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# α Leo (Regulus)

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 A High-Resolution Spectral Atlas of α Persei from 3810 to 8100 ÅWe present a high-resolution (λ/δλ=90,000) spectralatlas of the F5 Ib star α Per covering the 3810-8100 Åregion. The atlas, based on data obtained with the aid of the echellespectrograph BOES fed by the 1.8 m telescope at Bohyunsan Observatory(Korea), is the result of the co-addition of a few well-exposed spectra.The final signal-to-noise ratio is ~800 at ~6000 Å. The atlas iscompared with a synthetic spectrum computed using a code based on Kuruczsoftware and databases. The adopted model atmosphere parameters areTeff=6240+/-20 K, logg=0.58+/-0.04, andvmicro=3.20+/-0.05 km s-1. We also derived an ironabundance of [Fe/H]=-0.28+/-0.06. The spectral lines of α Per havebeen identified by matching the synthetic spectrum with the observedone. The atlas is presented in figures and available in digital form onthe World Wide Web, along with the synthetic spectrum and spectral lineidentification tables.Based on data collected with the 1.8 m telescope at Bohyunsan OpticalAstronomy Observatory, South Korea. The Gas Phase Spectrum of Cyclic C18 and the Diffuse Interstellar BandsThe gas phase spectrum of the cyclic C18 molecule recorded inthe laboratory at a temperature typical of diffuse interstellar cloudsis compared with absorption features toward ζ Oph and HD 204827 inthe 5730-5934 Å region. For the origin band at 5928.5 Å anupper limit to the column density of <=1.8×1011cm-2 is inferred. The origin band pattern in the laboratoryspectrum changes on lowering the internal temperature in the 100-20 Krange and bears a striking resemblance to the observed structure of anumber of DIBs at other wavelengths. This suggests that platelikemolecules or ions, comprising a couple of dozen to hundred carbon atoms,could be responsible for some of the latter absorptions. Ultraviolet spectroscopy of the extended solar coronaThe first observations of ultraviolet spectral line profiles andintensities from the extended solar corona (i.e., more than 1.5 solarradii from Sun-center) were obtained on 13 April 1979 when arocket-borne ultraviolet coronagraph spectrometer of theHarvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics made direct measurements ofproton kinetic temperatures, and obtained upper limits on outflowvelocities in a quiet coronal region and a polar coronal hole. Followingthose observations, ultraviolet coronagraphic spectroscopy has expandedto include observations of over 60 spectral lines in coronal holes,streamers, coronal jets, and solar flare/coronal mass ejection (CME)events. Spectroscopic diagnostic techniques have been developed todetermine proton, electron and ion kinetic temperatures and velocitydistributions, proton and ion bulk flow speeds and chemical abundances.The observations have been made during three sounding rocket flights,four Shuttle deployed and retrieved Spartan 201 flights, and the Solarand Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) mission. Ultraviolet spectroscopy ofthe extended solar corona has led to fundamentally new views of theacceleration regions of the solar wind and CMEs. Observations with theUltraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) on SOHO revealedsurprisingly large temperatures, outflow speeds, and velocitydistribution anisotropies in coronal holes, especially for minor ions.Those measurements have guided theorists to discard some candidatephysical processes of solar wind acceleration and to increase and expandinvestigations of ion cyclotron resonance and related processes.Analyses of UVCS observations of CME plasma properties and the evolutionof CMEs have provided the following: temperatures, inflow velocities andderived values of resistivity and reconnection rates in CME currentsheets, compression ratios and extremely high ion temperatures behindCME shocks, and three dimensional flow velocities and magnetic fieldchirality in CMEs. Ultraviolet spectroscopy has been used to determinethe thermal energy content of CMEs allowing the total energy budget tobe known for the first time. Such spectroscopic observations are capableof providing detailed empirical descriptions of solar energetic particle(SEP) source regions that allow theoretical models of SEP accelerationto be tailored to specific events, thereby enabling in situ measurementsof freshly emitted SEPs to be used for testing and guiding the evolutionof SEP acceleration theory. Here we review the history of ultravioletcoronagraph spectroscopy, summarize the physics of spectral lineformation in the extended corona, describe the spectroscopic diagnostictechniques, review the advances in our understanding of solar windsource regions and flare/CME events provided by ultraviolet spectroscopyand discuss the scientific potential of next generation ultravioletcoronagraph spectrometers. Computed Hβ indices from ATLAS9 model atmospheresAims.Grids of Hβ indices based on updated (new-ODF) ATLAS9 modelatmospheres were computed for solar and scaled solar metallicities[+0.5], [+0.2], [0.0], [ -0.5] , [ -1.0] , [ -1.5] , [ -2.0] , [ -2.5]and for α enhanced compositions [+0.5a], [0.0a], [ -0.5a] , [-1.0a] , [ -1.5a] , [ -2.0a] , [ -2.5a] , and [ -4.0a] . Methods:.Indices for T_eff > 5000 K were computed with the same methods asdescribed by Lester et al. (1986, LGK86) except for a differentnormalization of the computed natural system to the standard system.LGK86 used special ODFs to compute the fluxes. For T_eff ≤ 5000 K wecomputed the fluxes using the synthetic spectrum method. In order toassess the accuracy of the computed indices comparisons were made withthe indices computed by Smalley & Dworetsky (1995, A&A, 293,446, MD95) and with the empirical relations T_eff-Hβ given byAlonso et al. (1996, A&A, 313, 873) for several metallicities.Furthermore, for cool stars, temperatures inferred from the computedindices were compared with those of the fundamental stars listed byMD95. The same kind of comparison was made between gravities for B-typestars. Results: .The temperatures from the computed indices are ingood agreement, within the error limits, with the literature values for4750 K ≤ T_eff ≤ 8000 K, while the gravities agree for T_eff> 9000 K. The computed Hβ indices for the Sun and for Procyonare very close to the observed values. The comparison between theobserved and computed Hβ indices as function of the observedHβ has shown a very small trend which almost completely disappearswhen only stars hotter than 10 000 K are considered. The trend due tothe cool stars is probably related with the low accuracy of thefundamental T_eff which are affected by large errors for most of thestars. The polar wind of the fast rotating Be star Achernar. VINCI/VLTI interferometric observations of an elongated polar envelopeContext: .Be stars show evidence of mass loss and circumstellarenvelopes (CSE) from UV resonance lines, near-IR excesses, and thepresence of episodic hydrogen emission lines. The geometry of theseenvelopes is still uncertain, although it is often assumed that they areformed by a disk around the stellar equator and a hot polar wind.Aims: .We probe the close environment of the fast rotating Be starAchernar at angular scales of a few milliarcseconds (mas) in theinfrared, in order to constrain the geometry of a possible polar CSE. Methods: .We obtained long-baseline interferometric observations ofAchernar with the VINCI/VLTI beam combiner in the H and K bands, usingvarious telescope configurations and baseline lengths with a wideazimuthal coverage. Results: .The observed visibility measurementsalong the polar direction are significantly lower than the visibilityfunction of the photosphere of the star alone, in particular at lowspatial frequencies. This points to the presence of an asymmetricdiffuse CSE elongated along the polar direction of the star. To ourdata, we fit a simple model consisting of two components: a 2Delliptical Gaussian superimposed on a uniform ellipse representing thedistorted photosphere of the fast rotating star. Conclusions: .Weclearly detected a CSE elongated along the polar axis of the star, aswell as rotational flattening of the stellar photosphere. For theuniform-ellipse photosphere we derive a major axis of θ_eq = 2.13± 0.05 mas and a minor axis of θ_pol = 1.51 ± 0.02mas. The relative near-IR flux measured for the CSE compared to thestellar photosphere is f = 4.7 ± 0.3%. Its angular dimensions areloosely constrained by the available data at ρ_eq = 2.7 ± 1.3mas and ρ_pol = 17.6 ± 4.9 mas. This CSE could be linked tofree-free emission from the radiative pressure driven wind originatingfrom the hot polar caps of the star. Observations of Hα, iron, and oxygen lines in B, Be, and shell starsWe carried out a spectroscopic survey of several B, Be, and shell starsin optical and near-infrared regions. Line profiles of the Hα lineand of selected Fe II and O I lines are presented. Les etoiles, deformees par leur rotation.Not Available 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. Visual Star Colours from Instrumental PhotometryIn order to display graphically the visual colours of stars and otherastronomical objects, photometric broadband R, V, B colours are used toproxy for the r, g, b colours of the three visual sensors of the eye.From photometric Johnson B-V and V-R colour indices, R, V, and Bmagnitudes (V = 0) are calculated, and from these the respectivebrightnesses (r, v = 1 = g, and b) are calculated. After suitablenormalization these are then placed in a ternary diagram having r, g,and b as the vertices. All B-V and V-R are adjusted so that the Sunfalls in the same place as a blackbody at 5800 K. The resulting ternaryplot shows all of its objects (stars, planets) in their visual coloursat their relative positions in the ternary diagram. The star coloursdisplayed on a computer monitor screen or as a print with a colourprinter are more vivid than the usual visual impressions of isolatedstars, undoubtedly because of properties of the dark-adapted eye, butdouble-star pairs with contrasting colours correspond nicely totelescopic visual impressions. The epoch of the constellations on the Farnese Atlas and their origin in Hipparchus's lost catalogueNot Available Variability of Stars in the Pulkovo Spectrophotometric CatalogWe present the results of a statistical study of brightness variabilityfor 693 stars of the Pulkovo spectrophotometric database in fivespectral bands in the range λλ 320 1080 nm. Significantbrightness variations were detected in at least one spectral bandagainst the background of the random noise for one-third of the starsnot earlier believed to be variable. A comparison of the distributionsof these variations in amplitude and spectral band for the normal andvariable stars shows that variability is inherent to most stars to someextent and is often wavelength dependent. Measuring the Magnetic Field of the Classical T Tauri Star TW HydraeWe present infrared (IR) and optical echelle spectra of the classical TTauri star TW Hydrae. Using the optical data, we perform detailedspectrum synthesis to fit atomic and molecular absorption lines anddetermine key stellar parameters: Teff=4126+/-24 K,logg=4.84+/-0.16, [M/H]=-0.10+/-0.12, and logg=5.8+/-0.6 kms-1. The IR spectrum is used to look for Zeeman broadening ofphotospheric absorption lines. We fit four Zeeman-sensitive Ti I linesnear 2.2 μm and find that the average value of the magnetic fieldover the entire surface is B=2.61+/-0.23 kG. In addition, several nearbymagnetically insensitive CO lines show no excess broadening above thatproduced by stellar rotation and instrumental broadening, reinforcingthe magnetic interpretation for the width of the Ti I lines. We carryout extensive tests to quantify systematic errors in our analysistechnique that may result from inaccurate knowledge of the effectivetemperature or gravity, finding that reasonable errors in thesequantities produce a ~10% uncertainty in the mean field measurement. First Results from the CHARA Array. I. An Interferometric and Spectroscopic Study of the Fast Rotator α Leonis (Regulus)We report on K-band interferometric observations of the bright, rapidlyrotating star Regulus (type B7 V) made with the CHARA Array on MountWilson, California. Through a combination of interferometric andspectroscopic measurements, we have determined for Regulus theequatorial and polar diameters and temperatures, the rotational velocityand period, the inclination and position angle of the spin axis, and thegravity darkening coefficient. These first results from the CHARA Arrayprovide the first interferometric measurement of gravity darkening in arapidly rotating star and represent the first detection of gravitydarkening in a star that is not a member of an eclipsing binary system. Decay of Planetary Debris DisksWe report new Spitzer 24 μm photometry of 76 main-sequence A-typestars. We combine these results with previously reported Spitzer 24μm data and 24 and 25 μm photometry from the Infrared SpaceObservatory and the Infrared Astronomy Satellite. The result is a sampleof 266 stars with mass close to 2.5 Msolar, all detected toat least the ~7 σ level relative to their photospheric emission.We culled ages for the entire sample from the literature and/orestimated them using the H-R diagram and isochrones; they range from 5to 850 Myr. We identified excess thermal emission using an internallyderived K-24 (or 25) μm photospheric color and then compared allstars in the sample to that color. Because we have excluded stars withstrong emission lines or extended emission (associated with nearbyinterstellar gas), these excesses are likely to be generated by debrisdisks. Younger stars in the sample exhibit excess thermal emission morefrequently and with higher fractional excess than do the older stars.However, as many as 50% of the younger stars do not show excessemission. The decline in the magnitude of excess emission, for thosestars that show it, has a roughly t0/time dependence, witht0~150 Myr. If anything, stars in binary systems (includingAlgol-type stars) and λ Boo stars show less excess emission thanthe other members of the sample. Our results indicate that (1) there issubstantial variety among debris disks, including that a significantnumber of stars emerge from the protoplanetary stage of evolution withlittle remaining disk in the 10-60 AU region and (2) in addition, it islikely that much of the dust we detect is generated episodically bycollisions of large planetesimals during the planet accretion end game,and that individual events often dominate the radiometric properties ofa debris system. This latter behavior agrees generally with what we knowabout the evolution of the solar system, and also with theoreticalmodels of planetary system formation. Determining the Physical Properties of the B Stars. II. Calibration of Synthetic PhotometryWe present a new calibration of optical (UBV, Strömgren uvbyβ,and Geneva) and near-IR (Johnson RIJHK and Two Micron All Sky Survey)photometry for B and early A stars derived from Kurucz ATLAS9 modelatmospheres. Our sample of stars consists of 45 normal nearby B andearly A stars that have high-quality, low-resolution IUE spectra andaccurate Hipparcos parallaxes. The calibration is unique because itrelies only on the UV spectral energy distributions, the absolute fluxcalibration of the V filter, and the Hipparcos distances to determinethe appropriate model atmospheres for the program stars. These modelsare then used to calibrate the synthetic photometry. We compare ourresults with previous well-accepted results and provide a thoroughdiscussion of the random errors and systematic effects affecting thecalibration. In particular, we demonstrate the influence of vsini onsurface gravities derived from fitting model atmospheres. Finally, wediscuss some of our intended applications of this new calibration. B Star Rotational Velocities in h and χ Persei: A Probe of Initial Conditions during the Star Formation Epoch?Projected rotational velocities (vsini) have been measured for 216 B0-B9stars in the rich, dense h and χ Persei double cluster and comparedwith the distribution of rotational velocities for a sample of fieldstars having comparable ages (t~12-15 Myr) and masses (M~4-15Msolar). For stars that are relatively little evolved fromtheir initial locations on the zero-age main sequence (ZAMS) (those withmasses M~4-5 Msolar), the mean vsini measured for the h andχ Per sample is slightly more than 2 times larger than the meandetermined for field stars of comparable mass, and the cluster and fieldvsini distributions differ with a high degree of significance. Forsomewhat more evolved stars with masses in the range 5-9Msolar, the mean vsini in h and χ Per is 1.5 times thatof the field; the vsini distributions differ as well, but with a lowerdegree of statistical significance. For stars that have evolvedsignificantly from the ZAMS and are approaching the hydrogen exhaustionphase (those with masses in the range 9-15 Msolar), thecluster and field star means and distributions are only slightlydifferent. We argue that both the higher rotation rates and the patternof rotation speeds as a function of mass that differentiatemain-sequence B stars in h and χ Per from their field analogs werelikely imprinted during the star formation process rather than a resultof angular momentum evolution over the 12-15 Myr cluster lifetime. Wespeculate that these differences may reflect the effects of the higheraccretion rates that theory suggests are characteristic of regions thatgive birth to dense clusters, namely, (1) higher initial rotationspeeds; (2) higher initial radii along the stellar birth line, resultingin greater spin-up between the birth line and the ZAMS; and (3) a morepronounced maximum in the birth line radius-mass relationship thatresults in differentially greater spin-up for stars that become mid- tolate-B stars on the ZAMS. First results from the ESO VLTI calibrators programThe ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) is one of the leadinginterferometric facilities. It is equipped with several 8.2 and 1.8 mtelescopes, a large number of baselines up to 200 m, and with severalsubsystems designed to enable high quality measurements and to improvesignificantly the limits of sensitivities currently available tolong-baseline interferometry. The full scientific potential of the VLTIcan be exploited only if a consistent set of good quality calibrators isavailable. For this, a large number of observations of potentialcalibrators have been obtained during the commissioning phase of theVLTI. These data are publicly available. We briefly describe theinterferometer, the VINCI instrument used for the observations, the dataflow from acquisition to processed results, and we present and commenton the volume of observations gathered and scrutinized. The result is alist of 191 calibrator candidates, for which a total of 12 066observations can be deemed of satisfactory quality. We present a generalstatistical analysis of this sample, using as a starting point theangular diameters previously available in the literature. We derive thegeneral characteristics of the VLTI transfer function, and its trendwith time in the period 2001 through mid-2004. A second paper will bedevoted to a detailed investigation of a selected sample, aimed atestablishing a VLTI-based homogeneous system of calibrators. CHARM2: An updated Catalog of High Angular Resolution MeasurementsWe present an update of the Catalog of High Angular ResolutionMeasurements (CHARM, Richichi & Percheron \cite{CHARM}, A&A,386, 492), which includes results available until July 2004. CHARM2 is acompilation of direct measurements by high angular resolution methods,as well as indirect estimates of stellar diameters. Its main goal is toprovide a reference list of sources which can be used for calibrationand verification observations with long-baseline optical and near-IRinterferometers. Single and binary stars are included, as are complexobjects from circumstellar shells to extragalactic sources. The presentupdate provides an increase of almost a factor of two over the previousedition. Additionally, it includes several corrections and improvements,as well as a cross-check with the valuable public release observationsof the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). A total of 8231entries for 3238 unique sources are now present in CHARM2. Thisrepresents an increase of a factor of 3.4 and 2.0, respectively, overthe contents of the previous version of CHARM.The catalog is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/431/773 Multiwavelength visibility measurements of Miras: observations of R Dor and R Leo with MAPPITWe present interferometric visibility measurements of the nearbyMira-like star R Doradus and the Mira R Leo taken over a wide range ofwavelengths (650-990 nm). These are the first simultaneous observationsof visibility as a function of wavelength over such a wide wavelengthrange for a Mira. The observations were made using MAPPIT (MaskedAPerture-Plane Interference Telescope), an interferometer operating atthe 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope. We used a slit to mask thetelescope aperture and a prism to disperse the interference pattern inwavelength. We observed in both stars strong decreases in visibilitywithin the TiO absorption bands across the observed wavelength range.Comparison of our results with theoretical models shows generalagreement but differences in detail, suggesting that further work isneeded to refine the theoretical models. We find that models for starspulsating in the fundamental mode best fit our observations. 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 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. Testing the Reality of Strong Magnetic Fields on T Tauri Stars: The Naked T Tauri Star Hubble 4High-resolution optical and infrared (IR) echelle spectra of the naked(diskless) T Tauri star Hubble 4 are presented. The K-band IR spectrainclude four Zeeman-sensitive Ti I lines along with several magneticallyinsensitive CO lines. Detailed spectrum synthesis combined with modernatmospheric models is used to fit the optical spectra of Hubble 4 inorder to determine its key stellar parameters: Teff=4158+/-56K; logg=3.61+/-0.50 [M/H]=-0.08+/-0.05 vsini=14.6+/-1.7 kms-1. These stellar parameters are used to synthesize K-bandspectra to compare with the observations. The magnetically sensitive TiI lines are all significantly broadened relative to the lines producedin the nonmagnetic model, while the magnetically insensitive CO linesare well matched by the basic nonmagnetic model. Models with magneticfields are synthesized and fitted to the Ti I lines. The best-fit modelsindicate a distribution of magnetic field strengths on the stellarsurface characterized by a mean magnetic field strength of 2.51+/-0.18kG. The mean field is a factor of 2.0 greater than the maximum fieldstrength predicted by pressure equipartition arguments. To confirm thereality of such strong fields, we attempt to refit the observed profilesusing a two-component magnetic model in which the field strength isconfined to the equipartition value representing plagelike regions inone component and the field is allowed to vary in a cooler componentrepresenting spots. It is shown that such a model is inconsistent withthe optical spectrum of the TiO bandhead at 7055 Å. Nearby stars of the Galactic disk and halo. III.High-resolution spectroscopic observations of about 150 nearby stars orstar systems are presented and discussed. The study of these and another100 objects of the previous papers of this series implies that theGalaxy became reality 13 or 14 Gyr ago with the implementation of amassive, rotationally-supported population of thick-disk stars. The veryhigh star formation rate in that phase gave rise to a rapid metalenrichment and an expulsion of gas in supernovae-driven Galactic winds,but was followed by a star formation gap for no less than three billionyears at the Sun's galactocentric distance. In a second phase, then, thethin disk - our familiar Milky Way'' - came on stage. Nowadays ittraces the bright side of the Galaxy, but it is also embedded in a hugecoffin of dead thick-disk stars that account for a large amount ofbaryonic dark matter. As opposed to this, cold-dark-matter-dominatedcosmologies that suggest a more gradual hierarchical buildup throughmergers of minor structures, though popular, are a poor description forthe Milky Way Galaxy - and by inference many other spirals as well - if,as the sample implies, the fossil records of its long-lived stars do notstick to this paradigm. Apart from this general picture that emergeswith reference to the entire sample stars, a good deal of the presentwork is however also concerned with detailed discussions of manyindividual objects. Among the most interesting we mention the bluestraggler or merger candidates HD 165401 and HD 137763/HD 137778, thelikely accretion of a giant planet or brown dwarf on 59 Vir in itsrecent history, and HD 63433 that proves to be a young solar analog at\tau200 Myr. Likewise, the secondary to HR 4867, formerly suspectednon-single from the Hipparcos astrometry, is directly detectable in thehigh-resolution spectroscopic tracings, whereas the visual binary \chiCet is instead at least triple, and presumably even quadruple. Withrespect to the nearby young stars a complete account of the Ursa MajorAssociation is presented, and we provide as well plain evidence foranother, the Hercules-Lyra Association'', the likely existence ofwhich was only realized in recent years. On account of its rotation,chemistry, and age we do confirm that the Sun is very typical among itsG-type neighbors; as to its kinematics, it appears however not unlikelythat the Sun's known low peculiar space velocity could indeed be thecause for the weak paleontological record of mass extinctions and majorimpact events on our parent planet during the most recent Galactic planepassage of the solar system. Although the significance of thiscorrelation certainly remains a matter of debate for years to come, wepoint in this context to the principal importance of the thick disk fora complete census with respect to the local surface and volumedensities. Other important effects that can be ascribed to this darkstellar population comprise (i) the observed plateau in the shape of theluminosity function of the local FGK stars, (ii) a small thoughsystematic effect on the basic solar motion, (iii) a reassessment of theterm asymmetrical drift velocity'' for the remainder (i.e. the thindisk) of the stellar objects, (iv) its ability to account for the bulkof the recently discovered high-velocity blue white dwarfs, (v) itsmajor contribution to the Sun's 220 km s-1 rotationalvelocity around the Galactic center, and (vi) the significant flatteningthat it imposes on the Milky Way's rotation curve. Finally we note ahigh multiplicity fraction in the small but volume-complete local sampleof stars of this ancient population. This in turn is highly suggestivefor a star formation scenario wherein the few existing single stellarobjects might only arise from either late mergers or the dynamicalejection of former triple or higher level star systems. J - K DENIS photometry of a VLTI-selected sample of bright southern starsWe present a photometric survey of bright southern stars carried outusing the DENIS instrument equipped with attenuating filters. Theobservations were carried out not using the survey mode of DENIS, butwith individual target pointings. This project was stimulated by theneed to obtain near-infrared photometry of stars to be used in earlycommissioning observations of the ESO Very Large TelescopeInterferometer, and in particular to establish a network of brightcalibrator sources.We stress that near-infrared photometry is peculiarly lacking for manybright stars. These stars are saturated in 2MASS as well as in regularDENIS observations. The only other observations available for brightinfrared stars are those of the Two Micron Sky Survey dating from overthirty years ago. These were restricted to declinations above≈-30°, and thus cover only about half of the sky accessible fromthe VLTI site.We note that the final 2MASS data release includes photometry of brightstars, obtained by means of point-spread function fitting. However, thismethod only achieves about 30% accuracy, which is not sufficient formost applications.In this work, we present photometry for over 600 stars, each with atleast one and up to eight measurements, in the J and K filters. Typicalaccuracy is at the level of 0\fm05 and 0\fm04 in the J and K_s bands,respectively.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla.Tables 1 and 2 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/413/1037 An Ultra-high-Resolution Survey of the Interstellar 7Li/6Li Isotope Ratio in the Solar NeighborhoodIn an effort to probe the extent of variations in the interstellar7Li/6Li ratio seen previously,ultra-high-resolution (R~360,000), high signal-to-noise spectra of starsin the Perseus OB2 and Scorpius OB2 associations were obtained. Thesemeasurements confirm our earlier findings of an interstellar7Li/6Li ratio of about 2 toward ο Per, thevalue predicted from models of Galactic cosmic-ray spallation reactions.Observations of other nearby stars yield limits consistent with theisotopic ratio of ~12 seen in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. If thisratio originally represented the gas toward ο Per, then todecrease the original isotope ratio to its current value an order ofmagnitude increase in the Li abundance is expected, but it is not seen.The elemental K/Li ratio is not unusual, although Li and K are formedvia different nucleosynthetic pathways. Several proposals to account forthe low 7Li/6Li ratio were considered, but noneseems satisfactory. Analysis of the Li and K abundances from our surveyhighlighted two sight lines where depletion effects are prevalent. Thereis evidence for enhanced depletion toward X Per, since both abundancesare lower by a factor of 4 when compared to other sight lines. Moreover,a smaller Li/H abundance is observed toward 20 Aql, but the K/Habundance is normal, suggesting enhanced Li depletion (relative to K) inthis direction. Our results suggest that the7Li/6Li ratio has not changed significantly duringthe last 4.5 billion years and that a ratio of ~12 represents most gasin the solar neighborhood. In addition, there appears to be a constantstellar contribution of 7Li, indicating that one or twoprocesses dominate its production in the Galaxy. Improved Astrometry and Photometry for the Luyten Catalog. II. Faint Stars and the Revised CatalogWe complete construction of a catalog containing improved astrometry andnew optical/infrared photometry for the vast majority of NLTT starslying in the overlap of regions covered by POSS I and by the secondincremental Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) release, approximately 44%of the sky. The epoch 2000 positions are typically accurate to 130 mas,the proper motions to 5.5 mas yr-1, and the V-J colors to0.25 mag. Relative proper motions of binary components are measured to 3mas yr-1. The false-identification rate is ~1% for11<~V<~18 and substantially less at brighter magnitudes. Theseimprovements permit the construction of a reduced proper-motion diagramthat, for the first time, allows one to classify NLTT stars intomain-sequence (MS) stars, subdwarfs (SDs), and white dwarfs (WDs). We inturn use this diagram to analyze the properties of both our catalog andthe NLTT catalog on which it is based. In sharp contrast to popularbelief, we find that NLTT incompleteness in the plane is almostcompletely concentrated in MS stars, and that SDs and WDs are detectedalmost uniformly over the sky δ>-33deg. Our catalogwill therefore provide a powerful tool to probe these populationsstatistically, as well as to reliably identify individual SDs and WDs. Contributions to the Nearby Stars (NStars) Project: Spectroscopy of Stars Earlier than M0 within 40 Parsecs: The Northern Sample. I.We have embarked on a project, under the aegis of the Nearby Stars(NStars)/Space Interferometry Mission Preparatory Science Program, toobtain spectra, spectral types, and, where feasible, basic physicalparameters for the 3600 dwarf and giant stars earlier than M0 within 40pc of the Sun. In this paper, we report on the results of this projectfor the first 664 stars in the northern hemisphere. These resultsinclude precise, homogeneous spectral types, basic physical parameters(including the effective temperature, surface gravity, and overallmetallicity [M/H]), and measures of the chromospheric activity of ourprogram stars. Observed and derived data presented in this paper arealso available on the project's Web site. Catalogue of averaged stellar effective magnetic fields. I. Chemically peculiar A and B type starsThis paper presents the catalogue and the method of determination ofaveraged quadratic effective magnetic fields < B_e > for 596 mainsequence and giant stars. The catalogue is based on measurements of thestellar effective (or mean longitudinal) magnetic field strengths B_e,which were compiled from the existing literature.We analysed the properties of 352 chemically peculiar A and B stars inthe catalogue, including Am, ApSi, He-weak, He-rich, HgMn, ApSrCrEu, andall ApSr type stars. We have found that the number distribution of allchemically peculiar (CP) stars vs. averaged magnetic field strength isdescribed by a decreasing exponential function. Relations of this typehold also for stars of all the analysed subclasses of chemicalpeculiarity. The exponential form of the above distribution function canbreak down below about 100 G, the latter value representingapproximately the resolution of our analysis for A type stars.Table A.1 and its references are only available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/407/631 and Tables 3 to 9are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Metallicities of the SPB stars from the IUE ultraviolet spectraWe derived the stellar parameters (angular diameters, effectivetemperatures, metallicities) and interstellar reddenings for 20 SPB and34 reference stars observed during the IUE satellite mission. Theparameters were derived by means of an algorithmic procedure of fittingtheoretical flux distributions to the low-resolution IUE spectra andoptical spectrophotometric observations. Since the metallicity [m/H] hasa special importance for pulsating B type stars, we focused ourattention on that parameter. We found that the mean value of themetallicity of the considered SPB and reference stars amounts to [m/H] ~-0.20. The results only slightly depend on the reduction procedure usedfor the IUE images (NEWSIPS and INES). The metal abundances obtained inthis paper are in accordance with the average value of -0.2 dex forstars in the solar neighborhood recently reported by otherinvestigators.Tables 3-7 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/404/689 STELIB: A library of stellar spectra at R ~ 2000We present STELIB, a new spectroscopic stellar library, available athttp://webast.ast.obs-mip.fr/stelib. STELIB consists of an homogeneouslibrary of 249 stellar spectra in the visible range (3200 to 9500Å), with an intermediate spectral resolution (la 3 Å) andsampling (1 Å). This library includes stars of various spectraltypes and luminosity classes, spanning a relatively wide range inmetallicity. The spectral resolution, wavelength and spectral typecoverage of this library represents a substantial improvement overprevious libraries used in population synthesis models. The overallabsolute photometric uncertainty is 3%.Based on observations collected with the Jacobus Kaptein Telescope,(owned and operated jointly by the Particle Physics and AstronomyResearch Council of the UK, The Nederlandse Organisatie voorWetenschappelijk Onderzoek of The Netherlands and the Instituto deAstrofísica de Canarias of Spain and located in the SpanishObservatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos on La Palma which is operated bythe Instituto de AstrofÃ­sica de Canarias), the 2.3 mtelescope of the Australian National University at Siding Spring,Australia, and the VLT-UT1 Antu Telescope (ESO).Tables \ref{cat1} to \ref{cat6} and \ref{antab1} to A.7 are onlyavailable in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org. The StellarLibrary STELIB library is also available at the CDS, via anonymous ftpto cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/402/433
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