein fair agreement with Galactic halo stars. We also do not rule outmerging with higher mass galaxies, although we note that the LMC and theremnants of the Sgr dwarf galaxy are also chemically distinct from themajority of the Galactic halo stars. Formation of the Galaxy's thickdisk by heating of an old thin disk during a merger is also not ruledout; however, the Galaxy's thick disk itself cannot be comprised of theremnants from a low-mass (dSph) dwarf galaxy, nor of a high-mass dwarfgalaxy like the LMC or Sgr, because of differences in chemistry.The new and independent environments offered by the dSph galaxies alsoallow us to examine fundamental assumptions related to thenucleosynthesis of the elements. The metal-poor stars ([Fe/H]<=-1.8)in the dSph galaxies appear to have lower [Ca/Fe] and [Ti/Fe] than[Mg/Fe] ratios, unlike similar metallicity stars in the Galaxy.Predictions from the α-process (α-rich freeze-out) would beconsistent with this result if there have been a lack of hypernovae indSph galaxies. The α-process could also be responsible for thevery low Y abundances in the metal-poor stars in dSph's; since [La/Eu](and possibly [Ba/Eu]) are consistent with pure r-process results, thelow [Y/Eu] suggests a separate r-process site for this light(first-peak) r-process element. We also discuss SNe II rates and yieldsas other alternatives, however. In stars with higher metallicities([Fe/H]>=-1.8), contributions from the s-process are expected; [(Y,La, and Ba)/Eu] all rise as expected, and yet [Ba/Y] is still muchhigher in the dSph stars than similar metallicity Galactic stars. Thisresult is consistent with s-process contributions from lower metallicityAGB stars in dSph galaxies, and is in good agreement with the slowerchemical evolution expected in the low-mass dSph galaxies relative tothe Galaxy, such that the build-up of metals occurs over much longertimescales. Future investigations of nucleosynthetic constraints (aswell as galaxy formation and evolution) will require an examination ofmany stars within individual dwarf galaxies.Finally, the Na-Ni trend reported in 1997 by Nissen & Schuster isconfirmed in Galactic halo stars, but we discuss this in terms of thegeneral nucleosynthesis of neutron-rich elements. We do not confirm thatthe Na-Ni trend is related to the accretion of dSph galaxies in theGalactic halo. Empirically Constrained Color-Temperature Relations. II. uvbyA new grid of theoretical color indices for the Strömgren uvbyphotometric system has been derived from MARCS model atmospheres and SSGsynthetic spectra for cool dwarf and giant stars having-3.0<=[Fe/H]<=+0.5 and 3000<=Teff<=8000 K. Atwarmer temperatures (i.e., 8000-2.0. To overcome thisproblem, the theoretical indices at intermediate and high metallicitieshave been corrected using a set of color calibrations based on fieldstars having well-determined distances from Hipparcos, accurateTeff estimates from the infrared flux method, andspectroscopic [Fe/H] values. In contrast with Paper I, star clustersplayed only a minor role in this analysis in that they provided asupplementary constraint on the color corrections for cool dwarf starswith Teff<=5500 K. They were mainly used to test thecolor-Teff relations and, encouragingly, isochrones thatemploy the transformations derived in this study are able to reproducethe observed CMDs (involving u-v, v-b, and b-y colors) for a number ofopen and globular clusters (including M67, the Hyades, and 47 Tuc)rather well. Moreover, our interpretations of such data are verysimilar, if not identical, with those given in Paper I from aconsideration of BV(RI)C observations for the sameclusters-which provides a compelling argument in support of thecolor-Teff relations that are reported in both studies. Inthe present investigation, we have also analyzed the observedStrömgren photometry for the classic Population II subdwarfs,compared our final'' (b-y)-Teff relationship with thosederived empirically in a number of recent studies and examined in somedetail the dependence of the m1 index on [Fe/H].Based, in part, on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope,operated jointly on the island of La Palma by Denmark, Finland, Iceland,Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de losMuchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.Based, in part, on observations obtained with the Danish 1.54 mtelescope at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile. A new Böhm-Vitense gap in the temperature range 5560 to 5610 K in the main sequence hm-Vitense gap in the main sequenceHighly precise temperatures (σ = 10-15 K) have been determinedfrom line depth ratios for a set of 248 F-K field dwarfs of about solarmetallicity (-0.5 < [Fe/H] < +0.4), based on high resolution (R=42000), high S/N echelle spectra. A new gap has been discovered in thedistribution of stars on the Main Sequence in the temperature range 5560to 5610 K. This gap coincides with a jump in the microturbulent velocityVt and the well-known Li depression near 5600 K in fielddwarfs and open clusters. As the principal cause of the observeddiscontinuities in stellar properties we propose the penetration of theconvective zone into the inner layers of stars slightly less massivethan the Sun and related to it, a change in the temperature gradient.Based on spectra collected with the ELODIE spectrograph at the 1.93-mtelescope of the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (France).Full Table 1 is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Sodium abundances in nearby disk starsWe present sodium abundances for a sample of nearby stars. All resultshave been derived from NLTE statistical equilibrium calculations. Theinfluence of collisional interactions with electrons and hydrogen atomsis evaluated by comparison of the solar spectrum with very precise fitsto the Na I line cores. The NLTE effects are more pronounced inmetal-poor stars since the statistical equilibrium is dominated bycollisions of which at least the electronic component is substantiallyreduced. The resulting influence on the determination of sodiumabundances is in a direction opposite to that found previously for Mgand Al. The NLTE corrections are about -0.1 in thick-disk stars with[Fe/H] -0.6. Our [Na/Fe] abundance ratios are about solar forthick- and thin-disk stars. The increase in [Na/Fe] as a function of[Fe/H] for metal-rich stars found by Edvardsson et al. (\cite{EAG93}) isconfirmed. Our results suggest that sodium yields increase with themetallicity, and quite large amounts of sodium may be produced by AGBstars. We find that [Na/Fe] ratios, together with either [Mg/Fe] ratio,kinematic data or stellar evolutionary ages, make possible theindividual discrimination between thin- and thick-disk membership.Based on observations collected at the Germany-Spanish AstronomicalCenter, Calar Alto, Spain.Tables \ref{table2} and \ref{table3} are only available in electronicform at http://www.edpsciences.org On the determination of oxygen abundances in chromospherically active starsWe discuss oxygen abundances derived from [O I] λ6300s and the OI triplet in stars spanning a wide range in chromospheric activitylevel, and show that these two indicators yield increasingly discrepantresults with higher chromospheric/coronal activity measures. While theforbidden and permitted lines give fairly consistent results forsolar-type disk dwarfs, spuriously high O I triplet abundances areobserved in young Hyades and Pleiades stars, as well as in individualcomponents of RS CVn binaries (up to 1.8 dex). The distinct behaviour ofthe [O I]-based abundances which consistently remain near-solar suggeststhat this phenomenon mostly results from large departures from LTEaffecting the O I triplet at high activity level that are currentlyunaccounted for, but also possibly from a failure to adequately modelthe atmospheres of K-type stars. These results suggest that some cautionshould be exercised when interpreting oxygen abundances in activebinaries or young open cluster stars.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory,Chile (Proposals 64.L-0249 and 071.D-0260).Table \ref{tab_data} is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Chemical enrichment and star formation in the Milky Way disk. III. Chemodynamical constraintsIn this paper, we investigate some chemokinematical properties of theMilky Way disk, by using a sample composed by 424 late-type dwarfs. Weshow that the velocity dispersion of a stellar group correlates with theage of this group, according to a law proportional to t0.26,where t is the age of the stellar group. The temporal evolution of thevertex deviation is considered in detail. It is shown that the vertexdeviation does not seem to depend strongly on the age of the stellargroup. Previous studies in the literature seem to not have found it dueto the use of statistical ages for stellar groups, rather thanindividual ages. The possibility to use the orbital parameters of a starto derive information about its birthplace is investigated, and we showthat the mean galactocentric radius is likely to be the most reliablestellar birthplace indicator. However, this information cannot bepresently used to derive radial evolutionary constraints, due to anintrinsic bias present in all samples constructed from nearby stars. Anextensive discussion of the secular and stochastic heating mechanismscommonly invoked to explain the age-velocity dispersion relation ispresented. We suggest that the age-velocity dispersion relation couldreflect the gradual decrease in the turbulent velocity dispersion fromwhich disk stars form, a suggestion originally made by Tinsley &Larson (\cite{tinsley}, ApJ, 221, 554) and supported by several morerecent disk evolution calculations. A test to distinguish between thetwo types of models using high-redshift galaxies is proposed.Full Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/423/517 S4N: A spectroscopic survey of stars in the solar neighborhood. The Nearest 15 pcWe report the results of a high-resolution spectroscopic survey of allthe stars more luminous than M_V = 6.5 mag within 14.5 pc from the Sun.The Hipparcos catalog's completeness limits guarantee that our survey iscomprehensive and free from some of the selection effects in othersamples of nearby stars. The resulting spectroscopic database, which wehave made publicly available, includes spectra for 118 stars obtainedwith a resolving power of R ≃ 50 000, continuous spectral coveragebetween  362-921 nm, and typical signal-to-noise ratios in therange 150-600. We derive stellar parameters and perform a preliminaryabundance and kinematic analysis of the F-G-K stars in the sample. Theinferred metallicity ([Fe/H]) distribution is centered at about -0.1dex, and shows a standard deviation of 0.2 dex. A comparison with largersamples of Hipparcos stars, some of which have been part of previousabundance studies, suggests that our limited sample is representative ofa larger volume of the local thin disk. We identify a number ofmetal-rich K-type stars which appear to be very old, confirming theclaims for the existence of such stars in the solar neighborhood. Withatmospheric effective temperatures and gravities derived independentlyof the spectra, we find that our classical LTE model-atmosphere analysisof metal-rich (and mainly K-type) stars provides discrepant abundancesfrom neutral and ionized lines of several metals. This ionizationimbalance could be a sign of departures from LTE or inhomogeneousstructure, which are ignored in the interpretation of the spectra.Alternatively, but seemingly unlikely, the mismatch could be explainedby systematic errors in the scale of effective temperatures. Based ontransitions of majority species, we discuss abundances of 16 chemicalelements. In agreement with earlier studies we find that the abundanceratios to iron of Si, Sc, Ti, Co, and Zn become smaller as the ironabundance increases until approaching the solar values, but the trendsreverse for higher iron abundances. At any given metallicity, stars witha low galactic rotational velocity tend to have high abundances of Mg,Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, Co, Zn, and Eu, but low abundances of Ba, Ce, and Nd.The Sun appears deficient by roughly 0.1 dex in O, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, Y,Ce, Nd, and Eu, compared to its immediate neighbors with similar ironabundances.Based on observations made with the 2.7 m telescope at the McDonaldObservatory of the University of Texas at Austin (Texas), and the 1.52 mtelescope at the European Southern Observatory (La Silla, Chile) underthe agreement with the CNPq/Observatorio Nacional (Brazil).Tables 3-5 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/420/183
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