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 Reliability Checks on the Indo-US Stellar Spectral Library Using Artificial Neural Networks and Principal Component AnalysisThe Indo-US coudé feed stellar spectral library (CFLIB) madeavailable to the astronomical community recently by Valdes et al. (2004,ApJS, 152, 251) contains spectra of 1273 stars in the spectral region3460 to 9464Å at a high resolution of 1Å (FWHM) and a widerange of spectral types. Cross-checking the reliability of this databaseis an important and desirable exercise since a number of stars in thisdatabase have no known spectral types and a considerable fraction ofstars has not so complete coverage in the full wavelength region of3460-9464Å resulting in gaps ranging from a few Å to severaltens of Å. We use an automated classification scheme based onArtificial Neural Networks (ANN) to classify all 1273 stars in thedatabase. In addition, principal component analysis (PCA) is carried outto reduce the dimensionality of the data set before the spectra areclassified by the ANN. Most importantly, we have successfullydemonstrated employment of a variation of the PCA technique to restorethe missing data in a sample of 300 stars out of the CFLIB. IRS Spectra of Solar-Type Stars: A Search for Asteroid Belt AnalogsWe report the results of a spectroscopic search for debris diskssurrounding 41 nearby solar-type stars, including eight planet-bearingstars, using the Infrared Spectrometer (IRS) on the Spitzer SpaceTelescope. With the accurate relative photometry of the IRS between 7and 34 μm we are able to look for excesses as small as ~2% ofphotospheric levels, with particular sensitivity to weak spectralfeatures. For stars with no excess, the 3 σ upper limit in a bandat 30-34 μm corresponds to ~75 times the brightness of our zodiacaldust cloud. Comparable limits at 8.5-13 μm correspond to ~1400 timesthe brightness of our zodiacal dust cloud. These limits correspond tomaterial located within the <1 to ~5 AU region that, in our solarsystem, originates predominantly from debris associated with theasteroid belt. We find excess emission longward of ~25 μm from fivestars, of which four also show excess emission at 70 μm. Thisemitting dust must be located in a region starting around 5-10 AU. Onestar has 70 μm emission but no IRS excess. In this case, the emittingregion must begin outside 10 AU; this star has a known radial velocityplanet. Only two stars of the five show emission shortward of 25 μm,where spectral features reveal the presence of a population of small,hot dust grains emitting in the 7-20 μm band. One of these stars, HD72905, is quite young (300 Myr), while the other, HD 69830, is olderthan 2 Gyr. The data presented here strengthen the results of previousstudies to show that excesses at 25 μm and shorter are rare: only 1out of 40 stars older than 1 Gyr or ~2.5% shows an excess. Asteroidbelts 10-30 times more massive than our own appear are rare amongmature, solar-type stars. Frequency of Debris Disks around Solar-Type Stars: First Results from a Spitzer MIPS SurveyWe 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. Lithium Abundances of F-, G-, and K-Type Stars: Profile-Fitting Analysis of the Li I 6708 DoubletAn extensive profile-fitting analysis was performed for the Li(+Fe)6707-6708Å feature of nearby 160 F-K dwarfs/subgiants (including27 planet-host stars) in the Galactic disk ( 7000 K ≳Teff ≳ 5000 K, -1 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ +0.4), in orderto establish the photospheric lithium abundances of these stars. Thenon-LTE effect (though quantitatively insignificant) was taken intoaccount based on our statistical equilibrium calculations, which werecarried out on an adequate grid of models. Our results confirmed most ofthe interesting observational characteristics revealed by recentlypublished studies, such as the bimodal distribution of the Li abundancesfor stars at Teff ≳ 6000 K, the satisfactory agreementof the upper envelope of the A(Li) vs. [Fe/H] distribution with thetheoretical models, the existence of a positive correlation betweenA(Li) and the stellar mass, and the tendency of lower lithium abundancesof planet-host stars (as compared to stars without planets) at thenarrow transition'' region of 5900 K ≳ Teff ≳5800 K. The solar Li abundance derived from this analysis is 0.92 (H =12.00), which is by 0.24dex lower than the widely referenced standardvalue of 1.16. Spectroscopic Study on the Atmospheric Parameters of Nearby F--K Dwarfs and SubgiantsBased on a collection of high-dispersion spectra obtained at OkayamaAstrophysical Observatory, the atmospheric parameters (Teff,log g, vt, and [Fe/H]) of 160 mid-F through early-K starswere extensively determined by the spectroscopic method using theequivalent widths of Fe I and Fe II lines along with the numericaltechnique of Takeda et al. (2002, PASJ, 54, 451). The results arecomprehensively discussed and compared with the parameter values derivedby different approaches (e.g., photometric colors, theoreticalevolutionary tracks, Hipparcos parallaxes, etc.) as well as with thepublished values found in various literature. It has been confirmed thatour purely spectroscopic approach yields fairly reliable and consistentresults. Single-Visit Photometric and Obscurational CompletenessWe 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 flare activity of V390 Aur: First results of an international collaborationV390 Aur is classified as a G8 spectral class active single giant byFekel and Marshall (1991). Multi-site cooperative high-speedphotoelectric monitoring was carried out for it in the period 1998-2003as part of a program developed in Bulgaria recently to studychromospherically active evolved stars. Astronomers from Greece andUkraine joined the flare activity study of V390 Aur in 2000. As aresult, several flares with a duration from seconds to minutes weredetected on this star at 3 observatories. Taking into account all theevents detected, the flare rate of the star is estimated to 0.205 flaresper hour. Comparison with the active dwarfs AD Leo and EV Lac indicatesthat the flare rate of V390 Aur is lower than that of AD Leo butcomparable with the well-known flare star EV Lac. Sulphur abundance in Galactic starsWe investigate sulphur abundance in 74 Galactic stars by using highresolution spectra obtained at ESO VLT and NTT telescopes. For the firsttime the abundances are derived, where possible, from three opticalmultiplets: Mult. 1, 6, and 8. By combining our own measurements withdata in the literature we assemble a sample of 253 stars in themetallicity range -3.2  [Fe/H]  +0.5. Two important features,which could hardly be detected in smaller samples, are obvious from thislarge sample: 1) a sizeable scatter in [S/Fe] ratios around [Fe/H]-1; 2) at low metallicities we observe stars with [S/Fe] 0.4, aswell as stars with higher [S/Fe] ratios. The latter do not seem to bekinematically different from the former ones. Whether the latter findingstems from a distinct population of metal-poor stars or simply from anincreased scatter in sulphur abundances remains an open question. Abundance trends in kinematical groups of the Milky Way's diskWe have compiled a large catalogue of metallicities and abundance ratiosfrom the literature in order to investigate abundance trends of severalalpha and iron peak elements in the thin disk and the thick disk of theGalaxy. The catalogue includes 743 stars with abundances of Fe, O, Mg,Ca, Ti, Si, Na, Ni and Al in the metallicity range -1.30 < [Fe/H]< +0.50. We have checked that systematic differences betweenabundances measured in the different studies were lower than randomerrors before combining them. Accurate distances and proper motions fromHipparcos and radial velocities from several sources have been retreivedfor 639 stars and their velocities (U, V, W) and galactic orbits havebeen computed. Ages of 322 stars have been estimated with a Bayesianmethod of isochrone fitting. Two samples kinematically representative ofthe thin and thick disks have been selected, taking into account theHercules stream which is intermediate in kinematics, but with a probabledynamical origin. Our results show that the two disks are chemicallywell separated, they overlap greatly in metallicity and both showparallel decreasing alpha elements with increasing metallicity, in theinterval -0.80 < [Fe/H] < -0.30. The Mg enhancement with respectto Fe of the thick disk is measured to be 0.14 dex. An even largerenhancement is observed for Al. The thick disk is clearly older than thethin disk with tentative evidence of an AMR over 2-3 Gyr and a hiatus instar formation before the formation of the thin disk. We do not observea vertical gradient in the metallicity of the thick disk. The Herculesstream has properties similar to that of the thin disk, with a widerrange of metallicity. Metal-rich stars assigned to the thick disk andsuper-metal-rich stars assigned to the thin disk appear as outliers inall their properties. Lithium abundances of the local thin disc starsLithium abundances are presented for a sample of 181 nearby F and Gdwarfs with accurate Hipparcos parallaxes. The stars are on circularorbits about the Galactic centre and, hence, are identified as belongingto the thin disc. This sample is combined with two published surveys toprovide a catalogue of lithium abundances, metallicities ([Fe/H]),masses, and ages for 451 F-G dwarfs, almost all belonging to the thindisc. The lithium abundances are compared and contrasted with publishedlithium abundances for F and G stars in local open clusters. The fieldstars span a larger range in [Fe/H] than the clusters for which [Fe/H]~=0.0 +/- 0.2. The initial (i.e. interstellar) lithium abundance of thesolar neighbourhood, as derived from stars for which astration oflithium is believed to be unimportant, is traced from logɛ(Li) =2.2 at [Fe/H]=-1 to logɛ(Li) = 3.2 at +0.1. This form for theevolution is dependent on the assumption that astration of lithium isnegligible for the stars defining the relation. An argument is advancedthat this latter assumption may not be entirely correct, and, theevolution of lithium with [Fe/H] may be flatter than previouslysupposed. A sharp Hyades-like Li dip is not seen among the field starsand appears to be replaced by a large spread among lithium abundances ofstars more massive than the lower mass limit of the dip. Astration oflithium by stars of masses too low to participate in the Li dip isdiscussed. These stars show little to no spread in lithium abundance ata given [Fe/H] and mass. The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar SpectraWe have obtained spectra for 1273 stars using the 0.9 m coudéfeed telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This telescope feedsthe coudé spectrograph of the 2.1 m telescope. The spectra havebeen obtained with the no. 5 camera of the coudé spectrograph anda Loral 3K×1K CCD. Two gratings have been used to provide spectralcoverage from 3460 to 9464 Å, at a resolution of ~1 Å FWHMand at an original dispersion of 0.44 Å pixel-1. For885 stars we have complete spectra over the entire 3460 to 9464 Åwavelength region (neglecting small gaps of less than 50 Å), andpartial spectral coverage for the remaining stars. The 1273 stars havebeen selected to provide broad coverage of the atmospheric parametersTeff, logg, and [Fe/H], as well as spectral type. The goal ofthe project is to provide a comprehensive library of stellar spectra foruse in the automated classification of stellar and galaxy spectra and ingalaxy population synthesis. In this paper we discuss thecharacteristics of the spectral library, viz., details of theobservations, data reduction procedures, and selection of stars. We alsopresent a few illustrations of the quality and information available inthe spectra. The first version of the complete spectral library is nowpublicly available from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory(NOAO) via ftp and http. Synthetic Lick Indices and Detection of α-enhanced Stars. II. F, G, and K Stars in the -1.0 < [Fe/H] < +0.50 RangeWe present an analysis of 402 F, G, and K solar neighborhood stars, withaccurate estimates of [Fe/H] in the range -1.0 to +0.5 dex, aimed at thedetection of α-enhanced stars and at the investigation of theirkinematical properties. The analysis is based on the comparison of 571sets of spectral indices in the Lick/IDS system, coming from fourdifferent observational data sets, with synthetic indices computed withsolar-scaled abundances and with α-element enhancement. We useselected combinations of indices to single out α-enhanced starswithout requiring previous knowledge of their main atmosphericparameters. By applying this approach to the total data set, we obtain alist of 60 bona fide α-enhanced stars and of 146 stars withsolar-scaled abundances. The properties of the detected α-enhancedand solar-scaled abundance stars with respect to their [Fe/H] values andkinematics are presented. A clear kinematic distinction betweensolar-scaled and α-enhanced stars was found, although a one-to-onecorrespondence to thin disk'' and thick disk'' components cannot besupported with the present data. 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. Stellar Chemical Signatures and Hierarchical Galaxy FormationTo compare the chemistries of stars in the Milky Way dwarf spheroidal(dSph) satellite galaxies with stars in the Galaxy, we have compiled alarge sample of Galactic stellar abundances from the literature. Whenkinematic information is available, we have assigned the stars tostandard Galactic components through Bayesian classification based onGaussian velocity ellipsoids. As found in previous studies, the[α/Fe] ratios of most stars in the dSph galaxies are generallylower than similar metallicity Galactic stars in this extended sample.Our kinematically selected stars confirm this for the Galactic halo,thin-disk, and thick-disk components. There is marginal overlap in thelow [α/Fe] ratios between dSph stars and Galactic halo stars onextreme retrograde orbits (V<-420 km s-1), but this is notsupported by other element ratios. Other element ratios compared in thispaper include r- and s-process abundances, where we find a significantoffset in the [Y/Fe] ratios, which results in a large overabundance in[Ba/Y] in most dSph stars compared with Galactic stars. Thus, thechemical signatures of most of the dSph stars are distinct from thestars in each of the kinematic components of the Galaxy. This resultrules out continuous merging of low-mass galaxies similar to these dSphsatellites during the formation of the Galaxy. However, we do not ruleout very early merging of low-mass dwarf galaxies, since up to one-halfof the most metal-poor stars ([Fe/H]<=-1.8) have chemistries that arein fair agreement with Galactic halo stars. We also do not rule outmerging with higher mass galaxies, although we note that the LMC and theremnants of the Sgr dwarf galaxy are also chemically distinct from themajority of the Galactic halo stars. Formation of the Galaxy's thickdisk by heating of an old thin disk during a merger is also not ruledout; however, the Galaxy's thick disk itself cannot be comprised of theremnants from a low-mass (dSph) dwarf galaxy, nor of a high-mass dwarfgalaxy like the LMC or Sgr, because of differences in chemistry.The new and independent environments offered by the dSph galaxies alsoallow us to examine fundamental assumptions related to thenucleosynthesis of the elements. The metal-poor stars ([Fe/H]<=-1.8)in the dSph galaxies appear to have lower [Ca/Fe] and [Ti/Fe] than[Mg/Fe] ratios, unlike similar metallicity stars in the Galaxy.Predictions from the α-process (α-rich freeze-out) would beconsistent with this result if there have been a lack of hypernovae indSph galaxies. The α-process could also be responsible for thevery low Y abundances in the metal-poor stars in dSph's; since [La/Eu](and possibly [Ba/Eu]) are consistent with pure r-process results, thelow [Y/Eu] suggests a separate r-process site for this light(first-peak) r-process element. We also discuss SNe II rates and yieldsas other alternatives, however. In stars with higher metallicities([Fe/H]>=-1.8), contributions from the s-process are expected; [(Y,La, and Ba)/Eu] all rise as expected, and yet [Ba/Y] is still muchhigher in the dSph stars than similar metallicity Galactic stars. Thisresult is consistent with s-process contributions from lower metallicityAGB stars in dSph galaxies, and is in good agreement with the slowerchemical evolution expected in the low-mass dSph galaxies relative tothe Galaxy, such that the build-up of metals occurs over much longertimescales. Future investigations of nucleosynthetic constraints (aswell as galaxy formation and evolution) will require an examination ofmany stars within individual dwarf galaxies.Finally, the Na-Ni trend reported in 1997 by Nissen & Schuster isconfirmed in Galactic halo stars, but we discuss this in terms of thegeneral nucleosynthesis of neutron-rich elements. We do not confirm thatthe Na-Ni trend is related to the accretion of dSph galaxies in theGalactic halo. Sodium abundances in nearby disk starsWe present sodium abundances for a sample of nearby stars. All resultshave been derived from NLTE statistical equilibrium calculations. Theinfluence of collisional interactions with electrons and hydrogen atomsis evaluated by comparison of the solar spectrum with very precise fitsto the Na I line cores. The NLTE effects are more pronounced inmetal-poor stars since the statistical equilibrium is dominated bycollisions of which at least the electronic component is substantiallyreduced. The resulting influence on the determination of sodiumabundances is in a direction opposite to that found previously for Mgand Al. The NLTE corrections are about -0.1 in thick-disk stars with[Fe/H] -0.6. Our [Na/Fe] abundance ratios are about solar forthick- and thin-disk stars. The increase in [Na/Fe] as a function of[Fe/H] for metal-rich stars found by Edvardsson et al. (\cite{EAG93}) isconfirmed. Our results suggest that sodium yields increase with themetallicity, and quite large amounts of sodium may be produced by AGBstars. We find that [Na/Fe] ratios, together with either [Mg/Fe] ratio,kinematic data or stellar evolutionary ages, make possible theindividual discrimination between thin- and thick-disk membership.Based on observations collected at the Germany-Spanish AstronomicalCenter, Calar Alto, Spain.Tables \ref{table2} and \ref{table3} are only available in electronicform at http://www.edpsciences.org The Geneva-Copenhagen survey of the Solar neighbourhood. Ages, metallicities, and kinematic properties of 14 000 F and G dwarfsWe 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 (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/418/989 The ROSAT North Ecliptic Pole Survey: the Optical IdentificationsThe X-ray data around the North Ecliptic Pole (NEP) of the ROSAT All SkySurvey have been used to construct a contiguous area survey consistingof a sample of 445 individual X-ray sources above a flux of~2×10-14 ergs cm-2 s-1 in the0.5-2.0 keV energy band. The NEP survey is centered atα2000=18h00m,δ2000=+66deg33' and covers aregion of 80.7 deg2 at a moderate Galactic latitude ofb=29.8d. Hence, the NEP survey is as deep and covers a comparable solidangle to the ROSAT serendipitous surveys but is also contiguous. We haveidentified 99.6% of the sources and determined redshifts for theextragalactic objects. In this paper we present the opticalidentifications of the NEP catalog of X-ray sources including basicX-ray data and properties of the sources. We also describe with somedetail the optical identification procedure. The classification of theoptical counterparts to the NEP sources is very similar to that ofprevious surveys, in particular the Einstein Extended Medium SensitivitySurvey (EMSS). The main constituents of the catalog are active galacticnuclei (AGNs) (~49%), either type 1 or type 2 according to the broadnessof their permitted emission lines. Stellar counterparts are the secondmost common identification class (~34%). Clusters and groups of galaxiescomprise 14%, and BL Lacertae objects 2%. One non-AGN galaxy and oneplanetary nebula have also been found. The NEP catalog of X-ray sourcesis a homogeneous sample of astronomical objects featuring completeoptical identification. Improved Astrometry and Photometry for the Luyten Catalog. II. Faint Stars and the Revised CatalogWe complete construction of a catalog containing improved astrometry andnew optical/infrared photometry for the vast majority of NLTT starslying in the overlap of regions covered by POSS I and by the secondincremental Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) release, approximately 44%of the sky. The epoch 2000 positions are typically accurate to 130 mas,the proper motions to 5.5 mas yr-1, and the V-J colors to0.25 mag. Relative proper motions of binary components are measured to 3mas yr-1. The false-identification rate is ~1% for11<~V<~18 and substantially less at brighter magnitudes. Theseimprovements permit the construction of a reduced proper-motion diagramthat, for the first time, allows one to classify NLTT stars intomain-sequence (MS) stars, subdwarfs (SDs), and white dwarfs (WDs). We inturn use this diagram to analyze the properties of both our catalog andthe NLTT catalog on which it is based. In sharp contrast to popularbelief, we find that NLTT incompleteness in the plane is almostcompletely concentrated in MS stars, and that SDs and WDs are detectedalmost uniformly over the sky δ>-33deg. Our catalogwill therefore provide a powerful tool to probe these populationsstatistically, as well as to reliably identify individual SDs and WDs. A systematic study of X-ray variability in the ROSAT all-sky surveyWe present a systematic search for variability among the ROSAT All-SkySurvey (RASS) X-ray sources. We generated lightcurves for about 30 000X-ray point sources detected sufficiently high above background. For ourvariability study different search algorithms were developed in order torecognize flares, periods and trends, respectively. The variable X-raysources were optically identified with counterparts in the SIMBAD, theUSNO-A2.0 and NED data bases, but a significant part of the X-raysources remains without cataloged optical counterparts. Out of the 1207sources classified as variable 767 (63.5%) were identified with stars,118 (9.8%) are of extragalactic origin, 10 (0.8%) are identified withother sources and 312 (25.8%) could not uniquely be identified withentries in optical catalogs. We give a statistical analysis of thevariable X-ray population and present some outstanding examples of X-rayvariability detected in the ROSAT all-sky survey. Most prominent amongthese sources are white dwarfs, apparently single, yet neverthelessshowing periodic variability. Many flares from hitherto unrecognisedflare stars have been detected as well as long term variability in theBL Lac 1E1757.7+7034.The complete version of Table 7 is 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/403/247 STELIB: A library of stellar spectra at R ~ 2000We present STELIB, a new spectroscopic stellar library, available athttp://webast.ast.obs-mip.fr/stelib. STELIB consists of an homogeneouslibrary of 249 stellar spectra in the visible range (3200 to 9500Å), with an intermediate spectral resolution (la 3 Å) andsampling (1 Å). This library includes stars of various spectraltypes and luminosity classes, spanning a relatively wide range inmetallicity. The spectral resolution, wavelength and spectral typecoverage of this library represents a substantial improvement overprevious libraries used in population synthesis models. The overallabsolute photometric uncertainty is 3%.Based on observations collected with the Jacobus Kaptein Telescope,(owned and operated jointly by the Particle Physics and AstronomyResearch Council of the UK, The Nederlandse Organisatie voorWetenschappelijk Onderzoek of The Netherlands and the Instituto deAstrofísica de Canarias of Spain and located in the SpanishObservatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos on La Palma which is operated bythe Instituto de AstrofÃ­sica de Canarias), the 2.3 mtelescope of the Australian National University at Siding Spring,Australia, and the VLT-UT1 Antu Telescope (ESO).Tables \ref{cat1} to \ref{cat6} and \ref{antab1} to A.7 are onlyavailable in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org. The StellarLibrary STELIB library is also available at the CDS, via anonymous ftpto cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/402/433 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 Statistical cataloging of archival data for luminosity class IV-V stars. II. The epoch 2001 [Fe/H] catalogThis paper describes the derivation of an updated statistical catalog ofmetallicities. The stars for which those metallicities apply are ofspectral types F, G, and K, and are on or near the main sequence. Theinput data for the catalog are values of [Fe/H] published before 2002February and derived from lines of weak and moderate strength. Theanalyses used to derive the data have been based on one-dimensional LTEmodel atmospheres. Initial adjustments which are applied to the datainclude corrections to a uniform temperature scale which is given in acompanion paper (see Taylor \cite{t02}). After correction, the data aresubjected to a statistical analysis. For each of 941 stars considered,the results of that analysis include a mean value of [Fe/H], an rmserror, an associated number of degrees of freedom, and one or moreidentification numbers for source papers. The catalog of these resultssupersedes an earlier version given by Taylor (\cite{t94b}).Catalog is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/398/731 Statistical cataloging of archival data for luminosity class IV-V stars. I. The epoch 2001 temperature catalogThis paper is one of a pair in which temperatures and metallicitycatalogs for class IV-V stars are considered. The temperature catalogdescribed here is derived from a calibration based on stellar angulardiameters. If published calibrations of this kind are compared by usingcolor-index transformations, temperature-dependent differences among thecalibrations are commonly found. However, such differences are minimizedif attention is restricted to calibrations based on Johnson V-K. Acalibration of this sort from Di Benedetto (\cite{dib98}) is thereforetested and adopted. That calibration is then applied to spectroscopicand photometric data, with the latter predominating. Cousins R-Iphotometry receives special attention because of its high precision andlow metallicity sensitivity. Testing of temperatures derived from thecalibration suggests that their accuracy and precision are satisfactory,though further testing will be warranted as new results appear. Thesetemperatures appear in the catalog as values of theta equiv5040/T(effective). Most of these entries are accompanied by measured orderived values of Cousins R-I. Entries are given for 951 stars.Catalog is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/398/721 HIPPARCOS age-metallicity relation of the solar neighbourhood disc starsWe 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 (130.79.128.5)or via http:/ /cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/ cgi-bin/qcat?J/ A+A/394/927 Sulphur abundances in disk stars: A correlation with siliconWe have performed new determinations of sulphur and silicon abundancesfor a sample of 26 disk stars based on high-resolution, highsignal-to-noise spectra. The results indicate a solar [S/Fe] for [Fe/H]>-0.3, below which [S/Fe] increases to ~ 0.25 dex at [Fe/H] =-1.0. Wefind that there is a good correlation between [S/H] and [Si/H],indicating the same nucleosynthetic origin of the two elements. It seemsthat the ratio of sulphur to silicon does not depend on metallicity for[Fe/H] > -1.0. The implications of these results on models for thenucleosynthesis of alpha -capture elements and the chemical evolution ofthe Galaxy are discussed. Based on observations carried out at NationalAstronomical Observatories (Xinglong, PR China). Detailed analysis of Balmer lines in cool dwarf starsAn analysis of Hα and Hβ spectra in a sample of 30 cool dwarfand subgiant stars is presented using MARCS model atmospheres based onthe most recent calculations of the line opacities. A detailedquantitative comparison of the solar flux spectra with model spectrashows that Balmer line profile shapes, and therefore the temperaturestructure in the line formation region, are best represented under themixing length theory by any combination of a low mixing-length parameteralpha and a low convective structure parameter y. A slightly lowereffective temperature is obtained for the sun than the accepted value,which we attribute to errors in models and line opacities. The programmestars span temperatures from 4800 to 7100 K and include a small numberof population II stars. Effective temperatures have been derived using aquantitative fitting method with a detailed error analysis. Ourtemperatures find good agreement with those from the Infrared FluxMethod (IRFM) near solar metallicity but show differences at lowmetallicity where the two available IRFM determinations themselves arein disagreement. Comparison with recent temperature determinations usingBalmer lines by Fuhrmann (\cite{fuhrmann98, fuhrmann00}), who employed adifferent description of the wing absorption due to self-broadening,does not show the large differences predicted by Barklem et al.(\cite{bpo:hyd}). In fact, perhaps fortuitously, reasonable agreement isfound near solar metallicity, while we find significantly coolertemperatures for low metallicity stars of around solar temperature.Based on observations collected at the Isaac Newton Telescope, La Palma,Spain, and McDonald Observatory, Texas, USA. Revised Magnesium Abundances in Galactic Halo and Disk StarsA differential analysis of the magnesium abundances in 61 F-K dwarfs andsubgiants with metallicities -2.6<[Fe/H]<+0.2 is performed basedon published observational data. Fundamental parameters for 36 stars aredetermined: T eff from V-K and V-R; logg from HIPPARCOS parallaxes, and[Fe/H] and ξt from Fe II lines. The computations allow for non-LTEeffects in the formation of the Mg I lines. For most of the stars, thestandard errors in the Mg abundances do not exceed 0.07 dex. Themetallicity dependence of [Mg/Fe] is analyzed. Magnesium shows aconstant overabundance relative to Fe of 0.46±0.06 dex formetallicities -2.6<[Fe/H]<-0.7 Mg. The Mg overabundance decreasesabruptly to +0.27 dex at [Fe/H]⋍-0.7. At highermetallicities, the Mg abundance smoothly decreases to the solar value at[Fe/H]=0.0. Halo stars with metallicities [Fe/H]<-1.0 exhibit lowerMg overabundances ( ) compared to the [Mg/Fe] values for other starswith similar [Fe/H]. Lithium abundances for 185 main-sequence stars: Galactic evolution and stellar depletion of lithiumWe present a survey of lithium abundances in 185 main-sequence fieldstars with 5600 <~ Teff <~ 6600 K and -1.4 <~ [Fe/H]<~ +0.2 based on new measurements of the equivalent width of thelambda 6708 Li I line in high-resolution spectra of 130 stars and areanalysis of data for 55 stars from Lambert et al. (\cite{Lambert91}).The survey takes advantage of improved photometric and spectroscopicdeterminations of effective temperature and metallicity as well as massand age derived from Hipparcos absolute magnitudes, offering anopportunity to investigate the behaviour of Li as a function of theseparameters. An interesting result from this study is the presence of alarge gap in the log varepsilon (Li) - Teff plane, whichdistinguishes Li-dip'' stars like those first identified in the Hyadescluster by Boesgaard & Tripicco (\cite{Boesgaard86}) from otherstars with a much higher Li abundance. The Li-dip stars concentrate on acertain mass, which decreases with metallicity from about 1.4Msun at solar metallicity to 1.1 Msun at [Fe/H] =~-1.0. Excluding the Li-dip stars and a small group of lower mass starswith Teff < 5900 K and log varepsilon (Li) < 1.5, theremaining stars, when divided into four metallicity groups, may show acorrelation between Li abundance and stellar mass. The dispersion aroundthe log varepsilon (Li)-mass relation is about 0.2 dex below [Fe/H] =~-0.4 and 0.3 dex above this metallicity, which cannot be explained byobservational errors or differences in metallicity. Furthermore, thereis no correlation between the residuals of the log varepsilon (Li)-massrelations and stellar age, which ranges from 1.5 Gyr to about 15 Gyr.This suggests that Li depletion occurs early in stellar life and thatparameters other than stellar mass and metallicity affect the degree ofdepletion, e.g. initial rotation velocity and/or the rate of angularmomentum loss. It cannot be excluded, however, that a cosmic scatter ofthe Li abundance in the Galaxy at a given metallicity contributes to thedispersion in Li abundance. These problems make it difficult todetermine the Galactic evolution of Li from the data, but a comparisonof the upper envelope of the distribution of stars in the log varepsilon(Li) - [Fe/H] plane with recent Galactic evolutionary models by Romanoet al. (\cite{Romano99}) suggests that novae are a major source for theLi production in the Galactic disk; their occurrence seems to be theexplanation for the steep increase of Li abundance at [Fe/H] =~ -0.4.Based on observations carried out at Beijing Astronomical Observatory(Xinglong, PR China) and European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/371/943 and athttp://www.edpsciences.org 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 Research Note Hipparcos photometry: The least variable starsThe 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 (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/367/297
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