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Frequency of Debris Disks around Solar-Type Stars: First Results from a Spitzer MIPS Survey
We have searched for infrared excesses around a well-defined sample of69 FGK main-sequence field stars. These stars were selected withoutregard to their age, metallicity, or any previous detection of IRexcess; they have a median age of ~4 Gyr. We have detected 70 μmexcesses around seven stars at the 3 σ confidence level. Thisextra emission is produced by cool material (<100 K) located beyond10 AU, well outside the ``habitable zones'' of these systems andconsistent with the presence of Kuiper Belt analogs with ~100 times moreemitting surface area than in our own planetary system. Only one star,HD 69830, shows excess emission at 24 μm, corresponding to dust withtemperatures >~300 K located inside of 1 AU. While debris disks withLdust/L*>=10-3 are rare around oldFGK stars, we find that the disk frequency increases from 2%+/-2% forLdust/L*>=10-4 to 12%+/-5% forLdust/L*>=10-5. This trend in thedisk luminosity distribution is consistent with the estimated dust inour solar system being within an order of magnitude greater or less thanthe typical level around similar nearby stars. Although there is nocorrelation of IR excess with metallicity or spectral type, there is aweak correlation with stellar age, with stars younger than a gigayearmore likely to have excess emission.

Kinematic structure of the corona of the Ursa Major flow found using proper motions and radial velocities of single stars
Aims.We study the kinematic structure of peripheral areas of the UrsaMajoris stream (Sirius supercluster). Methods.We use diagrams ofindividual stellar apexes developed by us and the classical technique ofproper motion diagrams generalized to a star sample distributed over thesky. Results.Out of 128 cluster members we have identified threecorona (sub)structures comprised of 13, 13 and 8 stars. Thesubstructures have a spatial extension comparable to the size of thecorona. Kinematically, these groups are distinguished by their propermotions, radial velocities and by the directions of their spatialmotion. Coordinates of their apexes significantly differ from those ofthe apexes of the stream and its nucleus. Our analysis shows that thesesubstructures do not belong to known kinematic groups, such as Hyades orCastor. We find kinematic inhomogeneity of the corona of the UMa stream.

Spectroscopic Properties of Cool Stars (SPOCS). I. 1040 F, G, and K Dwarfs from Keck, Lick, and AAT Planet Search Programs
We 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.

A 2 Micron H2 Spectral Survey of Proto-Planetary Nebulae
We measured 2.1-2.3 μm spectra for a mostly complete sample of knownproto-planetary nebulae (PPNe) at declinations north of -30°. Thisspectral range includes the H2 emission lines 1-0 S(1), 1-0S(0), 2-1 S(1), 2-1 S(2), and 3-2 S(3). We detected H2emission from 16 of the 51 objects in our survey. Twelve of these arenew detections, doubling the number of PPNe with detected H2emission. We find that H2 emission commences at a spectralclass of mid-G in PPNe with bipolar morphologies and optically thickequatorial regions; in fact, all bipolar F-G PPNe with an opticallythick equatorial region have collisionally excited H2emission. Radiative excitation becomes important in PPNe when thecentral star reaches an early B spectral type, just beforephotoionization of the nebula and the commencement of the planetarynebula (PN) phase. Almost all of the PPNe with B central stars showH2 emission, with either a purely radiative or a mixedcollisional plus radiative spectrum. Since H2 emission israre in nonbipolar PNe, the destruction of the H2 in thenonbipolars must be roughly coincident with the photoionization of thenebula. As with H2-emitting PNe, the bipolarH2-emitting PPNe are found at low Galactic latitudes.Optically thin H2-emitting nebulae are not similarlyrestricted to low latitudes. Brγ emission is detected in 15 of thesources, including all those of B spectral type.

Single-Visit Photometric and Obscurational Completeness
We report a method that uses ``completeness'' to estimate the number ofextrasolar planets discovered by an observing program with adirect-imaging instrument. We develop a completeness function forEarth-like planets on ``habitable'' orbits for an instrument with acentral field obscuration, uniform sensitivity in an annular detectionzone, and limiting sensitivity that is expressed as a ``deltamagnitude'' with respect to the star, determined by systematic effects(given adequate exposure time). We demonstrate our method of estimationby applying it to our understanding of the coronagraphic version of theTerrestrial Planet Finder (TPF-C) mission as of 2004 October. Weestablish an initial relationship between the size, quality, andstability of the instrument's optics and its ability to meet missionscience requirements. We provide options for increasing the fidelity andversatility of the models on which our method is based, and we discusshow the method could be extended to model the TPF-C mission as a wholeto verify that its design can meet the science requirements.

The Planet-Metallicity Correlation
We 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.

CHARM2: An updated Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements
We 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 ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/431/773

HD 52452: New BVRI Photometry
In this paper we report the multi-band BVRI photometry of HD 52452. Thecomparison of our data with previous observations reported by Messina etal. (2001) shows that there is a variation in amplitude, but the phasesof the two minima, thus the positions of the spot, are quite stableduring our observations.

Chromospheric Ca II Emission in Nearby F, G, K, and M Stars
We 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 Spectra
We 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.

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.

The Brown Dwarf Desert at 75-1200 AU
We present results of a comprehensive infrared coronagraphic search forsubstellar companions to nearby stars. The research consisted of (1) a178-star survey at Steward and Lick observatories, with opticalfollow-up from Keck Observatory, capable of detecting companions withmasses greater than 30 MJ, and semimajor axes between about140 to 1200 AU; (2) a 102-star survey using the Keck Telescope, capableof detecting extrasolar brown dwarfs and planets typically more massivethan 10 MJ, with semimajor axes between about 75 and 300 AU.Only one brown dwarf companion was detected, and no planets. Thefrequency of brown dwarf companions to G, K, and M stars orbitingbetween 75 and 300 AU is measured to be 1%+/-1%, the most precisemeasurement of this quantity to date. The frequency of massive (greaterthan 30 MJ) brown dwarf companions at 120-1200 AU is found tobe f=0.7%+/-0.7%. The frequency of giant planet companions with massesbetween 5 and 10 MJ orbiting between 75 and 300 AU ismeasured here for the first time to be no more than ~3%. Together withother surveys that encompass a wide range of orbital separations, theseresults imply that substellar objects with masses between 12 and 75MJ form only rarely as companions to stars. Theories of starformation that could explain these data are only now beginning toemerge.

Chemical enrichment and star formation in the Milky Way disk. III. Chemodynamical constraints
In 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 ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/423/517

The Geneva-Copenhagen survey of the Solar neighbourhood. Ages, metallicities, and kinematic properties of ˜14 000 F and G dwarfs
We present and discuss new determinations of metallicity, rotation, age,kinematics, and Galactic orbits for a complete, magnitude-limited, andkinematically unbiased sample of 16 682 nearby F and G dwarf stars. Our˜63 000 new, accurate radial-velocity observations for nearly 13 500stars allow identification of most of the binary stars in the sampleand, together with published uvbyβ photometry, Hipparcosparallaxes, Tycho-2 proper motions, and a few earlier radial velocities,complete the kinematic information for 14 139 stars. These high-qualityvelocity data are supplemented by effective temperatures andmetallicities newly derived from recent and/or revised calibrations. Theremaining stars either lack Hipparcos data or have fast rotation. Amajor effort has been devoted to the determination of new isochrone agesfor all stars for which this is possible. Particular attention has beengiven to a realistic treatment of statistical biases and errorestimates, as standard techniques tend to underestimate these effectsand introduce spurious features in the age distributions. Our ages agreewell with those by Edvardsson et al. (\cite{edv93}), despite severalastrophysical and computational improvements since then. We demonstrate,however, how strong observational and theoretical biases cause thedistribution of the observed ages to be very different from that of thetrue age distribution of the sample. Among the many basic relations ofthe Galactic disk that can be reinvestigated from the data presentedhere, we revisit the metallicity distribution of the G dwarfs and theage-metallicity, age-velocity, and metallicity-velocity relations of theSolar neighbourhood. Our first results confirm the lack of metal-poor Gdwarfs relative to closed-box model predictions (the ``G dwarfproblem''), the existence of radial metallicity gradients in the disk,the small change in mean metallicity of the thin disk since itsformation and the substantial scatter in metallicity at all ages, andthe continuing kinematic heating of the thin disk with an efficiencyconsistent with that expected for a combination of spiral arms and giantmolecular clouds. Distinct features in the distribution of the Vcomponent of the space motion are extended in age and metallicity,corresponding to the effects of stochastic spiral waves rather thanclassical moving groups, and may complicate the identification ofthick-disk stars from kinematic criteria. More advanced analyses of thisrich material will require careful simulations of the selection criteriafor the sample and the distribution of observational errors.Based on observations made with the Danish 1.5-m telescope at ESO, LaSilla, Chile, and with the Swiss 1-m telescope at Observatoire deHaute-Provence, France.Complete Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at the CDSvia anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/418/989

Some anomalies in the occurrence of debris discs around main-sequence A and G stars
Debris discs consist of large dust grains that are generated bycollisions of comets or asteroids around main-sequence stars, and thequantity and distribution of debris may be used to detect the presenceof perturbing planets akin to Neptune. We use stellar and disc surveysto compare the material seen around A- and G-type main-sequence stars.Debris is detected much more commonly towards A stars, even when acomparison is made only with G stars of comparable age. Detection ratesare consistent with disc durations of ~0.5 Gyr, which may occur at anytime during the main sequence. The higher detection rate for A stars canresult from this duration being a larger fraction of the main-sequencelifetime, possibly boosted by a globally slightly larger disc mass thanfor the G-type counterparts. The disc mass range at any given age is afactor of at least ~100 and any systematic decline with time is slow,with a power law estimated to not be steeper than t-1/2.Comparison with models shows that dust can be expected as late as a fewGyr when perturbing planetesimals form slowly at large orbital radii.Currently, the Solar system has little dust because the radius of theKuiper Belt is small and hence the time-scale to produce planetesimalswas less than 1 Gyr. However, the apparently constant duration of ~0.5Gyr when dust is visible is not predicted by the models.

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.

Stellar Kinematic Groups. II. A Reexamination of the Membership, Activity, and Age of the Ursa Major Group
Utilizing Hipparcos parallaxes, original radial velocities and recentliterature values, new Ca II H and K emission measurements,literature-based abundance estimates, and updated photometry (includingrecent resolved measurements of close doubles), we revisit the UrsaMajor moving group membership status of some 220 stars to produce afinal clean list of nearly 60 assured members, based on kinematic andphotometric criteria. Scatter in the velocity dispersions and H-Rdiagram is correlated with trial activity-based membership assignments,indicating the usefulness of criteria based on photometric andchromospheric emission to examine membership. Closer inspection,however, shows that activity is considerably more robust at excludingmembership, failing to do so only for <=15% of objects, perhapsconsiderably less. Our UMa members demonstrate nonzero vertex deviationin the Bottlinger diagram, behavior seen in older and recent studies ofnearby young disk stars and perhaps related to Galactic spiralstructure. Comparison of isochrones and our final UMa group membersindicates an age of 500+/-100 Myr, some 200 Myr older than thecanonically quoted UMa age. Our UMa kinematic/photometric members' meanchromospheric emission levels, rotational velocities, and scattertherein are indistinguishable from values in the Hyades and smaller thanthose evinced by members of the younger Pleiades and M34 clusters,suggesting these characteristics decline rapidly with age over 200-500Myr. None of our UMa members demonstrate inordinately low absolutevalues of chromospheric emission, but several may show residual fluxes afactor of >=2 below a Hyades-defined lower envelope. If one defines aMaunder-like minimum in a relative sense, then the UMa results maysuggest that solar-type stars spend 10% of their entire main-sequencelives in periods of precipitously low activity, which is consistent withestimates from older field stars. As related asides, we note six evolvedstars (among our UMa nonmembers) with distinctive kinematics that liealong a 2 Gyr isochrone and appear to be late-type counterparts to diskF stars defining intermediate-age star streams in previous studies,identify a small number of potentially very young but isolated fieldstars, note that active stars (whether UMa members or not) in our samplelie very close to the solar composition zero-age main sequence, unlikeHipparcos-based positions in the H-R diagram of Pleiades dwarfs, andargue that some extant transformations of activity indices are notadequate for cool dwarfs, for which Ca II infrared triplet emissionseems to be a better proxy than Hα-based values for Ca II H and Kindices.

Multiplicity among solar-type stars. III. Statistical properties of the F7-K binaries with periods up to 10 years
Two CORAVEL radial velocity surveys - one among stars in the solarneighbourhood, the other in the Pleiades and in Praesepe - are merged toderive the statistical properties of main-sequence binaries withspectral types F7 to K and with periods up to 10 years. A sample of 89spectroscopic orbits was finally obtained. Among them, 52 relate to afree-of-bias selection of 405 stars (240 field stars and 165 clusterstars). The statistics corrected for selection effects yield thefollowing results: (1) No discrepancy is found between the binariesamong field stars and the binaries in open cluster. The distributions ofmass ratios, of periods, the period-eccentricity diagram and the binaryfrequencies are all within the same error intervals. (2) Thedistribution of mass ratios presents two maxima: a broad peak from q ~0.2 to q ~ 0.7, and a sharp peak for q > 0.8 (twins). Both arepresent among the early-type as well as among the late-type part of thesample, indicating a scale-free formation process. The peak for q >0.8 gradually decreases when long-period binaries are considered.Whatever their periods, the twins have eccentricities significantlylower than the other binaries, confirming a difference in the formationprocesses. Twins could be generated by in situ formation followed byaccretion from a gaseous envelope, whereas binaries with intermediatemass ratios could be formed at wide separations, but they are madecloser by migration led by interactions with a circumbinary disk. (3)The frequency of binaries with P<10 years is about 14%. (4) About0.3% of binaries are expected to appear as false positives in a planetsearch. Therefore, the frequency of planetary systems among stars ispresently 7+4-2%. The extension of thedistribution of mass ratios in the planetary range would result in avery sharp and very high peak, well separated from the binary stars withlow mass ratios. Based on photoelectric radial-velocity measurementscollected at Haute-Provence observatory and on observations made withthe ESA Hipparcos astrometry satellite.

Radial Velocities for 889 Late-Type Stars
We report radial velocities for 844 FGKM-type main-sequence and subgiantstars and 45 K giants, most of which had either low-precision velocitymeasurements or none at all. These velocities differ from the standardstars of Udry et al. by 0.035 km s-1 (rms) for the 26 FGKstandard stars in common. The zero point of our velocities differs fromthat of Udry et al.: =+0.053km s-1. Thus, these new velocities agree with the best knownstandard stars both in precision and zero point, to well within 0.1 kms-1. Nonetheless, both these velocities and the standardssuffer from three sources of systematic error, namely, convectiveblueshift, gravitational redshift, and spectral type mismatch of thereference spectrum. These systematic errors are here forced to be zerofor G2 V stars by using the Sun as reference, with Vesta and day sky asproxies. But for spectral types departing from solar, the systematicerrors reach 0.3 km s-1 in the F and K stars and 0.4 kms-1 in M dwarfs. Multiple spectra were obtained for all 889stars during 4 years, and 782 of them exhibit velocity scatter less than0.1 km s-1. These stars may serve as radial velocitystandards if they remain constant in velocity. We found 11 newspectroscopic binaries and report orbital parameters for them. Based onobservations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operatedjointly by the University of California and the California Institute ofTechnology, and on observations obtained at the Lick Observatory, whichis operated by the University of California.

HIPPARCOS age-metallicity relation of the solar neighbourhood disc stars
We derive age-metallicity relations (AMRs) and orbital parameters forthe 1658 solar neighbourhood stars to which accurate distances aremeasured by the HIPPARCOS satellite. The sample stars comprise 1382 thindisc stars, 229 thick disc stars, and 47 halo stars according to theirorbital parameters. We find a considerable scatter for thin disc AMRalong the one-zone Galactic chemical evolution (GCE) model. Orbits andmetallicities of thin disc stars show now clear relation each other. Thescatter along the AMR exists even if the stars with the same orbits areselected. We examine simple extension of one-zone GCE models whichaccount for inhomogeneity in the effective yield and inhomogeneous starformation rate in the Galaxy. Both extensions of the one-zone GCE modelcannot account for the scatter in age - [Fe/H] - [Ca/Fe] relationsimultaneously. We conclude, therefore, that the scatter along the thindisc AMR is an essential feature in the formation and evolution of theGalaxy. The AMR for thick disc stars shows that the star formationterminated 8 Gyr ago in the thick disc. As already reported by Grattonet al. (\cite{Gratton_et.al.2000}) and Prochaska et al.(\cite{Prochaska_et.al.2000}), thick disc stars are more Ca-rich thanthin disc stars with the same [Fe/H]. We find that thick disc stars showa vertical abundance gradient. These three facts, the AMR, verticalgradient, and [Ca/Fe]-[Fe/H] relation, support monolithic collapseand/or accretion of satellite dwarf galaxies as likely thick discformation scenarios. Tables 2 and 3 are only available in electronicform at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( via http:/ /cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/ cgi-bin/qcat?J/ A+A/394/927

CHARM: A Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements
The Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements (CHARM) includesmost of the measurements obtained by the techniques of lunaroccultations and long-baseline interferometry at visual and infraredwavelengths, which have appeared in the literature or have otherwisebeen made public until mid-2001. A total of 2432 measurements of 1625sources are included, along with extensive auxiliary information. Inparticular, visual and infrared photometry is included for almost allthe sources. This has been partly extracted from currently availablecatalogs, and partly obtained specifically for CHARM. The main aim is toprovide a compilation of sources which could be used as calibrators orfor science verification purposes by the new generation of largeground-based facilities such as the ESO Very Large Interferometer andthe Keck Interferometer. The Catalog is available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/386/492, and from theauthors on CD-Rom.

A revision of the solar neighbourhood metallicity distribution
We present a revised metallicity distribution of dwarfs in the solarneighbourhood. This distribution is centred on solar metallicity. Weshow that previous metallicity distributions, selected on the basis ofspectral type, are biased against stars with solar metallicity orhigher. A selection of G-dwarf stars is inherently biased againstmetal-rich stars and is not representative of the solar neighbourhoodmetallicity distribution. Using a sample selected on colour, we obtain adistribution where approximately half the stars in the solarneighbourhood have metallicities higher than [Fe/H]=0. The percentage ofmid-metal-poor stars ([Fe/H]<-0.5) is approximately 4 per cent, inagreement with present estimates of the thick disc. In order to have ametallicity distribution comparable to chemical evolution modelpredictions, we convert the star fraction to mass fraction, and showthat another bias against metal-rich stars affects dwarf metallicitydistributions, due to the colour (or spectral type) limits of thesamples. Reconsidering the corrections resulting from the increasingthickness of the stellar disc with age, we show that the simpleclosed-box model with no instantaneous recycling approximation gives areasonable fit to the observed distribution. Comparisons with theage-metallicity relation and abundance ratios suggest that the simpleclosed-box model may be a viable model of the chemical evolution of theGalaxy at solar radius.

The EUV Source HD 52452: Discovery of a Likely Triple System
We present the results of a photometric and spectroscopic study of theEUV bright source HD 52452. This star results to be a triple systemcomposed by a SB1 G5:V+G5:V close binary, which rotates with a periodP=0.423 days and by a slower rotating G5:V companion.

Stellar encounters with the solar system
We continue our search, based on Hipparcos data, for stars which haveencountered or will encounter the solar system(García-Sánchez et al. \cite{Garcia}). Hipparcos parallaxand proper motion data are combined with ground-based radial velocitymeasurements to obtain the trajectories of stars relative to the solarsystem. We have integrated all trajectories using three different modelsof the galactic potential: a local potential model, a global potentialmodel, and a perturbative potential model. The agreement between themodels is generally very good. The time period over which our search forclose passages is valid is about +/-10 Myr. Based on the Hipparcos data,we find a frequency of stellar encounters within one parsec of the Sunof 2.3 +/- 0.2 per Myr. However, we also find that the Hipparcos data isobservationally incomplete. By comparing the Hipparcos observations withthe stellar luminosity function for star systems within 50 pc of theSun, we estimate that only about one-fifth of the stars or star systemswere detected by Hipparcos. Correcting for this incompleteness, weobtain a value of 11.7 +/- 1.3 stellar encounters per Myr within one pcof the Sun. We examine the ability of two future missions, FAME andGAIA, to extend the search for past and future stellar encounters withthe Sun.

Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statistics
The Catalogue, available at the Centre de Données Stellaires deStrasbourg, consists of 13 573 records concerning the results obtainedfrom different methods for 7778 stars, reported in the literature. Thefollowing data are listed for each star: identifications, apparentmagnitude, spectral type, apparent diameter in arcsec, absolute radiusin solar units, method of determination, reference, remarks. Commentsand statistics obtained from CADARS are given. The Catalogue isavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcar?J/A+A/367/521

Research Note Hipparcos photometry: The least variable stars
The data known as the Hipparcos Photometry obtained with the Hipparcossatellite have been investigated to find those stars which are leastvariable. Such stars are excellent candidates to serve as standards forphotometric systems. Their spectral types suggest in which parts of theHR diagrams stars are most constant. In some cases these values stronglyindicate that previous ground based studies claiming photometricvariability are incorrect or that the level of stellar activity haschanged. Table 2 is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/367/297

Photometric Measurements of the Fields of More than 700 Nearby Stars
In preparation for optical/IR interferometric searches for substellarcompanions of nearby stars, we undertook to characterize the fields ofall nearby stars visible from the Northern Hemisphere to determinesuitable companions for interferometric phase referencing. Because theKeck Interferometer in particular will be able to phase-reference oncompanions within the isoplanatic patch (30") to about 17th magnitude atK, we took images at V, r, and i that were deep enough to determine iffield stars were present to this magnitude around nearby stars using aspot-coated CCD. We report on 733 fields containing 10,629 measurementsin up to three filters (Gunn i, r and Johnson V) of nearby stars down toabout 13th magnitude at V.

Stellar Encounters with the Oort Cloud Based on HIPPARCOS Data
We have combined Hipparcos proper-motion and parallax data for nearbystars with ground-based radial velocity measurements to find stars thatmay have passed (or will pass) close enough to the Sun to perturb theOort cloud. Close stellar encounters could deflect large numbers ofcomets into the inner solar system, which would increase the impacthazard at Earth. We find that the rate of close approaches by starsystems (single or multiple stars) within a distance D (in parsecs) fromthe Sun is given by N= 3.5D^2.12 Myr^-1, less than the number predictedby a simple stellar dynamics model. However, this value is clearly alower limit because of observational incompleteness in the Hipparcosdata set. One star, Gliese 710, is estimated to have a closest approachof less than 0.4 pc 1.4 Myr in the future, and several stars come within1 pc during a +/-10 Myr interval. We have performed dynamicalsimulations that show that none of the passing stars perturb the Oortcloud sufficiently to create a substantial increase in the long-periodcomet flux at Earth's orbit.

Metallicity effects on the chromospheric activity-age relation for late-type dwarfs
We show that there is a relationship between the age excess, defined asthe difference between the stellar isochrone and chromospheric ages, andthe metallicity as measured by the index [Fe/H] for late-type dwarfs.The chromospheric age tends to be lower than the isochrone age formetal-poor stars, and the opposite occurs for metal-rich objects. Wesuggest that this could be an effect of neglecting the metallicitydependence of the calibrated chromospheric emission-age relation. Wepropose a correction to account for this dependence. We also investigatethe metallicity distributions of these stars, and show that there aredistinct trends according to the chromospheric activity level. Inactivestars have a metallicity distribution which resembles the metallicitydistribution of solar neighbourhood stars, while active stars appear tobe concentrated in an activity strip on the logR'_HKx[Fe/H] diagram. Weprovide some explanations for these trends, and show that thechromospheric emission-age relation probably has different slopes on thetwo sides of the Vaughan-Preston gap.

Photoelectric Observations of Lunar Occultations at Engelhardt Astronomical Observatory
Results of the lunar occultations observed from 1984 to 1997 at theEngelhardt Astronomical Observatory are reported. The times of lunaroccultation for 63 stars, with a precision of a few milliseconds, anddiameters for 12 stars have been determined.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:06h55m18.60s
Apparent magnitude:5.73
Distance:17.274 parsecs
Proper motion RA:-36.7
Proper motion Dec:25.3
B-T magnitude:6.472
V-T magnitude:5.816

Catalogs and designations:
Proper Names   (Edit)
Flamsteed37 Gem
HD 1989HD 50692
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 1898-2479-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 1125-04681670
BSC 1991HR 2569
HIPHIP 33277

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