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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. The Enceladus and OH Tori at SaturnThe remarkable observation that Enceladus, a small icy satellite ofSaturn, is actively venting has led to the suggestion that ejected watermolecules are the source of the toroidal atmosphere observed at Saturnfor over a decade using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Here we showthat the venting leads directly to a new feature, a narrow Enceladusneutral torus. The larger torus, observed using HST, is populated bycharge exchange, the process that limits the lifetime of the neutrals inthe Enceladus torus. Computed Hβ indices from ATLAS9 model atmospheresAims.Grids of Hβ indices based on updated (new-ODF) ATLAS9 modelatmospheres were computed for solar and scaled solar metallicities[+0.5], [+0.2], [0.0], [ -0.5] , [ -1.0] , [ -1.5] , [ -2.0] , [ -2.5]and for α enhanced compositions [+0.5a], [0.0a], [ -0.5a] , [-1.0a] , [ -1.5a] , [ -2.0a] , [ -2.5a] , and [ -4.0a] . Methods:.Indices for T_eff > 5000 K were computed with the same methods asdescribed by Lester et al. (1986, LGK86) except for a differentnormalization of the computed natural system to the standard system.LGK86 used special ODFs to compute the fluxes. For T_eff ≤ 5000 K wecomputed the fluxes using the synthetic spectrum method. In order toassess the accuracy of the computed indices comparisons were made withthe indices computed by Smalley & Dworetsky (1995, A&A, 293,446, MD95) and with the empirical relations T_eff-Hβ given byAlonso et al. (1996, A&A, 313, 873) for several metallicities.Furthermore, for cool stars, temperatures inferred from the computedindices were compared with those of the fundamental stars listed byMD95. The same kind of comparison was made between gravities for B-typestars. Results: .The temperatures from the computed indices are ingood agreement, within the error limits, with the literature values for4750 K ≤ T_eff ≤ 8000 K, while the gravities agree for T_eff> 9000 K. The computed Hβ indices for the Sun and for Procyonare very close to the observed values. The comparison between theobserved and computed Hβ indices as function of the observedHβ has shown a very small trend which almost completely disappearswhen only stars hotter than 10 000 K are considered. The trend due tothe cool stars is probably related with the low accuracy of thefundamental T_eff which are affected by large errors for most of thestars. A high-resolution spectroscopy survey of β Cephei pulsations in bright starsWe present a study of absorption line-profile variations in early-B typenear-main-sequence stars without emission lines. We have surveyed atotal of 171 bright stars using the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOTSA),William Herschel Telescope (ING) and Coudé Auxiliary Telescope(ESO). Our sample contains 75% of all O9.5-B2.5 III-V non-emission-linestars brighter than 5.5 mag. We obtained high signal-to-noise,high-resolution spectra of the SiIII λ4560 triplet - for 125stars of our sample we obtained more than one spectrum - and examinedthese for pulsational-like line-profile variations and/or structure. Weconclude that about half of our sample stars show evidence forline-profile variations (LPV). We find evidence for LPV in about 65% ofour sample stars brighter than V=5.5. For stars with rotationalbroadening V sin i 100 km s-1, we find evidence for LPVin about 75% of the cases. We argue that it is likely that these LPV areof pulsational origin, and that hence more than half of thesolar-neighbourhood O9.5-B2.5 III-V stars is pulsating in modes that canbe detected with high-resolution spectroscopy. We detected LPV in 64stars previously unknown to be pulsators, and label these stars as newβ Cep candidates. We conclude that there is no obvious differencein incidence of (pulsational) LPV for early-B type near-main-sequencestars in binaries or in OB associations, with respect to single fieldstars. Atlas and Catalog of Dark Clouds Based on Digitized Sky Survey IWe present a quantitative atlas and catalog of dark clouds derived byusing the optical database Digitized Sky Survey I''. Applying atraditional star-count technique to 1043 plates contained in thedatabase, we produced an AV map covering the entire region inthe galactic latitude range |b| ≤ 40°. The map was drawn at twodifferent angular resolutions of 6' and 18', and is shown in detail in aseries of figures in this paper. Based on the AV map, weidentified 2448 dark clouds and 2841 clumps located inside them. Somephysical parameters, such as the position, extent, and opticalextinction, were measured for each of the clouds and clumps. We alsosearched for counterparts among already known dark clouds in theliterature. The catalog of dark clouds presented in this paper lists thecloud parameters as well as the counterparts. Variability of Stars in the Pulkovo Spectrophotometric CatalogWe present the results of a statistical study of brightness variabilityfor 693 stars of the Pulkovo spectrophotometric database in fivespectral bands in the range λλ 320 1080 nm. Significantbrightness variations were detected in at least one spectral bandagainst the background of the random noise for one-third of the starsnot earlier believed to be variable. A comparison of the distributionsof these variations in amplitude and spectral band for the normal andvariable stars shows that variability is inherent to most stars to someextent and is often wavelength dependent. Catalog of Galactic β Cephei StarsWe present an extensive and up-to-date catalog of Galactic β Cepheistars. This catalog is intended to give a comprehensive overview ofobservational characteristics of all known β Cephei stars, coveringinformation until 2004 June. Ninety-three stars could be confirmed to beβ Cephei stars. We use data from more than 250 papers publishedover the last nearly 100 years, and we provide over 45 notes onindividual stars. For some stars we reanalyzed published data orconducted our own analyses. Sixty-one stars were rejected from the finalβ Cephei list, and 77 stars are suspected to be β Cepheistars. A list of critically selected pulsation frequencies for confirmedβ Cephei stars is also presented.We analyze the β Cephei stars as a group, such as the distributionsof their spectral types, projected rotational velocities, radialvelocities, pulsation periods, and Galactic coordinates. We confirm thatthe majority of the β Cephei stars are multiperiodic pulsators. Weshow that, besides two exceptions, the β Cephei stars with highpulsation amplitudes are slow rotators. Those higher amplitude starshave angular rotational velocities in the same range as thehigh-amplitude δ Scuti stars (Prot>~3 days).We construct a theoretical HR diagram that suggests that almost all 93β Cephei stars are main-sequence objects. We discuss theobservational boundaries of β Cephei pulsation and the physicalparameters of the stars. We corroborate that the excited pulsation modesare near to the radial fundamental mode in frequency and we show thatthe mass distribution of the stars peaks at 12 Msolar. Wepoint out that the theoretical instability strip of the β Cepheistars is filled neither at the cool nor at the hot end and attempt toexplain this observation. B Star Rotational Velocities in h and χ Persei: A Probe of Initial Conditions during the Star Formation Epoch?Projected rotational velocities (vsini) have been measured for 216 B0-B9stars in the rich, dense h and χ Persei double cluster and comparedwith the distribution of rotational velocities for a sample of fieldstars having comparable ages (t~12-15 Myr) and masses (M~4-15Msolar). For stars that are relatively little evolved fromtheir initial locations on the zero-age main sequence (ZAMS) (those withmasses M~4-5 Msolar), the mean vsini measured for the h andχ Per sample is slightly more than 2 times larger than the meandetermined for field stars of comparable mass, and the cluster and fieldvsini distributions differ with a high degree of significance. Forsomewhat more evolved stars with masses in the range 5-9Msolar, the mean vsini in h and χ Per is 1.5 times thatof the field; the vsini distributions differ as well, but with a lowerdegree of statistical significance. For stars that have evolvedsignificantly from the ZAMS and are approaching the hydrogen exhaustionphase (those with masses in the range 9-15 Msolar), thecluster and field star means and distributions are only slightlydifferent. We argue that both the higher rotation rates and the patternof rotation speeds as a function of mass that differentiatemain-sequence B stars in h and χ Per from their field analogs werelikely imprinted during the star formation process rather than a resultof angular momentum evolution over the 12-15 Myr cluster lifetime. Wespeculate that these differences may reflect the effects of the higheraccretion rates that theory suggests are characteristic of regions thatgive birth to dense clusters, namely, (1) higher initial rotationspeeds; (2) higher initial radii along the stellar birth line, resultingin greater spin-up between the birth line and the ZAMS; and (3) a morepronounced maximum in the birth line radius-mass relationship thatresults in differentially greater spin-up for stars that become mid- tolate-B stars on the ZAMS. First results from the ESO VLTI calibrators programThe ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) is one of the leadinginterferometric facilities. It is equipped with several 8.2 and 1.8 mtelescopes, a large number of baselines up to 200 m, and with severalsubsystems designed to enable high quality measurements and to improvesignificantly the limits of sensitivities currently available tolong-baseline interferometry. The full scientific potential of the VLTIcan be exploited only if a consistent set of good quality calibrators isavailable. For this, a large number of observations of potentialcalibrators have been obtained during the commissioning phase of theVLTI. These data are publicly available. We briefly describe theinterferometer, the VINCI instrument used for the observations, the dataflow from acquisition to processed results, and we present and commenton the volume of observations gathered and scrutinized. The result is alist of 191 calibrator candidates, for which a total of 12 066observations can be deemed of satisfactory quality. We present a generalstatistical analysis of this sample, using as a starting point theangular diameters previously available in the literature. We derive thegeneral characteristics of the VLTI transfer function, and its trendwith time in the period 2001 through mid-2004. A second paper will bedevoted to a detailed investigation of a selected sample, aimed atestablishing a VLTI-based homogeneous system of calibrators. CHARM2: An updated Catalog of High Angular Resolution MeasurementsWe present an update of the Catalog of High Angular ResolutionMeasurements (CHARM, Richichi & Percheron \cite{CHARM}, A&A,386, 492), which includes results available until July 2004. CHARM2 is acompilation of direct measurements by high angular resolution methods,as well as indirect estimates of stellar diameters. Its main goal is toprovide a reference list of sources which can be used for calibrationand verification observations with long-baseline optical and near-IRinterferometers. Single and binary stars are included, as are complexobjects from circumstellar shells to extragalactic sources. The presentupdate provides an increase of almost a factor of two over the previousedition. Additionally, it includes several corrections and improvements,as well as a cross-check with the valuable public release observationsof the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). A total of 8231entries for 3238 unique sources are now present in CHARM2. Thisrepresents an increase of a factor of 3.4 and 2.0, respectively, overthe contents of the previous version of CHARM.The catalog is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/431/773 Video observation of meteors at Yunnan ObservatoryIn the last 20 years, with the development of the CCD and imageintensifiers, the use of small flexible video meteor observation systemshas gradually increased, with the prospect that one day videoobservation will replace the visual observation and ordinaryphotographic observations. In this paper we report on the research anddevelopment of the No.1 meteor-comet video camera system of YunnanObservatory and some preliminary observed results. The system consistsof 5 changeable modules; it has a 36° large-field camera dedicatedto the observation of meteors, with which a magnitude 6 star can berecorded on a single frame with an accuracy of about 0.2 mag. We alsopresent a comparison of the video camera system with the traditionalphotographic system, and outline the merits, possible improvements andfuture development of the video system. A near-infrared stellar spectral library: I. H-band spectra.This paper presents the H band near-infrared (NIR) spectral library of135 solar type stars covering spectral types O5-M3 and luminosityclasses I-V as per MK classification. The observations were carried outwith 1.2 meter Gurushikhar Infrared Telescope (GIRT), at Mt. Abu, Indiausing a NICMOS3 HgCdTe 256 x 256 NIR array based spectrometer. Thespectra have a moderate resolution of 1000 (about 16 A) at the H bandand have been continuum shape corrected to their respective effectivetemperatures. This library and the remaining ones in J and K bands oncereleased will serve as an important database for stellar populationsynthesis and other applications in conjunction with the newly formedlarge optical coude feed stellar spectral library of Valdes et al.(2004). The complete H-Band library is available online at: http://vo.iucaa.ernet.in/~voi/NIR_Header.html The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar SpectraWe have obtained spectra for 1273 stars using the 0.9 m coudéfeed telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This telescope feedsthe coudé spectrograph of the 2.1 m telescope. The spectra havebeen obtained with the no. 5 camera of the coudé spectrograph anda Loral 3K×1K CCD. Two gratings have been used to provide spectralcoverage from 3460 to 9464 Å, at a resolution of ~1 Å FWHMand at an original dispersion of 0.44 Å pixel-1. For885 stars we have complete spectra over the entire 3460 to 9464 Åwavelength region (neglecting small gaps of less than 50 Å), andpartial spectral coverage for the remaining stars. The 1273 stars havebeen selected to provide broad coverage of the atmospheric parametersTeff, logg, and [Fe/H], as well as spectral type. The goal ofthe project is to provide a comprehensive library of stellar spectra foruse in the automated classification of stellar and galaxy spectra and ingalaxy population synthesis. In this paper we discuss thecharacteristics of the spectral library, viz., details of theobservations, data reduction procedures, and selection of stars. We alsopresent a few illustrations of the quality and information available inthe spectra. The first version of the complete spectral library is nowpublicly available from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory(NOAO) via ftp and http. The Origins and Evolutionary Status of B Stars Found Far from the Galactic Plane. I. Composition and Spectral FeaturesThe existence of faint blue stars far above the Galactic plane that havespectra that are similar to nearby Population I B stars presents severalinteresting questions. Among them are the following: Can a Population IB star travel from the disk to a position many kiloparsecs above theplane in a relatively short main-sequence lifetime? Is it possible thatsingle massive star formation is occurring far from the Galactic plane?Are these objects something else masquerading as main-sequence B stars?This paper (the first of two) analyzes the abundances of a sample ofthese stars and reveals several that are chemically similar to nearbyPopulation I B stars, whereas others clearly have abundance patternsmore like those expected in blue horizontal-branch (BHB) orpost-asymptotic giant branch stars. Several of those with old evolvedstar abundances also have interesting features of note in their spectra.We also consider why this sample does not have any classical Be starsand identify at least two nearby solar-metallicity BHB stars.Based on observations made at the 2.1 m Otto Struve Telescope ofMcDonald Observatory operated by the University of Texas at Austin. On the Hipparcos parallaxes of O starsWe compare the absolute visual magnitude of the majority of bright Ostars in the sky as predicted from their spectral type with the absolutemagnitude calculated from their apparent magnitude and the Hipparcosparallax. We find that many stars appear to be much fainter thanexpected, up to five magnitudes. We find no evidence for a correlationbetween magnitude differences and the stellar rotational velocity assuggested for OB stars by Lamers et al. (1997, A&A, 325, L25), whosesmall sample of stars is partly included in ours. Instead, by means of asimulation we show how these differences arise naturally from the largedistances at which O stars are located, and the level of precision ofthe parallax measurements achieved by Hipparcos. Straightforwardlyderiving a distance from the Hipparcos parallax yields reliable resultsfor one or two O stars only. We discuss several types of bias reportedin the literature in connection with parallax samples (Lutz-Kelker,Malmquist) and investigate how they affect the O star sample. Inaddition, we test three absolute magnitude calibrations from theliterature (Schmidt-Kaler et al. 1982, Landolt-Börnstein; Howarth& Prinja 1989, ApJS, 69, 527; Vacca et al. 1996, ApJ, 460, 914) andfind that they are consistent with the Hipparcos measurements. AlthoughO stars conform nicely to the simulation, we notice that some B stars inthe sample of \citeauthor{La97} have a magnitude difference larger thanexpected. Gas in the Terrestrial Planet Region of Disks: CO Fundamental Emission from T Tauri StarsWe report the results of a high-resolution spectroscopic survey for COfundamental emission from T Tauri stars. CO fundamental emission isfrequently detected, with the likely origin of the emission in thecircumstellar disk. An initial assessment of the line profiles indicatesthat the emission region includes the equivalent of the terrestrialplanet region of our solar system, a result that suggests the utility ofCO fundamental emission as a probe of disks at planet formationdistances. Since fundamental emission is detected frequently from bothclose binary and apparently single stars, it appears that both lowcolumn density regions, such as disk gaps, and temperature inversionregions in disk atmospheres can produce significant emission. Theestimated excitation temperature of the emitting gas is unexpectedlywarm for the disk radii that they appear to probe. Thus, the surfacegaseous component of inner disks may be significantly warmer than thesurface dust component. We also detect CO emission from a transitional TTauri star. Because fundamental emission from CO and its isotopes issensitive to a wide range of gas masses, including masses< A 3-5 μ m VLT spectroscopic survey of embedded young low mass stars I. Structure of the CO iceMedium resolution (lambda /Delta lambda = 5000-10 000) VLT-ISAACM-band spectra are presented of 39 young stellar objects in nearbylow-mass star forming clouds showing the 4.67 μm stretching vibrationmode of solid CO. By taking advantage of the unprecedentedly largesample, high S/N ratio and high spectral resolution, similarities in theice profiles from source to source are identified. It is found thatexcellent fits to all the spectra can be obtained using aphenomenological decomposition of the CO stretching vibration profile at4.67 μm into 3 components, centered on 2143.7 cm-1, 2139.9cm-1 and 2136.5 cm-1 with fixed widths of 3.0, 3.5and 10.6 cm-1, respectively. All observed interstellar COprofiles can thus be uniquely described by a model depending on only 3linear fit parameters, indicating that a maximum of 3 specific molecularenvironments of solid CO exist under astrophysical conditions. A simplephysical model of the CO ice is presented, which shows that the 2139.9cm-1 component is indistinguishable from pure CO ice. It isconcluded, that in the majority of the observed lines of sight, 60-90%of the CO is in a nearly pure form. In the same model the 2143.7cm-1 component can possibly be explained by the longitudinaloptical (LO) component of the vibrational transition in pure crystallineCO ice which appears when the background source is linearly polarised.The model therefore predicts the polarisation fraction at 4.67 μm,which can be confirmed by imaging polarimetry. The 2152 cm-1feature characteristic of CO on or in an unprocessed water matrix is notdetected toward any source and stringent upper limits are given. Whenthis is taken into account, the 2136.5 cm-1 component is notconsistent with the available water-rich laboratory mixtures and wesuggest that the carrier is not yet fully understood. A shallowabsorption band centered between 2165 cm-1 and 2180cm-1 is detected towards 30 sources. For low-mass stars, thisband is correlated with the CO component at 2136.5 cm-1,suggesting the presence of a carrier different from XCN at 2175cm-1. Furthermore the absorption band from solid13CO at 2092 cm-1 is detected towards IRS 51 inthe rho Ophiuchi cloud complex and an isotopic ratio of12CO/13CO=68+/-10 is derived. It is shown that allthe observed solid 12CO profiles, along with the solid13CO profile, are consistent with grains with an irregularlyshaped CO ice mantle simulated by a Continuous Distribution ofEllipsoids (CDE), but inconsistent with the commonly used models ofspherical grains in the Rayleigh limit.Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory,Paranal, Chile, within the observing programs 164.I-0605 and 69.C-0441.ISO is an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States(especially the PI countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands and theUK) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA.Table \ref{SourceList} and Appendices A and B are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Quantitative Stellar Spectral Classification. II. Early Type StarsThe method developed by Stock & Stock (1999) for stars of spectraltypes A to K to derive absolute magnitudes and intrinsic colors from theequivalent widths of absorption lines in stellar spectra is extended toB-type stars. Spectra of this type of stars for which the Hipparcoscatalogue gives parallaxes with an error of less than 20% were observedwith the CIDA one-meter reflector equipped with a Richardsonspectrograph with a Thompson 576×384 CCD detector. The dispersionis 1.753 Å/pixel using a 600 lines/mm grating in the first order.In order to cover the spectral range 3850 Å to 5750 Å thegrating had to be used in two different positions, with an overlap inthe region from 4800 Å to 4900 Å . A total of 116 stars wasobserved, but not all with both grating positions. A total of 12measurable absorption lines were identified in the spectra and theirequivalent widths were measured. These were related to the absolutemagnitudes derived from the Hipparcos catalogue and to the intrinsiccolors (deduced from the MK spectral types) using linear and secondorder polynomials and two or three lines as independent variables. Thebest solutions were obtained with polynomials of three lines,reproducing the absolute magnitudes with an average residual of about0.40 magnitudes and the intrinsic colors with an average residual of0.016 magnitudes. The latitude and epoch for the formation of the southern Greek constellationsNot Available Thermal Pressures in Neutral Clouds inside the Local Bubble, as Determined from C I Fine-Structure ExcitationsHigh-resolution spectra covering the absorption features frominterstellar C I were recorded for four early-type stars withspectrographs on the Hubble Space Telescope, in a program to measure thefine-structure excitation of this atom within neutral clouds inside ornear the edge of the Local Bubble, a volume of hot (T~106K)gas that emits soft X-rays and extends out to about 100 pc away from theSun. The excited levels of C I are populated by collisions, and theratio of excited atoms to those in the ground level give a measure ofthe local thermal pressure. Absorptions from the two lowest levels of CI were detected toward α Del and δ Cyg, while only marginalindications of excited C I were obtained for γ Ori and λLup. Along with temperature limits derived by other means, the C Ifine-structure populations indicate that for the clouds in front ofγ Ori, δ Cyg, and α Del,103cm-3K104cm-3Kfor the Local Bubble, based on the strength of X-ray and EUV emissionfrom the hot gas. This inequality of pressure for these neutral cloudsand their surroundings duplicates a condition that exists for the local,partly ionized cloud that surrounds the Sun. An appendix in the paperdescribes a direct method for determining and eliminating small spectralartifacts arising from variations of detector sensitivity with position.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555. Rotational Velocities of B StarsWe measured the projected rotational velocities of 1092 northern B starslisted in the Bright Star Catalogue (BSC) and calibrated them againstthe 1975 Slettebak et al. system. We found that the published values ofB dwarfs in the BSC average 27% higher than those standards. Only 0.3%of the stars have rotational velocities in excess of two-thirds of thebreakup velocities, and the mean velocity is only 25% of breakup,implying that impending breakup is not a significant factor in reducingrotational velocities. For the B8-B9.5 III-V stars the bimodaldistribution in V can be explained by a set of slowly rotating Ap starsand a set of rapidly rotating normal stars. For the B0-B5 III-V starsthat include very few peculiar stars, the distributions in V are notbimodal. Are the low rotational velocities of B stars due to theoccurrence of frequent low-mass companions, planets, or disks? Therotational velocities of giants originating from late B dwarfs areconsistent with their conservation of angular momentum in shells.However, we are puzzled by why the giants that originate from the earlyB dwarfs, despite having 3 times greater radii, have nearly the samerotational velocities. We find that all B-type primaries in binarieswith periods less than 2.4 days have synchronized rotational and orbitalmotions; those with periods between 2.4 and 5.0 days are rotating withina factor 2 of synchronization or are nearly synchronized.'' Thecorresponding period ranges for A-type stars are 4.9 and 10.5 days, ortwice as large. We found that the rotational velocities of the primariesare synchronized earlier than their orbits are circularized. The maximumorbital period for circularized B binaries is 1.5 days and for Abinaries is 2.5 days. For stars of various ages from 107.5 to1010.2 yr the maximum circularized periods are a smoothexponential function of age. Boron Abundances in B-Type Stars: A Test of Rotational Depletion during Main-Sequence EvolutionBoron abundances have been derived for seven main-sequence B-type starsfrom Hubble Space Telescope STIS spectra around the B III λ2066line. In two stars, boron appears to be undepleted with respect to thepresumed initial abundance. In one star, boron is detectable but isclearly depleted. In the other four stars, boron is undetectable,implying depletions of 1-2 dex. Three of these four stars are nitrogenenriched, but the fourth shows no enrichment of nitrogen. Onlyrotationally induced mixing predicts that boron depletions areunaccompanied by nitrogen enrichments. The inferred rate of borondepletion from our observations is in good agreement with thesepredictions. Other boron-depleted nitrogen-normal stars are identifiedfrom the literature. In addition, several boron-depleted nitrogen-richstars are identified, and while all fall on the boron-nitrogen trendpredicted by rotationally induced mixing, a majority have nitrogenenrichments that are not uniquely explained by rotation. The spectrahave also been used to determine iron group (Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni)abundances. The seven B-type stars have near-solar iron groupabundances, as expected for young stars in the solar neighborhood. Wehave also analyzed the halo B-type star PG 0832+676. We find[Fe/H]=-0.88+/-0.10, and the absence of the B III line gives the upperlimit [B/H]<-2.5. These and other published abundances are used toinfer the star's evolutionary status as a post-asymptotic giant branchstar. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble SpaceTelescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which isoperated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy,Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associatedwith proposal GO 07400. Wind variability of B supergiants. IV. A survey of IUE time-series data of 11 B0 to B3 starsWe present the most suitable data sets available in the InternationalUltraviolet Explorer (IUE) archive for the study of time-dependentstellar winds in early B supergiants. The UV line profile variability in11 B0 to B3 stars is analysed, compared and discussed, based on 16separate data sets comprising over 600 homogeneously reducedhigh-resolution spectrograms. The targets include normal'' stars withmoderate rotation rates and examples of rapid rotators. A gallery ofgrey-scale images (dynamic spectra) is presented, which demonstrates therichness and range of wind variability and highlights differentstructures in the winds of these stars. This work emphasises thesuitability of B supergiants for wind studies, under-pinned by the factthat they exhibit unsaturated wind lines for a wide range of ionization.The wind activity of B supergiants is substantial and has highly variedcharacteristics. The variability evident in individual stars isclassified and described in terms of discrete absorption components,spontaneous absorption, bowed structures, recurrence, and ionizationvariability and stratification. Similar structures can occur in stars ofdifferent fundamental parameters, but also different structures mayoccur in the same star at a given epoch. We discuss the physicalphenomena that may be associated with the spectral signatures. Thediversity of wind patterns evident likely reflects the role of stellarrotation and viewing angle in determining the observationalcharacteristics of azimuthally extended structure rooted at the stellarsurface. In addition, SEI line-synthesis modelling of the UV wind linesis used to provide further information about the state of the winds inour program stars. Typically the range, implied by the line profilevariability, in the product of mass-loss rate and ion fraction (mdotq_i) is a factor of ~ 1.5, when integrated between 0.2 and 0.9 v_infty ;it can however be several times larger over localised velocity regions.At a given effective temperature the mean relative ion ratios can differby a factor of 5. The general excess in predicted (forward-scattered)emission in the low velocity regime is discussed in terms of structuredoutflows. Mean ion fractions are estimated over the B0 to B1 spectralclasses, and trends in the ionic ratios as a function of wind velocityare described. The low values obtained for the ion fractions of UVresonance lines may reflect the role of clumping in the wind. CHARM: A Catalog of High Angular Resolution MeasurementsThe Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements (CHARM) includesmost of the measurements obtained by the techniques of lunaroccultations and long-baseline interferometry at visual and infraredwavelengths, which have appeared in the literature or have otherwisebeen made public until mid-2001. A total of 2432 measurements of 1625sources are included, along with extensive auxiliary information. Inparticular, visual and infrared photometry is included for almost allthe sources. This has been partly extracted from currently availablecatalogs, and partly obtained specifically for CHARM. The main aim is toprovide a compilation of sources which could be used as calibrators orfor science verification purposes by the new generation of largeground-based facilities such as the ESO Very Large Interferometer andthe Keck Interferometer. The Catalog is available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/386/492, and from theauthors on CD-Rom. An empirical method to estimate the LMC distance using B-stars in eclipsing binary systemsWe present a new method to determine the distance to B-stars ineclipsing binary systems. The method is completely empirical, and it isbased on the existence of a very tight linear relationship between theV-band zero magnitude angular diameter'' and the Strömgren colourindex c1 for B-stars; we have empirically calibrated thisrelationship using local single B-stars with accurate angular diameters,and B-stars in eclipsing binaries with precise radii and parallaxdeterminations. By studying the differential behaviour of thisrelationship as predicted by theoretical stellar evolution models, wefind that it is independent of the stellar metallicities for a range of[Fe/H] values between the solar one and that of young stars in theMagellanic Clouds. The method, which also provides the value of thereddening to the system, is discussed in detail, together with athorough estimate of the associated errors. We conclude that accurateStrömgren photometry obtainable with 1.5 m-class telescopes of theLMC eclipsing binaries HV 2274 and HV 982 will allow to obtain anempirical LMC distance with an accuracy of the order of 0.13 mag. Spectroscopic Classification of 42 Large Magellanic Cloud OB Stars: Selection of Probes for the Hot Gaseous Halo of the Large Magellanic CloudInterstellar C IV absorption-line studies of the hot gaseous halo of theLarge Magellanic Cloud (LMC) have been hindered by nonideal selectionsof early-type probe stars in regions where C+3 can beproduced locally via photoionization, fast stellar winds, or supernovae.To observe stars outside such regions, precise spectral classificationsof OB stars in the field are needed. Therefore, we have obtainedmedium-dispersion spectra of 42 early-type stars in the LMC that aredistributed outside superbubbles or supergiant shells. The spectralclassification of these stars is presented in this paper. Nineteen ofthese program stars have spectral types between B1 and O7 and are thussuitable probes for interstellar C IV absorption-line studies of the hotgaseous halo of the LMC. ι Orionis-Evidence for a Capture Origin BinaryThe star ι Ori (HD 37043, HR 1899) is a 29.1338 day period,double-lined O-type spectroscopic binary with a highly eccentric orbit.The classification of the primary (O9 III) is well established. Thesecondary, roughly 2 mag fainter, is generally acknowledged as anearly-type B star, but claims about its luminosity class have been madeonly from its estimated light contribution and not from its spectrum. Wehave collected visual data with the 1 m Multiple-Telescope Telescope(MTT at the Center for High Angular Resolution at Georgia StateUniversity) in four wave bands well distributed in orbital phase, withthe periastron passage particularly well covered. We presentreconstructed component spectra from our tomographic reconstructiontechnique. According to three Morgan-Keenan (MK) luminosity criteria, wecan unambiguously characterize the secondary as a B1 III-IV giant (MKtype or B0.8 III-IV interpolated type). We also have constructed threeline-strength indices from eighteen observed individual lines for thesecondary and a grid of comparison stars. These results confirm thetyping from the MK luminosity criteria. Furthermore, we argue, from themass ratio (q=0.5), evolutionary considerations, the orbital scale, andthe unremarkable CNO element equivalent widths of the secondary, thatthis system is not coevolved nor has it undergone significant masstransfer. We postulate an origin for the system in a binary-binarycollision and suspect that the runaway stars μ Col and AE Aur mayhave been the original partners for the current ι Ori secondary andprimary, respectively. Microstructure of the Local Interstellar Cloud and the Identification of the Hyades CloudWe analyze high-resolution UV spectra of the Mg II h and k lines for 18members of the Hyades to study inhomogeneity along these proximate linesof sight. The observations were taken by the Space Telescope ImagingSpectrograph (STIS) instrument on board the Hubble Space Telescope(HST). Three distinct velocity components are observed. All 18 lines ofsight show absorption by the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC); 10 starsshow absorption by an additional cloud, which we name the Hyades Cloud;and one star exhibits a third absorption component. The LIC absorptionis observed at a lower radial velocity than predicted by the LICvelocity vector derived by Lallement & Bertin in 1992 and Lallementet al. in 1995[vpredicted(LIC)-vobserved(LIC)=2.9+/-0.7 kms-1], which may indicate a compression or deceleration at theleading edge of the LIC. We propose an extension of the Hyades Cloudboundary based on previous HST observations of other stars in thegeneral vicinity of the Hyades, as well as ground-based Ca IIobservations. We present our fits of the interstellar parameters foreach absorption component. The availability of 18 similar lines of sightprovides an excellent opportunity to study the inhomogeneity of thewarm, partially ionized local interstellar medium (LISM). We find thatthese structures are roughly homogeneous. The measured Mg II columndensities do not vary by more than a factor of 2 for angular separationsof <~8°, which at the outer edge of the LIC correspond tophysical separations of <~0.6 pc. Boron Abundances in Early B Stars: Results from the B III Resonance Line in IUE DataWe have used archival International Ultraviolet Explorer high-dispersionSWP spectra to study the B III resonance line at 2065.8 Å in 44early B stars. We find a median boron abundance about half that of solarsystem meteoritic material, consistent with the values found fromprevious studies of boron in early B stars. About one-third of the starsstudied appear to have boron abundances that are a factor of 4 or morelower than this median. Many of these are stars with enhanced nitrogenabundances, confirming the belief that deep envelope mixing can occur inmain-sequence B stars. A few stars with low boron abundances have normalN/C ratios. It is unclear whether all of these can be explained as starswhere mixing depleted the boron but did not go deep enough to bringCN-processed material to the surface or if some stars were actuallyformed with an unusually low boron abundance. The Spatial Distribution of the λ Orionis Pre-Main-Sequence PopulationThe λ Ori star-forming region presents a snapshot of amoderate-mass giant molecular cloud 1-2 Myr after cloud disruption by OBstars, with the OB stars, the low-mass stellar population, remnantmolecular clouds, and the dispersed gas all still present. We have usedoptical photometry and multiobject spectroscopy for lithium absorptionto identify 266 pre-main-sequence stars in 8 deg2 of theregion. We also present new Strömgren photometry for the massivestars, from which we derive a distance of 450 pc and a turnoff age of6-7 Myr. Using these parameters and pre-main-sequence evolutionarymodels, we map the star formation history of the low-mass stars. We findthat low-mass star formation started throughout the region at about thesame time as the birth of the massive stars, and thereafter the birthrate accelerated. Within the last 1-2 Myr star formation ceased in thecenter of the star-forming region, near the concentration of OB stars,while it continues in dark clouds 20 pc away. We suggest that asupernova 1-2 Myr ago destroyed the molecular cloud core from which theOB stars formed, but it did not terminate star formation in more distantreaches of the giant molecular cloud. We find no secure evidence fortriggered or sequential star formation in the outer molecular clouds.The global star formation of the λ Ori region has generated thefield initial mass function, but local star formation in subregionsshows large deviations from the expected ratio of high- to low-massstars.
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