Home     Getting Started     To Survive in the Universe    
Inhabited Sky
    News@Sky     Astro Photo     The Collection     Forum     Blog New!     FAQ     Press     Login  

γ Gem (Alhena)



Upload your image

DSS Images   Other Images

Related articles

Reliability Checks on the Indo-US Stellar Spectral Library Using Artificial Neural Networks and Principal Component Analysis
The 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.

Computed Hβ indices from ATLAS9 model atmospheres
Aims.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.

Atlas and Catalog of Dark Clouds Based on Digitized Sky Survey I
We 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.

Forty Years of Spectroscopic Stellar Astrophysics in Japan
The development of Japanese spectroscopic stellar astrophysics in therecent 40 years is reviewed from an observational point of view. In thisarticle, the research activities are provisionally divided into fourfields: hot stars, hot emission-line (Be) stars, cool stars, and otherstars. Historical developments of the observational facilities atOkayama Astrophysical Observatory (spectrographs and detectors) are alsosummarized in connection with the progress in scientific researchactivities.

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

Observed Orbital Eccentricities
For 391 spectroscopic and visual binaries with known orbital elementsand having B0-F0 IV or V primaries, we collected the derivedeccentricities. As has been found by others, those binaries with periodsof a few days have been circularized. However, those with periods up toabout 1000 or more days show reduced eccentricities that asymptoticallyapproach a mean value of 0.5 for the longest periods. For those binarieswith periods greater than 1000 days their distribution of eccentricitiesis flat from 0 to nearly 1, indicating that in the formation of binariesthere is no preferential eccentricity. The binaries with intermediateperiods (10-100 days) lack highly eccentric orbits.

Determining the Physical Properties of the B Stars. II. Calibration of Synthetic Photometry
We present a new calibration of optical (UBV, Strömgren uvbyβ,and Geneva) and near-IR (Johnson RIJHK and Two Micron All Sky Survey)photometry for B and early A stars derived from Kurucz ATLAS9 modelatmospheres. Our sample of stars consists of 45 normal nearby B andearly A stars that have high-quality, low-resolution IUE spectra andaccurate Hipparcos parallaxes. The calibration is unique because itrelies only on the UV spectral energy distributions, the absolute fluxcalibration of the V filter, and the Hipparcos distances to determinethe appropriate model atmospheres for the program stars. These modelsare then used to calibrate the synthetic photometry. We compare ourresults with previous well-accepted results and provide a thoroughdiscussion of the random errors and systematic effects affecting thecalibration. In particular, we demonstrate the influence of vsini onsurface gravities derived from fitting model atmospheres. Finally, wediscuss some of our intended applications of this new calibration.

Thermal infrared observations of the Hayabusa spacecraft target asteroid 25143 Itokawa
We obtained N- and Q-band observations of the Apollo-type asteroid25143 Itokawa during its close Earth approach in July2004 with TIMMI2 at the ESO 3.6 m telescope. Our photometricmeasurement, in combination with already published data, allowed us toderive a radiometric effective diameter of 0.32 ± 0.03 km and analbedo of 0.19+0.11-0.03 through a thermophysicalmodel. This effective diameter corresponds to a slightly asymmetricaland flattened ellipsoid of the approximate size of 520(±50)× 270(±30) × 230(±20) m, based on theKaasalainen et al. (2005, Proceedings of the 1st Hayabusa Symposium, ASPConf. Ser., submitted) shape model. Our studies show that the thermalobservations lead to size estimates which are about 15% smaller than theradar results (Ostro et al. 2005, Met. Plan. Sci., submitted), slightlyoutside the stated radar uncertainties of ±10%. We determined arather high thermal inertia of 750 J m-2 s-0.5K-1. This is an indication for a bare rock dominated surface,a thick dust regolith can be excluded as well as a metallic surface.From our data we constructed a 10.0 μm thermal lightcurve which isnicely matched in amplitude and phase by the shape and spin vectorsolution in combination with our TPM description. The assumed S-typebulk density in combination with radiometric size lead to a total massestimate of 4.5+2.0-1.8 × 1010kg.

Astrometric orbits of SB^9 stars
Hipparcos Intermediate Astrometric Data (IAD) have been used to deriveastrometric orbital elements for spectroscopic binaries from the newlyreleased Ninth Catalogue of Spectroscopic Binary Orbits(SB^9). This endeavour is justified by the fact that (i) theastrometric orbital motion is often difficult to detect without theprior knowledge of the spectroscopic orbital elements, and (ii) suchknowledge was not available at the time of the construction of theHipparcos Catalogue for the spectroscopic binaries which were recentlyadded to the SB^9 catalogue. Among the 1374 binaries fromSB^9 which have an HIP entry (excluding binaries with visualcompanions, or DMSA/C in the Double and Multiple Stars Annex), 282 havedetectable orbital astrometric motion (at the 5% significance level).Among those, only 70 have astrometric orbital elements that are reliablydetermined (according to specific statistical tests), and for the firsttime for 20 systems. This represents a 8.5% increase of the number ofastrometric systems with known orbital elements (The Double and MultipleSystems Annex contains 235 of those DMSA/O systems). The detection ofthe astrometric orbital motion when the Hipparcos IAD are supplementedby the spectroscopic orbital elements is close to 100% for binaries withonly one visible component, provided that the period is in the 50-1000 drange and the parallax is >5 mas. This result is an interestingtestbed to guide the choice of algorithms and statistical tests to beused in the search for astrometric binaries during the forthcoming ESAGaia mission. Finally, orbital inclinations provided by the presentanalysis have been used to derive several astrophysical quantities. Forinstance, 29 among the 70 systems with reliable astrometric orbitalelements involve main sequence stars for which the companion mass couldbe derived. Some interesting conclusions may be drawn from this new setof stellar masses, like the enigmatic nature of the companion to theHyades F dwarf HIP 20935. This system has a mass ratio of 0.98 but thecompanion remains elusive.

CHARM2: An updated Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements
We present an update of the Catalog of High Angular ResolutionMeasurements (CHARM, Richichi & Percheron \cite{CHARM}, A&A,386, 492), which includes results available until July 2004. CHARM2 is acompilation of direct measurements by high angular resolution methods,as well as indirect estimates of stellar diameters. Its main goal is toprovide a reference list of sources which can be used for calibrationand verification observations with long-baseline optical and near-IRinterferometers. Single and binary stars are included, as are complexobjects from circumstellar shells to extragalactic sources. The presentupdate provides an increase of almost a factor of two over the previousedition. Additionally, it includes several corrections and improvements,as well as a cross-check with the valuable public release observationsof the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). A total of 8231entries for 3238 unique sources are now present in CHARM2. Thisrepresents an increase of a factor of 3.4 and 2.0, respectively, overthe contents of the previous version of CHARM.The catalog is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/431/773

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

The physical properties of normal A stars
Designating a star as of A-type is a result of spectral classification.After separating the peculiar stars from those deemed to be normal usingthe results of a century of stellar astrophysical wisdom, I define thephysical properties of the "normal" stars. The hotter A stars haveatmospheres almost in radiative equilibrium. In the A stars convectivemotions can be found which increase in strength as the temperaturedecreases.

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

Heavy Element Abundances in Late-B and Early-A Stars. I. Co-Added IUE Spectra of HgMn Stars
Very heavy elements (Pt, Au, Hg, Tl, and Bi) are found to be enhanced inthe atmospheres of the chemically peculiar stars of the upper mainsequence by up to a million times the solar system levels. Suchenhancements are believed to result from atmospheric dynamics (i.e.,diffusion) rather than scenarios that dredge up nuclear-processedmaterial to the surface or transfer processed material between binarycompanions. However, the theoretical framework needs to be furtherconstrained by observations beyond the realm of the spectral types forwhich such abundance enhancements are observed at optical wavelengths.The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite collected spectraof bright stars for which chemical peculiarities have been derived fromground-based data. For several elements the abundance enhancements haveonly been recently measured using Hubble Space Telescope data and havetherefore not yet been exploited in the IUE data. We have initiated aprogram to analyze IUE high-dispersion spectra to more fullycharacterize the pattern of very heavy element enhancement for manymercury-manganese (HgMn) stars and to potentially extend the spectralclass (effective temperature) boundaries over which these abundanceanomalies are known to exist. The abundances of very heavy elements inchemically normal B and A-type stars provide a base level that may becompared with the solar system abundances. These early spectral typestars may therefore reveal clues for galactic chemical evolution studiessince they were formed at a later epoch than the Sun in the history ofthe Galaxy. This first paper presents the motivation for the analyses tofollow, outlines our spectral co-addition technique for IUE spectra, anddiscusses the choice of model atmospheres and the synthetic spectrumprocedures, while initiating the study by highlighting the abundance ofgold in several HgMn stars.

The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar Spectra
We have obtained spectra for 1273 stars using the 0.9 m coudéfeed telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This telescope feedsthe coudé spectrograph of the 2.1 m telescope. The spectra havebeen obtained with the no. 5 camera of the coudé spectrograph anda Loral 3K×1K CCD. Two gratings have been used to provide spectralcoverage from 3460 to 9464 Å, at a resolution of ~1 Å FWHMand at an original dispersion of 0.44 Å pixel-1. For885 stars we have complete spectra over the entire 3460 to 9464 Åwavelength region (neglecting small gaps of less than 50 Å), andpartial spectral coverage for the remaining stars. The 1273 stars havebeen selected to provide broad coverage of the atmospheric parametersTeff, logg, and [Fe/H], as well as spectral type. The goal ofthe project is to provide a comprehensive library of stellar spectra foruse in the automated classification of stellar and galaxy spectra and ingalaxy population synthesis. In this paper we discuss thecharacteristics of the spectral library, viz., details of theobservations, data reduction procedures, and selection of stars. We alsopresent a few illustrations of the quality and information available inthe spectra. The first version of the complete spectral library is nowpublicly available from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory(NOAO) via ftp and http.

Tidal Effects in Binaries of Various Periods
We found in the published literature the rotational velocities for 162B0-B9.5, 152 A0-A5, and 86 A6-F0 stars, all of luminosity classes V orIV, that are in spectroscopic or visual binaries with known orbitalelements. The data show that stars in binaries with periods of less thanabout 4 days have synchronized rotational and orbital motions. Stars inbinaries with periods of more than about 500 days have the samerotational velocities as single stars. However, the primaries inbinaries with periods of between 4 and 500 days have substantiallysmaller rotational velocities than single stars, implying that they havelost one-third to two-thirds of their angular momentum, presumablybecause of tidal interactions. The angular momentum losses increase withdecreasing binary separations or periods and increase with increasingage or decreasing mass.

The angular sizes of dwarf stars and subgiants. Surface brightness relations calibrated by interferometry
The availability of a number of new interferometric measurements of MainSequence and subgiant stars makes it possible to calibrate the surfacebrightness relations of these stars using exclusively direct angulardiameter measurements. These empirical laws make it possible to predictthe limb darkened angular diameters θLD of dwarfs andsubgiants using their dereddened Johnson magnitudes, or their effectivetemperature. The smallest intrinsic dispersions of σ ≤1% inθLD are obtained for the relations based on the K andL magnitudes, for instance log θLD = 0.0502 (B-L) +0.5133 - 0.2 L or log θLD = 0.0755 (V-K) + 0.5170 -0.2 K. Our calibrations are valid between the spectral types A0 and M2for dwarf stars (with a possible extension to later types when using theeffective temperature), and between A0 and K0 for subgiants. Suchrelations are particularly useful for estimating the angular sizes ofcalibrators for long-baseline interferometry from readily availablebroadband photometry.Tables 3-6 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

Rotational Velocities of B, A, and Early-F Narrow-lined Stars
Projected rotational velocities for 58 B, A, and early-F stars have beendetermined from high-resolution spectroscopic observations made at KittPeak National Observatory with the coudé feed telescope. All thestars are slowly rotating with vsini<60 km s-1. Because oftheir low rotational velocities, 15 of the stars have been observed asprospective, early-type, radial velocity standards.

An Optical, Dual-Beam, Automated Medium Resolution Spectropolarimeter for the Vainu Bappu Telescope
Fabrication of an optical dual-beam spectropolarimeter as an add-onfacility to an existing astronomical spectrograph at the Vainu BappuTelescope is described. The polarimetric optics consists of asuperachromatic Pancharatnam design half-wave plate and a modifiedGlan-Taylor polarizing beam splitter. Instrumental response, calibrationand characterization of the system are presented. Performance of thespectropolarimeter has been assessed based on the results ofobservations of polarized and unpolarized standard stars. The attainableaccuracy of the instrument is found to be dependent on the S/N of thedata. The present data set yields an accuracy of ˜ ±0.5% at4000 Å and ˜ ±0.3% at 7500 Å, at a spectralresolution of ˜7.2 Å. Analysis of spectropolarimetric data issystematically covered for removal of instrumental errors. Thespectropolarimetric reduction software (SPRS), extremely versatile, userfriendly and compatible with the IRAF image processing package, wasdeveloped for reducing spectropolarimetric data. The empirical relationby Serkowski (IAU Symposium 52, Interstellar Dust and Related Topics, J.M. Greenberg and H. C. van de Hulst (eds.), Dordrecht, Reidel, 1975, p.145) for wavelength dependence of polarization due to interstellarmedium has been fitted to the data for the star HD 43384 (9 Gem). Ourresult shows a polarization larger by 0.49% from Hsu and Berger (ApJ262, 1982, 732). We attribute this difference to the long term variationin P for this star.

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.

First Observations with a Co-phased Six-Station Optical Long-Baseline Array: Application to the Triple Star η Virginis
We report on the first successful simultaneous combination of sixindependent optical telescopes in an interferometric array. This isdouble the number of independent telescopes, and 5 times the number ofindependent baselines, heretofore combined simultaneously. This wasaccomplished with the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer at LowellObservatory, near Flagstaff, Arizona. We describe the main technologiesdemonstrated, including hybrid six-way beam combination, nonredundantmultiple optical path modulation for fringe separation, and the fringedetection electronics. To test the array's suitability forhigh-resolution stellar imaging, we observed the hierarchical triplestar η Virginis, and we present the first images resolving all threecomponents. The orbital motions of these stars were followed duringwinter and spring of 2002. Preliminary, astrometrically determinedorbits of the two components in the close pair by reference to thetertiary were derived. This enabled the estimation of the mass ratio(1.27) of the components in the close pair. We also determined therelative orbital inclination to be 31°. Future work needed toimprove the calibration of the data is discussed.

Catalogue of averaged stellar effective magnetic fields. I. Chemically peculiar A and B type stars
This 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 ( 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

Infrared observations of NGC 3603. II. A 11.9 mu m and 18 mu m survey
We present results of the first sub-arcsec resolution mid infraredsurvey of the southern hemisphere giant H II region NGC 3603. We haveobserved selected fields in the vicinity of the OB cluster atwavelengths of 11.9 mu m and 18 mu m using TIMMI 2 mounted on the ESO3.6 m telescope. These fields comprise areas with dense molecular cores,embedded near infrared sources as well as several OH, H2O andCH3OH maser sources, which give indications of ongoing starformation processes. We report the detection of 36 mid infrared pointsources and additionally provide flux measurements for 42 knots ofdiffuse emission. In the area surveyed the protostar IRS 9A is foundto be the most luminous source at both 11.9 mu m and 18 mu m. Located inits immediate vicinity two more sources (IRS 9B and IRS 9C) also exhibitsignificant 11.9 mu m and 18 mu m emission, thus providing furtherindications for IRS 9 being an association of protostars in its ownright. Several other 11.9 mu m point sources are related to nearinfrared sources with strong K-band excess emission and/or to masersources, which classifies them as young sources, too. In contrast, thesecond strongest 11.9 mu m source, IRS 4, appears to be in a moreevolved stage. Towards the center of the OB cluster we observe midinfrared emission arising from the three Wolf-Rayet stars WR 43abc,providing evidence for dust production and/or the presence of plasma intheir circumstellar envelopes. Spread all over the cluster, we detect anumber of sources with mid infrared fluxes close to the sensitivitylimit ( ~ 0.01 Jy) of our 11.9 mu m data, which apparently have very redK-N colours. We suggest that these sources are circumstellar disks whichare externally heated by the nearby massive stars. Towards the southand west of the OB cluster, large amounts of diffuse emission are foundclosely correlated with ionized material. We identify at least 7 shocksand ionization fronts, reflecting the enormous impact of the faststellar winds and ionizing photons, originating from the massive clusterstars, on the adjacent gas and dust. This is impressively emphasized bythe shocked and ionized material associated with the heads of the twoprominent pillars. Both pillars are easily seen in our 11.9 mu m and 18mu m data: the western one rather prominent in emission, the eastern onemore pronounced in absorption against a strong diffuse mid infraredbackground. Among those sources, for which our data do not reveal anypoint-like mid infrared counterpart, are IRS 1 as well as the three``proplyds''. However, at least for ``proplyd'' 3 we detect extended,rim-like 11.9 mu m emission. Therefore, we consider it likely that NGC3603's ``proplyds'' simply represent scaled-down versions of theneighbouring pillars, i.e. remnant density enhancements of the pristinemolecular cloud which to date were able to resist the ionizing andphotoevaporating radiation from the nearby OB stars.Based on data sets obtained at the European Southern Observatory on LaSilla, Chile.

Photometry of Mercury from SOHO/LASCO and Earth. The Phase Function from 2 to 170 deg.
CCD observations of Mercury were obtained with the large anglespectrometric coronograph (LASCO) on the solar and heliosphericobservatory spacecraft, near superior and inferior solar conjunctions.Whole disk photometry was extracted from the orange and blue filterimages and transformed to V magnitudes on the UBV system. The LASCO datawere combined with ground-based, V-filter photometry acquired at largerelongation angles. The resulting photometric phase function covers thegreatest span of angles to date and is the first wide-range function tobe obtained since the era of visual observation. We analyzed the datausing a polynomial fit and a Hapke function fit, and derived thefollowing photometric results. Mercury's fully lit brightness, adjustedto a distance of 1.0 AU from the Sun and observer, was found to beV=-0.694(+/-0.030), which is more luminous than previously measured. Thecorresponding geometric albedo is 0.142(+/-0.005). The phase integral is0.478(+/-0.005) and resulting spherical albedo is 0.068(+/-0.003). Theupper limit of a possible rotational brightness variation is about 0.05magnitude. Mercury's brightness surges by more than 40% between phaseangles 10 and 2°, while the illuminated fraction of the diskincreases by less than 1%. A set of coefficients for Hapke's functionthat fit most of the phase curve includes h=0.065+/-0.002 indicatingthat Mercury and the Moon have similar regolith compaction states andparticle size distributions, and θ-bar=16°+/-1° implyinga macroscopically smoother surface than the Moon. However, we foundother solutions that fit the observations nearly as well withsignificantly smaller and larger values of h, and with values ofθ-bar around 25°. The wide range for θ-bar is due tothe inability of the model to fit the photometry obtained at large phaseangles. .

Kinematics of Hipparcos Visual Binaries. II. Stars with Ground-Based Orbital Solutions
This paper continues kinematical investigations of the Hipparcos visualbinaries with known orbits. A sample, consisting of 804 binary systemswith orbital elements determined from ground-based observations, isselected. The mean relative error of their parallaxes is about 12% andthe mean relative error of proper motions is about 4%. However, even 41%of the sample stars lack radial velocity measurements. The computedGalactic velocity components and other kinematical parameters are usedto divide the stars with known radial velocities into kinematical agegroups. The majority (92%) of binaries from the sample are thin diskstars, 7.6% have thick disk kinematics and only two binaries have halokinematics. Among them, the long-period variable Mira Ceti has a verydiscordant {Hipparcos} and ground-based parallax values. From the wholesample, 60 stars are ascribed to the thick disk and halo population.There is an urgent need to increase the number of the identified halobinaries with known orbits and substantially improve the situation withradial velocity data for stars with known orbits.

On the anomaly of Balmer line profiles of A-type stars. Fundamental binary systems
In previous work, Gardiner et al. (\cite{GKS99}) found evidence for adiscrepancy between the Teff obtained from Balmer lines withthat from photometry and fundamental values for A-type stars. Aninvestigation into this anomaly is presented using Balmer line profilesof stars in binary system with fundamental values of bothTeff and log g. A revision of the fundamental parameters forbinary systems given by Smalley & Dworetsky (\cite{SD95}) is alsopresented. The Teff obtained by fitting Hα and Hβline profiles is compared to the fundamental values and those obtainedfrom uvby photometry. We find that the discrepancy found by Gardiner etal. (\cite{GKS99}) for stars in the range 7000 K <~ Teff<~ 9000 K is no longer evident. Partly based on DENIS data obtainedat the European Southern Observatory.

Rotational velocities of A-type stars in the northern hemisphere. II. Measurement of v sin i
This 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 ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/393/897

On the effective temperatures and surface gravities of superficially normal main sequence band B and A stars
Effective temperatures and surface gravities for 48 main sequence band Band A stars were found by matching optical region spectrophotometry andHγ profiles with the predictions of ATLAS9 solar composition modelatmospheres. When these values were compared with those found usingStrömgren uvbybeta photometry based on ATLAS6 model atmospheres, wefound a difference (photometry-spectrophotometry) of 25+/- 118 K for 29stars with 8000 K le Teff <= 10 050 K compared to 76 +/-105 K for 14 stars with 10 050 K <= Teff <= 17 000 K.The surface gravity scales are in agreement. These stars aresufficiently hot that their effective temperatures and surface gravitydeterminations are unaffected by discrepancies due to the choice ofMixing-Length or Canuto-Mazzitelli convection theories.

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

The spectroscopic binaries 21 Her and gamma Gem
In the framework of a search campaign for short-term oscillations ofearly-type stars we analysed recently obtained spectroscopic andphotometric observations of the early A-type spectroscopic binaries 21Her and gamma Gem. From the radial velocities of 21 Her we derived animproved orbital period and a distinctly smaller eccentricity incomparison with the values known up to now. Moreover, fairly convincingevidence exists for an increase of the orbital period with time. Inaddition to the orbital motion we find further periods in the orbitalresiduals. The longest period of 57\fd7 is most likely due to a thirdbody which has the mass of a brown dwarf, whereas the period of 1\fd48could be related to the half rotational period of the star. For thespectral types we deduced A1 III for the primary and M for thesecondary. Two further periods of 0\fd21 and 0\fd22 give hint to theexistence of short-term pulsations in 21 Her. Their period difference isof the order of the expected rotational period so that one possibleexplanation could be rotational splitting of nonradial pulsation modes.Because of the very strong aliasing of the data this finding has to beconfirmed by observations having a more suitable time sampling, however.The analysis of photometric series and the Hipparcos photometry give nocertain evidence for periodic light variations. For gamma Gem, besidesthe orbital RV variation, no variations with amplitudes larger thanabout 100 m s-1 could be detected. The orbital elements ofgamma Gem are only slightly changed compared to the previously knownorbital solution by including our new radial velocities, but theiraccuracy is improved. For some chemical elements we determined theirabundances, NLTE values of C, O, and Na as well as LTE values of Mg, Sc,Fe, Cr, and Ti. We find the abundances to be rather close to the solarvalues, only carbon shows a little underabundance. The research is basedon spectroscopic observations made with the 2 m telescope at theThüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Germany, and photometricobservations with the 0.6 m telescope of the National AstronomicalObservatory Rozhen, Bulgaria.

Submit a new article

Related links

  • - No Links Found -
Submit a new link

Member of following groups:

Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:06h37m42.70s
Apparent magnitude:1.93
Distance:32.134 parsecs

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesAlhena
Almeisan, BallSack   (Edit)
Bayerγ Gem
Flamsteed24 Gem
HD 1989HD 47105
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 1050-03969433
BSC 1991HR 2421

→ Request more catalogs and designations from VizieR