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 The chemical composition of δ Scuti*We present chemical abundances in the photosphere of δ Scuti(δ Sct) - a prototype of the class of pulsating variables -determined from the analysis of a spectrum obtained by using the 2-mtelescope at the Peak Terskol Observatory and a high-resolutionspectrometer with R= 52000, a signal-to-noise ratio 250 and fromInternational Ultraviolet Explorer spectra. The abundance pattern ofδ Sct consists of 49 chemical elements. The abundances of 19elements have not been investigated previously. The abundances of Pr andNd obtained from the lines of the second and third spectra are equal.The abundances of heavy elements indicate the overabundances withrespect to the solar system values up to 1 dex. The abundance pattern ofδ Sct is similar to the abundance patterns of Am-Fm or δ Deltype stars.A splitting of the cores of all clean lines is observed for the spectraof δ Sct and HD 57749. This can signify evidence of non-radialpulsations in these stars. Dusty Debris Disks as Signposts of Planets: Implications for Spitzer Space TelescopeSubmillimeter and near-infrared images of cool dusty debris disks andrings suggest the existence of unseen planets. At dusty but nonimagedstars, semimajor axes of associated planets can be estimated from thedust temperature. For some young stars these semimajor axes are greaterthan 1" as seen from Earth. Such stars are excellent targets forsensitive near-infrared imaging searches for warm planets. To probe thefull extent of the dust and hence of potential planetary orbits, Spitzerobservations should include measurements with the 160 μm filter. 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. The heterogeneous class of lambda Bootis starsWe demonstrate that it is arduous to define the lambda Boo stars as aclass of objects exhibiting uniform abundance peculiarities which wouldbe generated by a mechanism altering the structure of their atmosphericlayers. We collected the stars classified as lambda Boo up to now anddiscuss their properties, in particular the important percentage ofconfirmed binaries producing composite spectra (including our adaptiveoptics observations) and of misclassified objects. The unexplained RVvariables (and thus suspected binaries), the known SB for which we lackinformation on the companion, the stars with an UV flux inconsistentwith their classification, and the fast rotating stars for which noaccurate abundance analysis can be performed, are also reviewed.Partly based on observations collected at the CFH Telescope (Hawaii) andat TBL of the Pic du Midi Observatory (France).Table \ref{tab5} is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org 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 A study of lambda Bootis type stars in the wavelength region beyond 7000 ÅThe group of lambda Bootis type stars comprises late B- to earlyF-type, Population I objects which are basically metal weak, inparticular the Fe group elements, but with the clear exception of C, N,O and S. One of the theories to explain the abundance pattern of thesestars involves circumstellar or interstellar matter around the objects.Hence, we have compiled all available data from the literature of wellestablished members of the lambda Bootis group redward of 7000Å, in order to find evidence for matter around these objects.Furthermore, we present unpublished ISO as well as submillimetercontinuum and CO (2-1) line measurements to complete the data set. Intotal, measurements for 34 (26 with data redward of 20 mu m) wellestablished lambda Bootis stars are available. There is evidence foran infrared excesses in six stars (HD 31295, HD 74873, HD 110411, HD125162, HD 198160/1 and HD 210111) and two are doubtful cases (HD 11413and HD 192640) resulting in a percentage of 23% (excluding the twodoubtful cases). Dust models for these objects show fractional dustluminosities comparable to the Vega-type stars and slightly higher dusttemperatures. ISO-SWS spectroscopy for HD 125162 and HD 192640 resultedin the detection of pure stellar H I lines ruling out an activeaccretion disk (as found for several Herbig Ae/Be stars) around theseobjects. The submillimeter measurements gave only upper limits for theline and continuum fluxes.Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments fundedby ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, TheNetherlands and the UK) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA; andobservations at the Heinrich-Hertz-Telescope (HHT, operated by the theSubmillimeter Telescope Observatory).Tables 2 and 3 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Automated spectroscopic abundances of A and F-type stars using echelle spectrographs. II. Abundances of 140 A-F stars from ELODIEUsing the method presented in Erspamer & North (\cite{erspamer},hereafter Paper I), detailed abundances of 140 stars are presented. Theuncertainties characteristic of this method are presented and discussed.In particular, we show that for a S/N ratio higher than 200, the methodis applicable to stars with a rotational velocity as high as 200 kms-1. There is no correlation between abundances and Vsin i,except a spurious one for Sr, Sc and Na which we explain by the smallnumber of lines of these elements combined with a locally biasedcontinuum. Metallic giants (Hauck \cite{hauck}) show larger abundancesthan normal giants for at least 8 elements: Al, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Niand Ba. The anticorrelation for Na, Mg, Si, Ca, Fe and Ni with Vsin isuggested by Varenne & Monier (\cite{varenne99}) is not confirmed.The predictions of the Montréal models (e.g. Richard et al.\cite{richard01}) are not fulfilled in general. However, a correlationbetween left [(Fe)/(H)right ] and log g is found for stars of 1.8 to 2.0M_sun. Various possible causes are discussed, but the physical realityof this correlation seems inescapable.Based on observations collected at the 1.93 m telescope at theObservatoire de Haute-Provence (St-Michel l'Observatoire, France) andCORALIE.Based on observations collected at the Swiss 1.2 m Leonard Eulertelescopes at the European Southern Observatory (La Silla, Chile).Tables 5 and 6 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/398/1121 The status of Galactic field λ Bootis stars in the post-Hipparcos eraThe λ Bootis stars are Population I, late B- to early F-typestars, with moderate to extreme (up to a factor 100) surfaceunderabundances of most Fe-peak elements and solar abundances of lighterelements (C, N, O and S). To put constraints on the various existingtheories that try to explain these peculiar stars, we investigate theobservational properties of λ Bootis stars compared with areference sample of normal stars. Using various photometric systems andHipparcos data, we analyse the validity of standard photometriccalibrations, elemental abundances, and Galactic space motions. Therecrystallizes a clear picture of a homogeneous group of Population Iobjects found at all stages of their main-sequence evolution, with apeak at about 1 Gyr. No correlation of astrophysical parameters such asthe projected rotational velocities or elemental abundances with age isfound, suggesting that the a priori unknown mechanism, which createsλ Bootis stars, works continuously for late B- to early F-typestars in all stages of main-sequence evolution. Surprisingly, the sodiumabundances seem to indicate an interaction between the stars and theirlocal environment. The λ Bootis phenomenon: interaction between a star and a diffuse interstellar cloudThe λ Bootis stars, a group of late B- to early F-type PopulationI stars, have surface abundances that resemble the general metaldepletion pattern found in the interstellar medium. Inspired by therecent result that the fundamental parameters of these peculiar starsdiffer in no respect from those of a comparison sample of normal stars,the hypothesis of an interaction between a star and a diffuseinterstellar cloud is considered as a possible explanation of thepeculiar abundance pattern. It is found that such a scenario is able toexplain the selective accretion of interstellar gas depleted incondensable elements as well as the spectral range of the λBootis phenomenon. A Spectroscopic Search for λ Bootis and Other Peculiar A-Type Stars in Intermediate-Age Open ClustersAs part of our continuing search for peculiar A-type stars, especiallyλ Bootis stars, in open clusters of all ages, we have obtainedclassification spectra of 130 late B, A, and early F-type stars in 12intermediate-age open clusters, including NGC 1039, 2281, 2548, 6633,7039, 7063, 7092, and 7209, IC 4665, IC 4756, Stock 2, and Praesepe. Thespectra were obtained with resolutions of 1.8 and 3.6 Å on the 0.8m telescope of Appalachian State University and were classified on theMK system. Numerous classical Ap and Am stars were found among the 130,including two new Ap stars in NGC 7092. In addition, three emission-linestars and two candidate λ Bootis stars were found. Neither ofthese λ Bootis candidates turned out to be members of theirrespective clusters. Combined with 184 stars previously classified in 10other intermediate-age open clusters, also devoid of λ Bootisstars, a statistically significant null result is obtained. We discussthe implications of this null result for our understanding of theλ Bootis mechanism. Rotational velocities of A-type stars in the northern hemisphere. II. Measurement of v sin iThis work is the second part of the set of measurements of v sin i forA-type stars, begun by Royer et al. (\cite{Ror_02a}). Spectra of 249 B8to F2-type stars brighter than V=7 have been collected at Observatoirede Haute-Provence (OHP). Fourier transforms of several line profiles inthe range 4200-4600 Å are used to derive v sin i from thefrequency of the first zero. Statistical analysis of the sampleindicates that measurement error mainly depends on v sin i and thisrelative error of the rotational velocity is found to be about 5% onaverage. The systematic shift with respect to standard values fromSlettebak et al. (\cite{Slk_75}), previously found in the first paper,is here confirmed. Comparisons with data from the literature agree withour findings: v sin i values from Slettebak et al. are underestimatedand the relation between both scales follows a linear law ensuremath vsin inew = 1.03 v sin iold+7.7. Finally, thesedata are combined with those from the previous paper (Royer et al.\cite{Ror_02a}), together with the catalogue of Abt & Morrell(\cite{AbtMol95}). The resulting sample includes some 2150 stars withhomogenized rotational velocities. Based on observations made atObservatoire de Haute Provence (CNRS), France. Tables \ref{results} and\ref{merging} are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.125.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/393/897 A highly sensitive search for magnetic fields in B, A and F starsCircular spectropolarimetric observations of 74 stars were obtained inan attempt to detect magnetic fields via the longitudinal Zeeman effectin their spectral lines. The sample observed includes 22 normal B, A andF stars, four emission-line B and A stars, 25 Am stars, 10 HgMn stars,two lambda Boo stars and 11 magnetic Ap stars. Using the Least-SquaresDeconvolution multi-line analysis approach (Donati et al.\cite{donati97etal}), high precision Stokes I and V mean signatures wereextracted from each spectrum. We find absolutely no evidence formagnetic fields in the normal, Am and HgMn stars, with upper limits onlongitudinal field measurements usually considerably smaller than anypreviously obtained for these objects. We conclude that if any magneticfields exist in the photospheres of these stars, these fields are notordered as in the magnetic Ap stars, nor do they resemble the fields ofactive late-type stars. We also detect for the first time a field in theA2pSr star HD 108945 and make new precise measurements of longitudinalfields in five previously known magnetic Ap stars, but do not detectfields in five other stars classified as Ap SrCrEu. We also report newresults for several binary systems, including a new vsin i for therapidly rotating secondary of the Am-delta Del SB2 HD 110951. Based onobservations obtained using the MuSiCoS spectropolarimeter on theBernard Lyot telescope, l'Observatoire du Pic du Midi, France. On the Period-Luminosity-Colour-Metallicity relation and the pulsational characteristics of lambda Bootis type starsGenerally, chemical peculiarity found for stars on the upper mainsequence excludes delta Scuti type pulsation (e.g. Ap and Am stars), butfor the group of lambda Bootis stars it is just the opposite. This makesthem very interesting for asteroseismological investigations. The groupof lambda Bootis type stars comprises late B- to early F-type,Population I objects which are basically metal weak, in particular theFe group elements, but with the clear exception of C, N, O and S. Thepresent work is a continuation of the studies by Paunzen et al.(\cite{Pau97}, \cite{Pau98}), who presented first results on thepulsational characteristics of the lambda Bootis stars. Since then, wehave observed 22 additional objects; we found eight new pulsators andconfirmed another one. Furthermore, new spectroscopic data (Paunzen\cite{Pau01}) allowed us to sort out misidentified candidates and to addtrue members to the group. From 67 members of this group, only two arenot photometrically investigated yet which makes our analysis highlyrepresentative. We have compared our results on the pulsationalbehaviour of the lambda Bootis stars with those of a sample of deltaScuti type objects. We find that at least 70% of all lambda Bootis typestars inside the classical instability strip pulsate, and they do sowith high overtone modes (Q < 0.020 d). Only a few stars, if any,pulsate in the fundamental mode. Our photometric results are inexcellent agreement with the spectroscopic work on high-degree nonradialpulsations by Bohlender et al. (\cite{Boh99}). Compared to the deltaScuti stars, the cool and hot borders of the instability strip of thelambda Bootis stars are shifted by about 25 mmag, towards smaller(b-y)_0. Using published abundances and the metallicity sensitiveindices of the Geneva 7-colour and Strömgren uvbybeta systems, wehave derived [Z] values which describe the surface abundance of theheavier elements for the group members. We find that thePeriod-Luminosity-Colour relation for the group of lambda Bootis starsis within the errors identical with that of the normal delta Scutistars. No clear evidence for a statistically significant metallicityterm was detected. Based on observations from the Austrian AutomaticPhotoelectric Telescope (Fairborn Observatory), SAAO and Siding SpringObservatory. Do dusty A stars exhibit accretion signatures in their photospheres?We determined abundances of O, Ca, Fe, Ba and Y for a sample of dustyand dust-free A stars, taken from the list of Cheng et al.(\cite{Cheng92}). Five of the stars have an infrared-excess due tocircumstellar dust. Ongoing accretion from their circumstellarsurroundings might have modified the abundances in the photospheres ofthese stars, but our results clearly show, that there is no differencein the photospheric composition of the dusty and dust-free stars.Instead all of them show the typical diffusion pattern which diminishestowards larger rotational velocities. The accretion/diffusion theory for lambda Bootis stars in the light of spectroscopic dataMost of the current theories suggest the lambda Bootis phenomenon tooriginate from an interaction between the stellar surface and its localenvironment. In this paper, we compare the abundance pattern of thelambda Bootis stars to that of the interstellar medium and find largerdeficiencies for Mg, Si, Mn and Zn than in the interstellar medium. Acomparison with metal poor post-AGB stars showing evidence forcircumstellar material indicates a similar physical process possiblybeing at work for some of the lambda Bootis stars, but not for all ofthem. Despite the fact that the number of spectroscopically analysedlambda Bootis stars has considerably increased in the past, a test ofpredicted effects with observations shows current abundance andtemperature data to be still controversial. The abundance pattern of lambda Bootis starsWithin a project to investigate the properties of lambda Bootis stars,we report on their abundance pattern. High resolution spectra have beenobtained for a total of twelve candidate lambda Bootis stars, four ofthem being contained in spectroscopic binary systems, and detailedabundance analyses have been performed. All program stars show acharacteristic lambda Bootis abundance pattern (deficient heavy elementsand solar abundant light elements) and an enhanced abundance of Na. Thiswork raises the fraction of lambda Bootis stars with known abundances to50%. The resulting abundances complemented by literature data are usedto construct a mean lambda Bootis abundance pattern'', which exhibits,apart from general underabundances of heavy elements (~-1 dex) and solarabundances of C, N, O, Na and S, a star-to-star scatter which is up totwice as large as for a comparable sample of normal stars. Based onobservations obtained at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Padua-Asiago,OPD/LNA, KPNO and DSO. A spectroscopic survey for lambda Bootis stars. III. Final resultsIn the third paper of a series dedicated to the spectroscopic survey fornew lambda Bootis stars, we present all new and confirmed members of thegroup as well as a detailed analysis of the observed sample. The natureof this small group of chemically peculiar stars of the upper mainsequence still challenges our understanding of processes like diffusion,mass-loss and accretion. The typical abundances pattern (nearly solarvalues for C, N, O and S whereas the Fe-peak elements are moderate tostrong underabundant) can still not be explained by any proposed theory.Hence, the significant increase of new members gives the opportunity toinvestigate the group properties in more detail. We report the discoveryof 26 new members of the group and the confirmation of 18 candidatesfrom the literature. This almost triples the number of known lambdaBootis stars. The existence of one member in the young open cluster NGC2264 and four members in the Orion OB1 association proves that thelambda Bootis phenomenon already works at very early stages of stellarevolution. Recent results from the Hipparcos mission have shown that thewell established lambda Bootis stars of the Galactic field comprise thewhole area from the Zero Age Main Sequence to the Terminal Age MainSequence (~ 109 yr for an A-type star). There is a continuoustransition between very young and rather evolved evolutionary stages. Wefind that the overall percentage of lambda Bootis type among all normaltype stars in the spectral range from B8 to F4 is 2% in the Galacticfield as well as in open clusters. Furthermore, 44 metal-weak objectsare listed which might be connected with the lambda Bootis phenomenon.Our biased sample (chosen by photometric boxes) is not distinguishedfrom all A-type stars in the corresponding spectral region by therotational velocity distribution. Only for the luminosity classes IV andIII (especially for the cooler program stars) the determined mean v sini values are very high compared to those of the literature. Based onobservations from the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, OsservatorioAstronomico di Padova-Asiago, Observatório do Pico dosDias-LNA/CNPq/MCT, Chews Ridge Observatory (MIRA) and University ofToronto Southern Observatory (Las Campanas). A spectroscopic survey for lambda Bootis stars. II. The observational datalambda Bootis stars comprise only a small number of all A-type stars andare characterized as nonmagnetic, Population i, late B to early F-typedwarfs which show significant underabundances of metals whereas thelight elements (C, N, O and S) are almost normal abundant compared tothe Sun. In the second paper on a spectroscopic survey for lambda Bootisstars, we present the spectral classifications of all program starsobserved. These stars were selected on the basis of their Strömgrenuvbybeta colors as lambda Bootis candidates. In total, 708 objects insix open clusters, the Orion OB1 association and the Galactic field wereclassified. In addition, 9 serendipity non-candidates in the vicinity ofour program stars as well as 15 Guide Star Catalogue stars were observedresulting in a total of 732 classified stars. The 15 objects from theGuide Star Catalogue are part of a program for the classification ofapparent variable stars from the Fine Guidance Sensors of the HubbleSpace Telescope. A grid of 105 MK standard as well as pathological''stars guarantees a precise classification. A comparison of our spectralclassification with the extensive work of Abt & Morrell(\cite{Abt95}) shows no significant differences. The derived types are0.23 +/- 0.09 (rms error per measurement) subclasses later and 0.30 +/-0.08 luminosity classes more luminous than those of Abt & Morrell(\cite{Abt95}) based on a sample of 160 objects in common. The estimatederrors of the means are +/- 0.1 subclasses. The characteristics of oursample are discussed in respect to the distribution on the sky, apparentvisual magnitudes and Strömgren uvbybeta colors. Based onobservations from the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, OsservatorioAstronomico di Padova-Asiago, Observatório do Pico dosDias-LNA/CNPq/MCT, Chews Ridge Observatory (MIRA) and University ofToronto Southern Observatory (Las Campanas). Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statisticsThe 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 (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcar?J/A+A/367/521 The proper motions of fundamental stars. I. 1535 stars from the Basic FK5A direct combination of the positions given in the HIPPARCOS cataloguewith astrometric ground-based catalogues having epochs later than 1939allows us to obtain new proper motions for the 1535 stars of the BasicFK5. The results are presented as the catalogue Proper Motions ofFundamental Stars (PMFS), Part I. The median precision of the propermotions is 0.5 mas/year for mu alpha cos delta and 0.7mas/year for mu delta . The non-linear motions of thephotocentres of a few hundred astrometric binaries are separated intotheir linear and elliptic motions. Since the PMFS proper motions do notinclude the information given by the proper motions from othercatalogues (HIPPARCOS, FK5, FK6, etc.) this catalogue can be used as anindependent source of the proper motions of the fundamental stars.Catalogue (Table 3) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strastg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/365/222 Sixth Catalogue of Fundamental Stars (FK6). Part I. Basic fundamental stars with direct solutionsThe FK6 is a suitable combination of the results of the HIPPARCOSastrometry satellite with ground-based data, measured over more than twocenturies and summarized in the FK5. Part I of the FK6 (abbreviatedFK6(I)) contains 878 basic fundamental stars with direct solutions. Suchdirect solutions are appropriate for single stars or for objects whichcan be treated like single stars. From the 878 stars in Part I, we haveselected 340 objects as "astrometrically excellent stars", since theirinstantaneous proper motions and mean (time-averaged) ones do not differsignificantly. Hence most of the astrometrically excellent stars arewell-behaving "single-star candidates" with good astrometric data. Thesestars are most suited for high-precision astrometry. On the other hand,199 of the stars in Part I are Δμ binaries in the sense ofWielen et al. (1999). Many of them are newly discovered probablebinaries with no other hitherto known indication of binarity. The FK6gives, besides the classical "single-star mode" solutions (SI mode),other solutions which take into account the fact that hidden astrometricbinaries among "apparently single-stars" introduce sizable "cosmicerrors" into the quasi-instantaneously measured HIPPARCOS proper motionsand positions. The FK6 gives in addition to the SI mode the "long-termprediction (LTP) mode" and the "short-term prediction (STP) mode". TheseLTP and STP modes are on average the most precise solutions forapparently single stars, depending on the epoch difference with respectto the HIPPARCOS epoch of about 1991. The typical mean error of anFK6(I) proper motion in the single-star mode is 0.35 mas/year. This isabout a factor of two better than the typical HIPPARCOS errors for thesestars of 0.67 mas/year. In the long-term prediction mode, in whichcosmic errors are taken into account, the FK6(I) proper motions have atypical mean error of 0.50 mas/year, which is by a factor of more than 4better than the corresponding error for the HIPPARCOS values of 2.21mas/year (cosmic errors included). The pulsation and evolution of lambda Bootis stars.Not Available Infrared Space Observatory Photometric Search of Main-Sequence Stars for Vega-Type SystemsWe obtained 3.6-20 μm photometry of 38 bright [IRAS F_nu(12μm)>0.7 Jy] main-sequence stars with the Infrared SpaceObservatory (ISO). Observations were conducted with the ISOPHOTinstrument, in the single-pointing photometry mode, through filters at3.6, 11.5, and 20.0 mum. We searched for excess (Vega-type) emissionfrom dust at temperatures >~100 K, located at ~1-60 AU from thestars. We thus sampled dust at warm, terrestrial material temperaturesand at cool (~100 K) temperatures of possible Kuiper Belt-type regionsin these systems. We detected 20 μm excesses from ~14% of oursources, but we did not detect 11.5 μm excesses from any of them. Wepresent single-temperature blackbody models of the location and densityof dust emission around 10 stars, two of them (29 Cyg and Gl 816) withexcesses newly reported here. We make a thorough comparison of ISO andIRAS data on our target stars and propose a new calibration procedurefor ISOPHOT staring measurements at 3.6, 11.5, and 20 mum. A search for circumstellar gas around normal A stars and Lambda Bootis starsWe have searched for interstellar or circumstellar absorption lines inthe center of Ca II K towards bright A-type stars that are mostly within80 pc of the Sun. Narrow absorption features are found in about 30 % ofthe 28 normal main-sequence A stars and 18 metal-deficient lambda Bootisstars studied. We have determined surface gravities and projectedrotational velocities. Most of the stars with detectable Ca K featureshave comparatively low gravities and high projected rotationalvelocities. This correlation with stellar properties implies that mostof the narrow absorption features are of circumstellar rather thaninterstellar origin. The preference of low gravity and rapid rotationfurthermore suggests that most of the gas shells around A stars developin the pre-main-sequence phase of evolution, and disappear largelybefore the star arrives at the ZAMS. Among the normal A stars studied,about 50 % are known to have dust disks. Unlike A stars withcircumstellar gas, these dusty stars do not prefer low log g and high vsin i. This results in an apparent lack of correlation between gas anddust, and indicates that normal A stars with gas shells and those withdust disks are not in the same evolutionary stage. We conjecture thatdust disks tend to develop after most of the gas has disappeared. Basedon observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla, Chile The incidence of nonradial pulsation in the lambda Bootis starsWe have conducted a high-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectroscopicsurvey of the members of the peculiar lambda Boo stars accessible fromthe Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope to investigate the incidence ofhigh-degree nonradial pulsation (NRP) in these metal-deficient stars. Of16 objects observed more than once, 9 show conclusive evidence of suchNRP, which confirms that pulsational instability is a common phenomenonin the lambda Boo class. The widespread presence of NRP in the lambdaBoo stars indirectly supports the accretion/diffusion scenario for theformation of these objects, but unfortunately does not rule out otherpossible causes for the phenomena. However, extensive time-seriesphotometry and spectroscopy of several particularly interestingpulsating members of the class noted here should provideasteroseismologists with the eigenfrequency data needed to resolve thecurrent debate concerning the evolutionary status, and hence, the originof these peculiar stars. From our survey, we also identify a set of fourstars, including lambda Boo itself, with similar fundamental parametersbut remarkably different pulsation characteristic. These stars may offervital clues as to the physical excitation of lambda Boo pulsations.Figs.\,2--5, 7--10 are only available in the electronic version. How many lambda Bootis stars are binaries?In the attempt to shed new light on the lambda Boo phenomenon weanalyzed the astrometric, photometric and spectroscopic characteristicsof stars out of a list of recently selected lambda Boo candidates. Weshow that the class is still ill-defined and discuss the possibilitythat some, if not most stars presently classified as lambda Boo, are infact binary pairs and that peculiar abundances may not correspond toactual values if the average values of the atmospheric parameters{Teff} and log g are assumed and the effect of veiling is nottaken into account. Partly based on data from the ESA Hipparcosastrometry satellite. Identification of lambda Bootis stars using IUE spectra. II. High resolution dataStars included in the catalogue of lambda Bootis stars by Paunzen et al.(\cite{Paunzen97}) with high resolution spectra (FWHM: 0.10-0.25 Ä)in the INES Archive of the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite(IUE) are analyzed here in order to establish membership criteria forthe lambda Bootis group. Line-ratios of carbon to heavier elements (Si,Al, Ca) were adopted as criteria in the SWP range (1150-1980 Ä).For the LWP range (1850-3350 Ä), the intensity of metallic lines(Fe and Mg) was used. These criteria, together with those derived forlow resolution spectra, make the IUE Final Archive a powerful tool tofind new {lambda Bootis} candidates. On the evolutionary status of lambda Bbootis stars using HIPPARCOS dataUsing the Hipparcos data, absolute magnitudes and thus the evolutionarystatus for the group of lambda Bootis stars were derived. The origin ofthis small group of non-magnetic, chemically peculiar stars, stillremains a matter of debate. Using new evolutionary tracks, an agedetermination could be provided to distinguish between the two competingtheories - the diffusion/mass-loss and the accretion. The resultsestablish the members of this group as objects which are very close tothe Main Sequence. This is supported by Pre-Main Sequence evolutionarytracks as well as by observational results. This contradicts priorconclusions that most of these stars are in the middle of their MainSequence lifetime. The new results strongly support the predictions ofthe accretion theory. The incidence of nonradial pulsation in the lambda Bootis starsWe have completed a high-resolution, high-signal-to-noise, spectroscopicsurvey of the northern members of the peculiar lambda Boo stars in orderto investigate the frequency of the incidence of nonradial pulsation(NRP) in these metal-deficient stars. Of 18 objects observed, 9 showconclusive evidence of NRP, which suggests that pulsation instability isa common phenomenon in the lambda Boo class. Dusty and dust-free A starsWe present preliminary results of our search for circumstellarabsorption features in the Ca K lines based on high S/N observationsobtained with the ESO CAT/CES system.
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