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 A near-IR stellar spectral library in the H band using the Mt. Abu telescopeWe present an H band near-infrared (NIR) spectral library of 135 solartype stars covering spectral types O5-M3 and luminosity classes I-V asper MK classification. The observations were carried out with 1.2 meterGurushikhar Infrared Telescope (GIRT), at Mt. Abu, India using a NICMOS3HgCdTe 256 x 256 NIR array based spectrometer. The spectra have amoderate resolution of 1000 (about A) at the H band and have beencontinuum shape corrected to their respective ective temperatures. Adetailed paper describing all the aspects of this spectral library hasbeen published in Ranade et. al. (2004). Decay of Planetary Debris DisksWe report new Spitzer 24 μm photometry of 76 main-sequence A-typestars. We combine these results with previously reported Spitzer 24μm data and 24 and 25 μm photometry from the Infrared SpaceObservatory and the Infrared Astronomy Satellite. The result is a sampleof 266 stars with mass close to 2.5 Msolar, all detected toat least the ~7 σ level relative to their photospheric emission.We culled ages for the entire sample from the literature and/orestimated them using the H-R diagram and isochrones; they range from 5to 850 Myr. We identified excess thermal emission using an internallyderived K-24 (or 25) μm photospheric color and then compared allstars in the sample to that color. Because we have excluded stars withstrong emission lines or extended emission (associated with nearbyinterstellar gas), these excesses are likely to be generated by debrisdisks. Younger stars in the sample exhibit excess thermal emission morefrequently and with higher fractional excess than do the older stars.However, as many as 50% of the younger stars do not show excessemission. The decline in the magnitude of excess emission, for thosestars that show it, has a roughly t0/time dependence, witht0~150 Myr. If anything, stars in binary systems (includingAlgol-type stars) and λ Boo stars show less excess emission thanthe other members of the sample. Our results indicate that (1) there issubstantial variety among debris disks, including that a significantnumber of stars emerge from the protoplanetary stage of evolution withlittle remaining disk in the 10-60 AU region and (2) in addition, it islikely that much of the dust we detect is generated episodically bycollisions of large planetesimals during the planet accretion end game,and that individual events often dominate the radiometric properties ofa debris system. This latter behavior agrees generally with what we knowabout the evolution of the solar system, and also with theoreticalmodels of planetary system formation. 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. Tidal Effects in Binaries of Various PeriodsWe 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 Environment of the Optically Brightest Herbig Ae Star, HD 104237We investigate the environment of the nearest Herbig Ae star, HD 104237,with a multiwavelength combination of optical coronagraphic, near-IR,and mid-IR imaging supported by optical, UV, and far-ultravioletspectroscopy. We confirm the presence of T Tauri stars associated withthe Herbig Ae star HD 104237, noted by Feigelson et al. We find that twoof the stars within 15" of HD 104237 have IR excesses, potentiallyindicating the presence of circumstellar disks, in addition to theHerbig Ae star itself. We derive a new spectral type of A7.5Ve-A8Ve forHD 104237 and find log(L/Lsolar)=1.39. With these data, HD104237 has an age of t~5 Myr, in agreement with the estimates for theother members of the association. HD 104237 is still actively accreting,with a conspicuous UV/far-UV excess seen down to 1040 Å, and isdriving a bipolar microjet termed HH 669. This makes it the second,older Herbig Ae star now known to have a microjet. The presence of themicrojet enables us to constrain the circumstellar disk to r<=0.6"(70 AU) with an inclination angle of i=18deg+14-11from pole-on. The absence of a spatially extended continuum andfluorescent H2 emission near Lyα is in agreement withthe prediction of shadowed disk models for the IR spectral energydistribution. With the high spatial density of disks in this group ofstars, proximity, and minimal reddening, HD 104237 and its companionsshould serve as ideal laboratories for probing the comparative evolutionof planetary systems.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA Contract NAS5-26555.Based on observations made with ESO's TIMMI2 camera on La Silla, Chile, under program ID 71.C-0438.Based on observations made with the ESO VLT and the Near-IR Adaptive Optics System+Conica, under program ID 71.C-0143. Based on observations made under the ON-ESO agreement for the joint operation of the 1.52 m ESO telescope.Based on observations made with the NASA-CNES-CSA Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. FUSE is operated for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University underNASA contract NAS5-32985. 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. The Brown Dwarf Desert at 75-1200 AUWe present results of a comprehensive infrared coronagraphic search forsubstellar companions to nearby stars. The research consisted of (1) a178-star survey at Steward and Lick observatories, with opticalfollow-up from Keck Observatory, capable of detecting companions withmasses greater than 30 MJ, and semimajor axes between about140 to 1200 AU; (2) a 102-star survey using the Keck Telescope, capableof detecting extrasolar brown dwarfs and planets typically more massivethan 10 MJ, with semimajor axes between about 75 and 300 AU.Only one brown dwarf companion was detected, and no planets. Thefrequency of brown dwarf companions to G, K, and M stars orbitingbetween 75 and 300 AU is measured to be 1%+/-1%, the most precisemeasurement of this quantity to date. The frequency of massive (greaterthan 30 MJ) brown dwarf companions at 120-1200 AU is found tobe f=0.7%+/-0.7%. The frequency of giant planet companions with massesbetween 5 and 10 MJ orbiting between 75 and 300 AU ismeasured here for the first time to be no more than ~3%. Together withother surveys that encompass a wide range of orbital separations, theseresults imply that substellar objects with masses between 12 and 75MJ form only rarely as companions to stars. Theories of starformation that could explain these data are only now beginning toemerge. Some anomalies in the occurrence of debris discs around main-sequence A and G starsDebris discs consist of large dust grains that are generated bycollisions of comets or asteroids around main-sequence stars, and thequantity and distribution of debris may be used to detect the presenceof perturbing planets akin to Neptune. We use stellar and disc surveysto compare the material seen around A- and G-type main-sequence stars.Debris is detected much more commonly towards A stars, even when acomparison is made only with G stars of comparable age. Detection ratesare consistent with disc durations of ~0.5 Gyr, which may occur at anytime during the main sequence. The higher detection rate for A stars canresult from this duration being a larger fraction of the main-sequencelifetime, possibly boosted by a globally slightly larger disc mass thanfor the G-type counterparts. The disc mass range at any given age is afactor of at least ~100 and any systematic decline with time is slow,with a power law estimated to not be steeper than t-1/2.Comparison with models shows that dust can be expected as late as a fewGyr when perturbing planetesimals form slowly at large orbital radii.Currently, the Solar system has little dust because the radius of theKuiper Belt is small and hence the time-scale to produce planetesimalswas less than 1 Gyr. However, the apparently constant duration of ~0.5Gyr when dust is visible is not predicted by the models. 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. 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. Stellar Kinematic Groups. II. A Reexamination of the Membership, Activity, and Age of the Ursa Major GroupUtilizing Hipparcos parallaxes, original radial velocities and recentliterature values, new Ca II H and K emission measurements,literature-based abundance estimates, and updated photometry (includingrecent resolved measurements of close doubles), we revisit the UrsaMajor moving group membership status of some 220 stars to produce afinal clean list of nearly 60 assured members, based on kinematic andphotometric criteria. Scatter in the velocity dispersions and H-Rdiagram is correlated with trial activity-based membership assignments,indicating the usefulness of criteria based on photometric andchromospheric emission to examine membership. Closer inspection,however, shows that activity is considerably more robust at excludingmembership, failing to do so only for <=15% of objects, perhapsconsiderably less. Our UMa members demonstrate nonzero vertex deviationin the Bottlinger diagram, behavior seen in older and recent studies ofnearby young disk stars and perhaps related to Galactic spiralstructure. Comparison of isochrones and our final UMa group membersindicates an age of 500+/-100 Myr, some 200 Myr older than thecanonically quoted UMa age. Our UMa kinematic/photometric members' meanchromospheric emission levels, rotational velocities, and scattertherein are indistinguishable from values in the Hyades and smaller thanthose evinced by members of the younger Pleiades and M34 clusters,suggesting these characteristics decline rapidly with age over 200-500Myr. None of our UMa members demonstrate inordinately low absolutevalues of chromospheric emission, but several may show residual fluxes afactor of >=2 below a Hyades-defined lower envelope. If one defines aMaunder-like minimum in a relative sense, then the UMa results maysuggest that solar-type stars spend 10% of their entire main-sequencelives in periods of precipitously low activity, which is consistent withestimates from older field stars. As related asides, we note six evolvedstars (among our UMa nonmembers) with distinctive kinematics that liealong a 2 Gyr isochrone and appear to be late-type counterparts to diskF stars defining intermediate-age star streams in previous studies,identify a small number of potentially very young but isolated fieldstars, note that active stars (whether UMa members or not) in our samplelie very close to the solar composition zero-age main sequence, unlikeHipparcos-based positions in the H-R diagram of Pleiades dwarfs, andargue that some extant transformations of activity indices are notadequate for cool dwarfs, for which Ca II infrared triplet emissionseems to be a better proxy than Hα-based values for Ca II H and Kindices. Catalogue of averaged stellar effective magnetic fields. I. Chemically peculiar A and B type starsThis paper presents the catalogue and the method of determination ofaveraged quadratic effective magnetic fields < B_e > for 596 mainsequence and giant stars. The catalogue is based on measurements of thestellar effective (or mean longitudinal) magnetic field strengths B_e,which were compiled from the existing literature.We analysed the properties of 352 chemically peculiar A and B stars inthe catalogue, including Am, ApSi, He-weak, He-rich, HgMn, ApSrCrEu, andall ApSr type stars. We have found that the number distribution of allchemically peculiar (CP) stars vs. averaged magnetic field strength isdescribed by a decreasing exponential function. Relations of this typehold also for stars of all the analysed subclasses of chemicalpeculiarity. The exponential form of the above distribution function canbreak down below about 100 G, the latter value representingapproximately the resolution of our analysis for A type stars.Table A.1 and its references are only available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/407/631 and Tables 3 to 9are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org HD 98116 (FO Leonis) - not an eclipsing binaryNot Available Limits on Chromospheres and Convection among the Main-Sequence A StarsIn deeply convective stars, the nonthermal energy required to heat thechromosphere ultimately is supplied by turbulent magnetoconvection.Because the early and middle A stars have very shallow convectivelayers, they are not expected to produce enough magnetoconvective powerto sustain luminous chromospheres or hot coronae. Here we describe asearch for chromospheric emission in the far-ultraviolet (905-1185Å) spectra of seven main-sequence A stars, based on observationsfrom the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) telescope. Oursurvey spans the interval in effective temperature along the mainsequence over which powerful subsurface convection zones and hencechromospheric emission are expected to vanish. The presence or absenceof high-temperature emissions in our FUSE spectra therefore can be usedto identify the locus for the transition from convective to radiativeenvelopes-a change in stellar structure that is difficult to assess byother means. We present our observations and analysis of the subcoronalemission lines of C III λλ977, 1175 and O VIλλ1032, 1037, which bracket a range in formationtemperatures from 50,000 to 300,000 K. To supplement our FUSEobservations, we also report Goddard High Resolution Spectrographmeasurements of Si III λ1206 and H I Lyα λ1215,obtained from archival observations of the Hubble Space Telescope, aswell as X-ray measurements from previous ROSAT survey and pointedobservations. We detected C III and O VI emission features in the FUSEspectra of the coolest stars of our sample, at Teff<~8200K. When normalized to the bolometric luminosities, the detectedemission-line fluxes are comparable to solar values. We detected none ofthe hotter stars in our survey at Teff>=8300 K. Upperlimits on the normalized flux in some instances approach 40 times lessthan solar. Within an uncertainty in the effective temperature scale ofup to several hundred kelvins, our FUSE observations indicate that thetransition between convective and radiative stellar envelopes takesplace at, or very near, the point along the main sequence where stellarstructure models predict and, moreover, that the changeover occurs veryabruptly, over a temperature interval no greater than ~100 K in width.Our FUSE sample also includes two binary stars. In both cases, thenarrow UV line profiles we have observed suggest that thehigh-temperature emission is most likely associated with the late-typecompanions rather than the A stars themselves. Based on observationsmade with the NASA-CNES-CSA Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer,operated for NASA by Johns Hopkins University under NASA contractNAS5-32985. Metallicity Determinations from Ultraviolet-Visual Spectrophotometry. I. The Test SampleNew visual spectrophotometric observations of non-supergiant solarneighborhood stars are combined with IUE Newly Extracted Spectra (INES)energy distributions in order to derive their overall metallicities,[M/H]. This fundamental parameter, together with effective temperatureand apparent angular diameter, is obtained by applying the flux-fittingmethod while surface gravity is derived from the comparison withevolutionary tracks in the theoretical H-R diagram. Trigonometricparallaxes for the stars of the sample are taken from the HipparcosCatalogue. The quality of the flux calibration is discussed by analyzinga test sample via comparison with external photometry. The validity ofthe method in providing accurate metallicities is tested on a selectedsample of G-type stars with well-determined atmospheric parameters fromrecent high-resolution spectral analysis. The extension of the overallprocedure to the determination of the chemical composition of all theINES non-supergiant G-type stars with accurate parallaxes is planned inorder to investigate their atmospheric temperature structure. Based onobservations collected at the INAOE G. Haro'' Observatory, Cananea(Mexico). Magnetic survey of bright northern main sequence starsThe first results of a systematic search for magnetic fields in thebrightest upper main sequence (MS) stars are presented. The main goal isto survey the stars with about the same detection limit and to improveexisting statistics of their magnetism. The target list contains 57upper MS stars and represents well B0.5-F9 stars. High-resolution Zeemanspectra were obtained for 30 stars of the list. The accuracy of themagnetic field measurements ranges from 20 to 300 G depending mainly onspectral class. In the majority of studied stars we did not detectmagnetic fields. In some stars we suspect the presence of a weakmagnetic field. These are the best candidates for more extensivestudies. A particular case is the star chi Dra where we probablydetected the global magnetic field. The longitudinal field strength isB_l= -54+/-12 G. Further observations of this star are needed to confirmthe detection and to ascertain if the magnetic field is variable withthe period of rotation. Based on observations collected at the 1 mtelescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory (Nizhnij Arkhyz,Russia). Rotational velocities of A-type stars in the northern hemisphere. II. Measurement of v sin iThis work is the second part of the set of measurements of v sin i forA-type stars, begun by Royer et al. (\cite{Ror_02a}). Spectra of 249 B8to F2-type stars brighter than V=7 have been collected at Observatoirede Haute-Provence (OHP). Fourier transforms of several line profiles inthe range 4200-4600 Å are used to derive v sin i from thefrequency of the first zero. Statistical analysis of the sampleindicates that measurement error mainly depends on v sin i and thisrelative error of the rotational velocity is found to be about 5% onaverage. The systematic shift with respect to standard values fromSlettebak et al. (\cite{Slk_75}), previously found in the first paper,is here confirmed. Comparisons with data from the literature agree withour findings: v sin i values from Slettebak et al. are underestimatedand the relation between both scales follows a linear law ensuremath vsin inew = 1.03 v sin iold+7.7. Finally, thesedata are combined with those from the previous paper (Royer et al.\cite{Ror_02a}), together with the catalogue of Abt & Morrell(\cite{AbtMol95}). The resulting sample includes some 2150 stars withhomogenized rotational velocities. Based on observations made atObservatoire de Haute Provence (CNRS), France. Tables \ref{results} and\ref{merging} are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.125.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/393/897 A 25 micron search for Vega-like disks around main-sequence stars with ISOWe present an ISO 25 mu m photometric survey of a sample of 81 nearbymain-sequence stars in order to determine the incidence of warm'' dustdisks. All stars were detected by ISO. We used an empirical relation toestimate the photospheric flux of the stars at 25 mu m. We find 5 stars(6%) with excess above the photospheric flux which we attribute to aVega-like disk. These stars show disk temperatures not warmer than 120K. Our study indicates that warm disks are relatively rare. Not a singlestar in our sample older than 400 Myr has a warm disk. We find an upperlimit of Mdisk = 2x 10-5 Moplus forthe mass of the disks which we did not detect. ISO is an ESA projectwith instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PIcountries: France, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom) andwith the participation of ISAS and NASA. 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 The proper motions of fundamental stars. I. 1535 stars from the Basic FK5A direct combination of the positions given in the HIPPARCOS cataloguewith astrometric ground-based catalogues having epochs later than 1939allows us to obtain new proper motions for the 1535 stars of the BasicFK5. The results are presented as the catalogue Proper Motions ofFundamental Stars (PMFS), Part I. The median precision of the propermotions is 0.5 mas/year for mu alpha cos delta and 0.7mas/year for mu delta . The non-linear motions of thephotocentres of a few hundred astrometric binaries are separated intotheir linear and elliptic motions. Since the PMFS proper motions do notinclude the information given by the proper motions from othercatalogues (HIPPARCOS, FK5, FK6, etc.) this catalogue can be used as anindependent source of the proper motions of the fundamental stars.Catalogue (Table 3) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strastg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/365/222 Near-Infrared Classification Spectroscopy: J-Band Spectra of Fundamental MK StandardsWe present a catalog of J-band spectra for 88 fundamental MK standardstars observed at a resolving power of R~3000. This contribution servesas a companion atlas to the K-band spectra recently published by Wallace& Hinkle and the H-band atlas by Meyer and coworkers. We report datafrom 7400 to 9550 cm-1 (1.05-1.34 μm) for stars ofspectral types O7-M6 and luminosity classes I-V as defined in the MKsystem. In reducing these data, special care has been taken to removetime-variable telluric features of water vapor. We identify atomic andmolecular indexes that are both temperature and luminosity sensitivethat aid in the classification of stellar spectra in the J band. Inaddition to being useful in the classification of late-type stars, the Jband contains several features of interest in the study of early-typestellar photospheres. These data are available electronically foranonymous FTP in addition to being served on the World Wide Web. Sixth Catalogue of Fundamental Stars (FK6). Part I. Basic fundamental stars with direct solutionsThe FK6 is a suitable combination of the results of the HIPPARCOSastrometry satellite with ground-based data, measured over more than twocenturies and summarized in the FK5. Part I of the FK6 (abbreviatedFK6(I)) contains 878 basic fundamental stars with direct solutions. Suchdirect solutions are appropriate for single stars or for objects whichcan be treated like single stars. From the 878 stars in Part I, we haveselected 340 objects as "astrometrically excellent stars", since theirinstantaneous proper motions and mean (time-averaged) ones do not differsignificantly. Hence most of the astrometrically excellent stars arewell-behaving "single-star candidates" with good astrometric data. Thesestars are most suited for high-precision astrometry. On the other hand,199 of the stars in Part I are Δμ binaries in the sense ofWielen et al. (1999). Many of them are newly discovered probablebinaries with no other hitherto known indication of binarity. The FK6gives, besides the classical "single-star mode" solutions (SI mode),other solutions which take into account the fact that hidden astrometricbinaries among "apparently single-stars" introduce sizable "cosmicerrors" into the quasi-instantaneously measured HIPPARCOS proper motionsand positions. The FK6 gives in addition to the SI mode the "long-termprediction (LTP) mode" and the "short-term prediction (STP) mode". TheseLTP and STP modes are on average the most precise solutions forapparently single stars, depending on the epoch difference with respectto the HIPPARCOS epoch of about 1991. The typical mean error of anFK6(I) proper motion in the single-star mode is 0.35 mas/year. This isabout a factor of two better than the typical HIPPARCOS errors for thesestars of 0.67 mas/year. In the long-term prediction mode, in whichcosmic errors are taken into account, the FK6(I) proper motions have atypical mean error of 0.50 mas/year, which is by a factor of more than 4better than the corresponding error for the HIPPARCOS values of 2.21mas/year (cosmic errors included). Photometric Measurements of the Fields of More than 700 Nearby StarsIn preparation for optical/IR interferometric searches for substellarcompanions of nearby stars, we undertook to characterize the fields ofall nearby stars visible from the Northern Hemisphere to determinesuitable companions for interferometric phase referencing. Because theKeck Interferometer in particular will be able to phase-reference oncompanions within the isoplanatic patch (30") to about 17th magnitude atK, we took images at V, r, and i that were deep enough to determine iffield stars were present to this magnitude around nearby stars using aspot-coated CCD. We report on 733 fields containing 10,629 measurementsin up to three filters (Gunn i, r and Johnson V) of nearby stars down toabout 13th magnitude at V. A Second Catalog of Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2 Filter Photometry: Ultraviolet Photometry of 614 StarsUltraviolet photometry from the Wisconsin Experiment Package on theOrbiting Astronomical Observatory 2 (OAO 2) is presented for 614 stars.Previously unpublished magnitudes from 12 filter bandpasses withwavelengths ranging from 1330 to 4250 Å have been placed on thewhite dwarf model atmosphere absolute flux scale. The fluxes wereconverted to magnitudes using V=0 for F(V)=3.46x10^-9 ergs cm^-2 s^-1Å^-1, or m_lambda=-2.5logF_lambda-21.15. This second catalogeffectively doubles the amount of OAO 2 photometry available in theliterature and includes many objects too bright to be observed withmodern space observatories. High resolution spectroscopy over lambda lambda 8500-8750 Å for GAIA. I. Mapping the MKK classification systemWe present an Echelle+CCD high resolution spectroscopic atlas (0.25Ä/pix dispersion, 0.43 Ä FWHM resolution and 20 000 resolvingpower) mapping the MKK classification system over the interval lambdalambda 8500-8750 Ä. The wavelength interval is remarkably free fromtelluric lines and it is centered on the near-IR triplet of Ca II, thehead of hydrogen Paschen series and several strong metallic lines. Thespectra of 131 stars of types between O4 and M8 and luminosity classes Ithrough V are included in the atlas. Special care was put in maintainingthe highest instrumental homogeneity over the whole set of data. Thecapability to derive accurate MKK spectral types from high resolutionobservations over the interval lambda lambda 8500-8750 Ä isdiscussed. The observations have been performed as part of an evaluationstudy of possible spectroscopic performances for the astrometric missionGAIA planned by ESA. Tables~3 and 4 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/ Abstract.html}\fnmsep\thanks{ Thespectra of the stars listed in Table~2 are also available in electronicform at the CDS or via the personal HomePagehttp://ulisse.pd.astro.it/Astro/Atlases/}\fnmsep\thanks{ Figures 3--28are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.com Age determinations of main-sequence stars: combining different methodsWe have determined the age of a sample of nearby main-sequence starswith spectral types B9-K9. We have derived the stellar ages from fivedifferent age estimators: the location in the HR diagram compared totheoretical isochrones, the rotational velocity, the strength ofchromospheric calcium emission lines, the stellar metallicity, and theirspace velocity. New calibrations consistent with recent theoreticalisochrones are provided for the last four indicators. For hot stars,isochrones are the best indicator, while stellar rotation is best forcool stars. However, many stars require in fact a combination ofdifferent methods to properly bracket their actual age. We also discussthe uncertainties involved, in particular those in using isochrones, andwe find that these uncertainties are often underestimated in theliterature. Identification of lambda Bootis stars using IUE spectra. II. High resolution dataStars included in the catalogue of lambda Bootis stars by Paunzen et al.(\cite{Paunzen97}) with high resolution spectra (FWHM: 0.10-0.25 Ä)in the INES Archive of the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite(IUE) are analyzed here in order to establish membership criteria forthe lambda Bootis group. Line-ratios of carbon to heavier elements (Si,Al, Ca) were adopted as criteria in the SWP range (1150-1980 Ä).For the LWP range (1850-3350 Ä), the intensity of metallic lines(Fe and Mg) was used. These criteria, together with those derived forlow resolution spectra, make the IUE Final Archive a powerful tool tofind new {lambda Bootis} candidates. Near-Infrared Classification Spectroscopy: H-Band Spectra of Fundamental MK StandardsWe present a catalog of H-band spectra for 85 stars of approximatelysolar abundance observed at a resolving power of 3000 with the KPNOMayall 4 m Fourier Transform Spectrometer. The atlas covers spectraltypes O7-M5 and luminosity classes I-V as defined in the MK system. Weidentify both atomic and molecular indices and line ratios that aretemperature and luminosity sensitive, allowing spectral classificationto be carried out in the H-band. The line ratios permit spectralclassification in the presence of continuum excess emission, which iscommonly found in pre-main-sequence or evolved stars. We demonstratethat with spectra of R = 1000 obtained at signal-to-noise ratio >50,it is possible to derive spectral types within +/-2 subclasses forlate-type stars. These data are available electronically through theAstronomical Data Center in addition to being served on the World WideWeb.
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