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LP 261-75/2MASSW J09510549+3558021: A Young, Wide M4.5/L6 Binary
We present new observations of the LP 261-75/2MASSW J09510549+3558021M4.5/L6 wide, common-proper-motion binary system. Optical spectroscopyof LP 261-75 shows strong Hα emission, and the star may also beassociated with the ROSAT FSC source 1RXS J095102.7+355824. The derivedchromospheric and coronal activity levels are consistent with those ofPleiades stars of the same spectral type, and we infer an age of 100-200Myr for the system. In that case, theoretical models suggest that the L6dwarf 2MASSW J09510549+3558021 is a low-mass brown dwarf, withM~0.02+0.01-0.005 Msolar.Based partly on observations obtained with the Apache Point Observatory3.5 m telescope, which is owned and operated by the AstrophysicalResearch Consortium.

On the Use of Line Depth Ratios to Measure Starspot Properties on Magnetically Active Stars
Photometric and spectroscopic techniques have proven to be effectiveways to measure the properties of dark, cool starspots on magneticallyactive stars. Recently, a technique was introduced using atomic linedepth ratios (LDRs) to measure starspot properties. Carefullyreproducing this technique using a new set of spectroscopic observationsof active stars, we find that the LDR technique encounters difficulties,specifically by overestimating spot temperatures (because the atomiclines blend with titanium oxide absorption in cooler spots) and by nottightly constraining the filling factor of spots. While the use of LDRsfor active star studies has great promise, we believe that theseconcerns need to be addressed before the technique is more widelyapplied.This paper includes data taken at McDonald Observatory of the Universityof Texas at Austin.

A Method for Determining the Physical Properties of the Coldest Known Brown Dwarfs
We present a method for measuring the physical parameters of the coldestT-type brown dwarfs using low-resolution near-infrared spectra. Bycomparing H2O and H2-sensitive spectral ratiosbetween empirical data and theoretical atmosphere models, andcalibrating these ratios to measurements for the well-characterized 2-5Gyr companion brown dwarf Gliese 570D, we derive estimates of theeffective temperatures and surface gravities for 13 mid- and late-typefield T dwarfs. We also deduce the first quantitative estimate ofsubsolar metallicity for the peculiar T dwarf 2MASS 0937+2931. Derivedtemperatures are consistent with prior estimates based on parallax andbolometric luminosity measurements, and examination of possiblesystematic effects indicate that the results are robust. Two recentlydiscovered late-type T dwarfs, 2MASS 0939-2448 and 2MASS 1114-2618, bothappear to be >~50 K cooler than the latest type T dwarf, 2MASS0415-0935, and are potentially the coldest and least luminous browndwarfs currently known. We find that, in general, higher surface gravityT dwarfs have lower effective temperatures and luminosities for a givenspectral type, explaining previously observed scatter in theTeff/spectral type relation for these objects. Masses, radii,and ages are estimated for the T dwarfs in our sample using theevolutionary models of Burrows et al.; we also determine masses andradii independently for eight T dwarfs with measured luminosities. Thesetwo determinations are largely consistent, lending support to thevalidity of evolutionary models at late ages. Our method is well suitedto large samples of faint brown dwarfs and can ultimately be used todirectly measure the substellar mass function and formation history inthe Galaxy.

Dwarfs in the Local Region
We 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.

IC 4200: a gas-rich early-type galaxy formed via a major merger
We present the result of radio and optical observations of the S0 galaxyIC 4200. We observed the galaxy at the 21 cm wavelength with theAustralian Telescope Compact Array, and we obtained optical spectroscopyand V- and R-band images with ESO/NTT/EMMI. Our aim is to determine thelink between H I and stellar content of IC 4200 and derive a coherentpicture of its formation. We find that the galaxy hosts 8.5 ×109 Mȯ of H I rotating on a ~90 deg warpeddisk extended out to 60 kpc from the centre of the galaxy. Opticalspectroscopy reveals a simple-stellar-population-equivalent age of 1.5Gyr in the centre of the galaxy and V- and R-band images show stellarshells. Ionised gas is observed within the stellar body and iskinematically decoupled from the stars and characterised by LINER-likeline ratios. We interpret these observational results as evidence for amajor merger origin of IC 4200, and date the merger back to 1-3 Gyr ago.

Abundances of refractory elements in the atmospheres of stars with extrasolar planets
Aims.This work presents a uniform and homogeneous study of chemicalabundances of refractory elements in 101 stars with and 93 without knownplanetary companions. We carry out an in-depth investigation of theabundances of Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Na, Mg and Al. The newcomparison sample, spanning the metallicity range -0.70< [Fe/H]<0.50, fills the gap that previously existed, mainly at highmetallicities, in the number of stars without known planets.Methods.Weused an enlarged set of data including new observations, especially forthe field "single" comparison stars . The line list previously studiedby other authors was improved: on average we analysed 90 spectral linesin every spectrum and carefully measured more than 16 600 equivalentwidths (EW) to calculate the abundances.Results.We investigate possibledifferences between the chemical abundances of the two groups of stars,both with and without planets. The results are globally comparable tothose obtained by other authors, and in most cases the abundance trendsof planet-host stars are very similar to those of the comparison sample.Conclusions.This work represents a step towards the comprehension ofrecently discovered planetary systems. These results could also beuseful for verifying galactic models at high metallicities andconsequently improve our knowledge of stellar nucleosynthesis andgalactic chemical evolution.

Prospects for population synthesis in the H band: NeMo grids of stellar atmospheres compared to observations
Context: .For applications in population synthesis, libraries oftheoretical stellar spectra are often considered an alternative totemplate libraries of observed spectra, because they allow a completesampling of stellar parameters. Most of the attention in publishedtheoretical spectral libraries has been devoted to the visual wavelengthrange.Aims.The goal of the present work is to explore the near-infraredrange where few observed fully calibrated spectra and no theoreticallibraries are available.Methods.We make a detailed comparison oftheoretical spectra in the range 1.57-1.67 μm for spectral types fromA to early M and for giant and dwarf stars, with observed stellarspectra at resolutions around 3000, which would be sufficient todisentangle the different groups of late-type stars. We selected theNeMo grids of stellar atmospheres to perform this comparison.Results.Wefirst demonstrate that observed spectral flux distributions can bematched very well with theoretical ones for almost the entire parameterrange covered by the NeMo grids at moderate resolution in the visualrange. In the infrared range, although the overall shape of the observedflux distributions still matches reasonably well, the individualspectral features are reproduced by the theoretical spectra only forstars earlier than mid F type. For later spectral types the differencesincrease, and theoretical spectra of K type stars have systematicallyweaker line features than those found in observations. Thesediscrepancies are traced back to stem primarily from incomplete data onneutral atomic lines, although some of them are also related tomolecules.Conclusions.Libraries of theoretical spectra for A to early Mtype stars can be successfully used in the visual regions for populationsynthesis, but their application in the infrared is restricted to earlyand intermediate type stars. Improving atomic data in the near infraredis a key element in making the construction of reliable libraries ofstellar spectra feasible in the infrared.

Spectroscopic mass ratios for two visual binaries: HD 206804 & HD 217166
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Stellar abundance gradients in galactic discs - I. Method and spectral line gradients
We describe the technique of absorption-line imaging of galaxy discsusing the Taurus Tunable Filter on the Anglo-Australian Telescope anddemonstrate its sensitivity to the behaviour of spectral featuresassociated with Mg and Fe. Radial profiles of Mg2 and Fe5270line strengths are presented for a sample of eight face-on spiralgalaxies spanning a range of Hubble types. Signatures of phenomenaincluding merger-induced star formation, HII rings and galactic bars arealso reported. This study demonstrates the capacity of tunable filtersto measure Mg and Fe line strengths across the face of spiral galaxies,which can ultimately reveal clues about the star formation history andchemical evolution.

Predicting accurate stellar angular diameters by the near-infrared surface brightness technique
I report on the capabilities of the near-infrared (near-IR) surfacebrightness technique to predict reliable stellar angular diameters asaccurate as <~2 per cent using standard broad-band Johnson photometryin the colour range -0.1 <= (V-K)O<= 3.7 includingstars of A, F, G, K spectral type. This empirical approach is fast toapply and leads to estimated photometric diameters in very goodagreement with recent high-precision interferometric diametermeasurements available for non-variable dwarfs and giants, as well asfor Cepheid variables. Then I compare semi-empirical diameters predictedby model-dependent photometric and spectrophotometric (SP) methods withnear-IR surface brightness diameters adopted as empirical referencecalibrators. The overall agreement between all these methods is withinapproximately +/-5 per cent, confirming previous works. However, on thesame scale of accuracy, there is also evidence for systematic shiftspresumably as a result of an incorrect representation of the stellareffective temperature in the model-dependent results. I also comparemeasurements of spectroscopic radii with near-IR surface brightnessradii of Cepheids with known distances. Spectroscopic radii are found tobe affected by a scatter as significant as >~9 per cent, which is atleast three times greater than the formal error currently claimed by thespectroscopic technique. In contrast, pulsation radii predicted by theperiod-radius (PR) relation according to the Cepheid period result aresignificantly less dispersed, indicating a quite small scatter as aresult of the finite width of the Cepheid instability strip, as expectedfrom pulsation theory. The resulting low level of noise stronglyconfirms our previous claims that the pulsation parallaxes are the mostaccurate empirical distances presently available for Galactic andextragalactic Cepheids.

The structure of our stellar system.
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Analysis of the Dynamic Stability of Selected Multiple Stars with Weak Hierarchy
The stability of multiple systems with known orbital elements and withsubsystems occupying adjacent hierarchy levels is analyzed using sixstability criteria and numerical simulations of their dynamicalevolution. All the stability criteria considered are in qualitativeagreement with the numerical computations. Of the 16 systems studied, 11are confirmed to be stable and five (HD 40887, HD 136176, HD 150680, HD217675, and HD 222326) may be unstable on time scales of ˜106 yr orless. The small dynamical ages of the unstable systems may indicate thatthey have captured components during encounters between close binariesand field or moving cluster stars. The instability could also resultfrom the perturbation of a stable system when it approaches a massiveobject (star, black hole, or molecular cloud). It is possible that someof the unstable systems are remnants of small clusters or stellargroups.

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.

The Vertical Stellar Kinematics in Face-On Barred Galaxies: Estimating the Ages of Bars
In order to perform a detailed study of the stellar kinematics in thevertical axis of bars, we obtained high signal-to-noise spectra alongthe major and minor axes of the bars in a sample of 14 face-on galaxiesand used them to determine the line-of-sight stellar velocitydistribution, parameterized as a Gauss-Hermite series. With these data,we developed a diagnostic tool that allows one to distinguish betweenrecently formed and evolved bars, as well as to estimate their ages,assuming that bars form in vertically thin disks that are recognizableby low values for the vertical velocity dispersion σz.Through N-body realizations of bar unstable disk galaxies we were alsoable to check the timescales involved in the processes that give bars animportant vertical structure. We show that σz inevolved bars is roughly 100 km s-1, which translates to aheight scale of about 1.4 kpc, giving support to scenarios in whichbulges form through disk material. Furthermore, the bars in ournumerical simulations have values for σz generallysmaller than 50 km s-1, even after evolving for 2 Gyr,suggesting that a slow process is responsible for making bars asvertically thick as we observe. We verify theoretically that theSpitzer-Schwarzschild mechanism is quantitatively able to explain theseobservations if we assume that giant molecular clouds are twice asconcentrated along the bar as in the rest of the disk.

The Effective Temperature Scale of FGK Stars. II. Teff:Color:[Fe/H] Calibrations
We present up-to-date metallicity-dependent temperature versus colorcalibrations for main-sequence and giant stars based on temperaturesderived with the infrared flux method (IRFM). Seventeen colors in thephotometric systems UBV, uvby, Vilnius, Geneva, RI(Cousins), DDO,Hipparcos-Tycho, and Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) have beencalibrated. The spectral types covered by the calibrations range from F0to K5 (7000K>~Teff>~4000K) with some relationsextending below 4000 K or up to 8000 K. Most of the calibrations arevalid in the metallicity range -3.5>~[Fe/H]>~0.4, although some ofthem extend to as low as [Fe/H]~-4.0. All fits to the data have beenperformed with more than 100 stars; standard deviations range from 30 to120 K. Fits were carefully performed and corrected to eliminate thesmall systematic errors introduced by the calibration formulae. Tablesof colors as a function of Teff and [Fe/H] are provided. Thiswork is largely based on the study by A. Alonso and collaborators; thus,our relations do not significantly differ from theirs except for thevery metal-poor hot stars. From the calibrations, the temperatures of 44dwarf and giant stars with direct temperatures available are obtained.The comparison with direct temperatures confirms our finding in Paper Ithat the zero point of the IRFM temperature scale is in agreement, tothe 10 K level, with the absolute temperature scale (that based onstellar angular diameters) within the ranges of atmospheric parameterscovered by those 44 stars. The colors of the Sun are derived from thepresent IRFM Teff scale and they compare well with those offive solar analogs. It is shown that if the IRFM Teff scaleaccurately reproduces the temperatures of very metal-poor stars,systematic errors of the order of 200 K, introduced by the assumption of(V-K) being completely metallicity independent when studying verymetal-poor dwarf stars, are no longer acceptable. Comparisons with otherTeff scales, both empirical and theoretical, are also shownto be in reasonable agreement with our results, although it seems thatboth Kurucz and MARCS synthetic colors fail to predict the detailedmetallicity dependence, given that for [Fe/H]=-2.0, differences as highas approximately +/-200 K are found.

The Effective Temperature Scale of FGK Stars. I. Determination of Temperatures and Angular Diameters with the Infrared Flux Method
The infrared flux method (IRFM) has been applied to a sample of 135dwarf and 36 giant stars covering the following regions of theatmospheric parameter space: (1) the metal-rich ([Fe/H]>~0) end(consisting mostly of planet-hosting stars), (2) the cool(Teff<~5000 K) metal-poor (-1<~[Fe/H]<~-3) dwarfregion, and (3) the very metal-poor ([Fe/H]<~-2.5) end. These starswere especially selected to cover gaps in previous works onTeff versus color relations, particularly the IRFMTeff scale of A. Alonso and collaborators. Our IRFMimplementation was largely based on the Alonso et al. study (absoluteinfrared flux calibration, bolometric flux calibration, etc.) with theaim of extending the ranges of applicability of their Teffversus color calibrations. In addition, in order to improve the internalaccuracy of the IRFM Teff scale, we recomputed thetemperatures of almost all stars from the Alonso et al. work usingupdated input data. The updated temperatures do not significantly differfrom the original ones, with few exceptions, leaving the Teffscale of Alonso et al. mostly unchanged. Including the stars withupdated temperatures, a large sample of 580 dwarf and 470 giant stars(in the field and in clusters), which cover the ranges3600K<~Teff<~8000K and -4.0<~[Fe/H]<~+0.5, haveTeff homogeneously determined with the IRFM. The meanuncertainty of the temperatures derived is 75 K for dwarfs and 60 K forgiants, which is about 1.3% at solar temperature and 4500 K,respectively. It is shown that the IRFM temperatures are reliable in anabsolute scale given the consistency of the angular diameters resultingfrom the IRFM with those measured by long baseline interferometry, lunaroccultation, and transit observations. Using the measured angulardiameters and bolometric fluxes, a comparison is made between IRFM anddirect temperatures, which shows excellent agreement, with the meandifference being less than 10 K for giants and about 20 K for dwarfstars (the IRFM temperatures being larger in both cases). This resultwas obtained for giants in the ranges 3800K

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.

The Physical Natures of Class I and Flat-Spectrum Protostellar Photospheres: A Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Study
We present high-resolution (R~=18,000), high signal-to-noise ratio, 2μm spectra of 52 IR-selected Class I and flat-spectrum young stellarobjects in the Taurus-Auriga, ρ Ophiuchi, Serpens, Perseus, andCorona Australis dark clouds. We detect key absorption lines in 41objects and fit synthetic spectra generated from pre-main-sequencemodels to deduce the effective temperatures, surface gravities, near-IRveilings, rotation velocities, and radial velocities of each of these 41sources. We find these objects to span ranges in effective temperature,surface gravity, and stellar luminosity that appear similar to those oflate spectral type Class II sources and classical T Tauri stars.However, because of significant but uncertain corrections for scatteringand extinction, the derived luminosities for the embedded protostellarobjects must be regarded as being highly uncertain. We determine thatthe mean 2 μm veiling of Class I and flat-spectrum objects issignificantly higher than that of Class II objects in the same regionwhere both types of objects are extensively observed (ρ Oph). Wefind that a significant fraction of our protostellar sample alsoexhibits emission lines. Twenty-three objects show H2emission, which is usually indicative of the presence of energeticoutflows. Thirty-four sources show H I Brγ emission, and a numberof these exhibit profile asymmetries consistent with infall. Eightsources show significant Δv=2 CO emission suggestive of emissionfrom a circumstellar disk. Overall, these observations indicate thatClass I and flat-spectrum objects are self-embedded protostarsundergoing significant mass accretion, although the objects appear tospan a broad range of mass accretion activity.Data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory fromtelescope time allocated to the National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration through the agency's scientific partnership with theCalifornia Institute of Technology and the University of California. TheObservatory was made possible by the generous financial support of theW. M. Keck Foundation.

Stars within 15 Parsecs: Abundances for a Northern Sample
We 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 disk
We 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.

Spectroscopic metallicities for planet-host stars: Extending the samples
We present stellar parameters and metallicities for 29 planet-hoststars, as well as for a large volume-limited sample of 53 stars notknown to be orbited by any planetary-mass companion. These stars add tothe results presented in our previous series of papers, providing twolarge and uniform samples of 119 planet-hosts and 94“single” stars with accurate stellar parameters and [Fe/H]estimates. The analysis of the results further confirms that stars withplanets are metal-rich when compared with average field dwarfs.Important biases that may compromise future studies are also discussed.Finally, we compare the metallicity distributions for singleplanet-hosts and planet-hosts in multiple stellar systems. The resultsshow that a small difference cannot be excluded, in the sense that thelatter sample is slighly overmetallic. However, more data are needed toconfirm this correlation.

The Ca II Infrared Triplet as a stellar activity diagnostic . I. Non-LTE photospheric profiles and definition of the RIRT indicator
This work is part of a larger project on the study of activity in starsof spectral type similar to, or later than the Sun, from PMS to ZAMS,based on the analysis of the high resolution Ca II InfraRed Triplet (CaII IRT: λ= 8498, 8542, 8662 Å) observed profiles. Here, apreliminary study on the diagnostic power of these calcium lines hasbeen performed by means of NLTE calculations of the line profiles withan approximate treatment of UV line-blanketing, for a grid ofphotospheric models with Teff = 4200, 5200, 6200 K, log g =4.0, 4.5, 5.0 and [A/H] = 0.0, -1.0, -2.0. We used these calculations toestimate the sensitivity of the profiles to changes in stellarparameters and the effect of departures from LTE. As found by otherauthors, the Ca II triplet NLTE EQW s (equivalent widths) are quitesensitive to photospheric parameters, in particular to Teffand [A/H]. On the other hand, we find that the dependence of the Ca IItriplet lines central depression (CD = 1-central relative flux) on log gand Teff, and to a lesser extent to [A/H], is very weak. Thedeparture from LTE is negligible when we consider EQW s, unless verymetal-poor atmospheres are considered, while CD s can be affected byNLTE by more than 20%. This analysis indicates that in the use of theselines as activity indicators (where the details of the line profile inthe core are important), a NLTE treatment is required. Furthermore, weshow that a new chromospheric indicator, which we denoteRIRT, can be derived from measurements of Ca II IRT linecentral depressions, provided that rotational broadening is taken intoproper account. In order to facilitate the use of the Ca II IRT lines asactivity diagnostics, we give interpolation formulae for estimating lineCD s within the range of stellar parameters of our NLTE calculations.

Improved Baade-Wesselink surface brightness relations
Recent, and older accurate, data on (limb-darkened) angular diameters iscompiled for 221 stars, as well as BVRIJK[12][25] magnitudes for thoseobjects, when available. Nine stars (all M-giants or supergiants)showing excess in the [12-25] colour are excluded from the analysis asthis may indicate the presence of dust influencing the optical andnear-infrared colours as well. Based on this large sample,Baade-Wesselink surface brightness (SB) relations are presented fordwarfs, giants, supergiants and dwarfs in the optical and near-infrared.M-giants are found to follow different SB relations from non-M-giants,in particular in V versus V-R. The preferred relation for non-M-giantsis compared to the earlier relation by Fouqué and Gieren (basedon 10 stars) and Nordgren et al. (based on 57 stars). Increasing thesample size does not lead to a lower rms value. It is shown that theresiduals do not correlate with metallicity at a significant level. Thefinally adopted observed angular diameters are compared to thosepredicted by Cohen et al. for 45 stars in common, and there isreasonable overall, and good agreement when θ < 6 mas.Finally, I comment on the common practice in the literature to average,and then fix, the zero-point of the V versus V-K, V versus V-R and Kversus J-K relations, and then rederive the slopes. Such a commonzero-point at zero colour is not expected from model atmospheres for theV-R colour and depends on gravity. Relations derived in this way may bebiased.

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.

New Hipparcos-based Parallaxes for 424 Faint Stars
We present a catalog of 424 common proper-motion companions to Hipparcosstars with good (>3 σ) parallaxes, thereby effectively providingnew parallaxes for these companions. Compared with typical stars in theHipparcos catalog, these stars are substantially dimmer. The catalogincludes 20 white dwarfs and an additional 29 stars withMV>14, the great majority of the latter being M dwarfs.

Orbital Parameters for the Black Hole Binary XTE J1650-500
We present R-band photometry of the X-ray transient and candidate blackhole binary XTE J1650-500 obtained between 2003 May and August with the6.5 m Clay telescope. A timing analysis of these data reveals aphotometric period of 0.3205+/-0.0007 days (i.e., 7.63 hr) with apossible alias at 0.3785 days (9.12 hr). Our photometry completely rulesout the previously published spectroscopic period of 0.212 days (5.09hr). Consequently, we reanalyzed the 15 archival ESO VLT spectra(obtained 2002 June by Sanchez-Fernandez et al.) that were the basis ofthe previously published spectroscopic period. We used a ``rest-framesearch'' technique that is well suited for cases in which thesignal-to-noise ratio of individual spectra is low. For each of roughly1.1 million binary ephemerides, we summed all of the spectra in a trialrest frame of the secondary star, and each rest-frame spectrum wascross-correlated against a template spectrum. We then searched for theset of orbital parameters that produced the strongest cross-correlationvalue. The results confirmed the photometric period of 0.3205 days andruled out the alias period near 0.38 days. The best value for thevelocity semiamplitude of the companion star is K2=435+/-30km s-1, and the corresponding optical mass function isf(M)=2.73+/-0.56 Msolar. The spectral type of the companionstar is not well constrained because we only have six template spectraavailable to us. The K4 V template provides the best match; next-bestmatches are provided by the G5 V and K2 III templates. We also find thatthe accretion disk dominates the light in the R band where the diskfraction is 80% or higher, although this value should be treated withcaution owing to the poor signal-to-noise ratio and the limited numberof templates. The amplitude of the phased R-band light curve is 0.2 mag,which gives a lower limit to the inclination of50deg+/-3deg in the limiting case of nocontribution to the R-band light curve from the accretion disk. If themass ratio of XTE J1650-500 is similar to the mass ratios of other blackhole binaries, such as A0620-00 or GRS 1124-683 (e.g., Q>~10), thenour lower limit to the inclination gives an upper limit to the mass ofthe black hole in XTE J1650-500 of M1<~7.3Msolar. However, the mass can be considerably lower if theR-band flux is dominated by the accretion disk. For example, if theaccretion disk does contribute 80% of the flux, as our preliminaryresults suggest, then the black hole mass would be only about 4Msolar.Based on observations made with the Magellan 6.5 m Clay telescope at LasCampanas Observatory of the Carnegie Institution and with EuropeanSouthern Observatory (ESO) telescopes at the Paranal Observatory underprogram ID 69.D-0644(A).

Synthetic Lick Indices and Detection of α-enhanced Stars. II. F, G, and K Stars in the -1.0 < [Fe/H] < +0.50 Range
We 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.

S Orionis 70: Just a Foreground Field Brown Dwarf?
We examine recent claims that the T-type brown dwarf S Ori053810.1-203626 (S Ori 70) is a spectroscopically verified low-mass(3+5-1 MJup) member of the 1-8 Myrσ Orionis cluster. Comparative arguments by Martín &Zapatero Osorio asserting that S Ori 70 exhibits low surface gravityspectral features indicative of youth and low mass are invalidated bythe fact that their comparison object was not the field T dwarf 2MASS0559-1404, but rather a nearby background star. Instead, we find thatthe 1-2.5 μm spectra of S Ori 70 are well matched to older (age~fewGyr) field T6-T7 dwarfs. Moreover, we find that spectral model fits tolate-type field T dwarf spectra tend to yield low surface gravities(logg=3.0-3.5), and thus young ages (<~5 Myr) and low masses (<~3MJup), inconsistent with expected and/or empirical values.Finally, we show that the identification of one T dwarf in the fieldimaged by Zapatero Osorio et al. is statistically consistent with theexpected foreground contamination. Based on the reexamined evidence, weconclude that S Ori 70 may simply be an old, massive (30-60MJup) field brown dwarf lying in the foreground of theσ Orionis cluster. This interpretation should be considered beforepresuming the existence of so-called ``cluster planets.''

The Globular Cluster System of NGC 5128. II. Ages, Metallicities, Kinematics, and Formation
We present a study of the nearby postmerger giant elliptical galaxy NGC5128 (Centaurus A), in which we use the properties of its globularcluster (GC) and planetary nebula (PN) systems to constrain itsevolution. Using photometric and spectroscopic data for 215 GCspresented in Paper I, we study trends in age, metallicity, andkinematics for the GC system. We confirm that the GC metallicitydistribution is bimodal and show that these two subpopulations havedifferent properties. Using spectral line index measurements of thebrightest clusters, we show that the metal-poor GCs have old ages likethe Milky Way globular clusters while the metal-rich GCs have Hβline strengths that could be interpreted as a mean age of~5+3-2 Gyr. Both populations appear to have[Mg/Fe] ratios consistent with that of the Galactic GC system, althoughthis quantity is not very well constrained. The kinematics of themetal-rich GCs are similar to those of the planetary nebulae, exhibitingsignificant rotation about a misaligned axis, while the metal-poor GCshave a higher velocity dispersion and show a weaker kinematiccorrelation with the field stars. The total gravitating mass of NGC 5128derived from the GCs is in excellent agreement with the value derivedfrom stellar (PN) kinematics. We suggest that these and other datasupport a picture in which the main body of NGC 5128 was formed 3-8 Gyrago by the dissipational merger of two unequal-mass disk galaxiessupplemented by the continual accretion of both gas-rich and gas-poorsatellites.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:14h57m28.00s
Apparent magnitude:5.74
Distance:5.906 parsecs
Proper motion RA:1035.7
Proper motion Dec:-1734.9
B-T magnitude:7.163
V-T magnitude:5.88

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesProxima Librae
HD 1989HD 131977
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 6180-855-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0675-13758462
BSC 1991HR 5568
HIPHIP 73184

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