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Near-infrared line spectropolarimetry of hot massive stars
In order to study the inner parts of the circumstellar material aroundoptically faint infrared bright objects, we present the firstmedium-resolution spectropolarimetric data taken in the near-infrared.In this paper, we discuss Paβ line data of GL 490, a well-knownembedded massive young stellar object, and of MWC 349A and MWC 342, twooptically faint stars that are proposed to be in the pre-main-sequencephase of evolution. As a check on the method, the classical Be starζ Tau, known to display line polarization changes at opticalwavelengths, was observed as well. Three of our targets show a `lineeffect' across Paβ. For ζ Tau and MWC 349A, this line effectis due to depolarization by a circumstellar electron-scattering disc. Inboth cases, the position angle of the polarization is consistent withthat of the larger scale discs imaged at other wavelengths, validatinginfrared spectropolarimetry as a means to detect flattening on smallscales. The tentative detection of a rotation in the polarizationposition angle at Paβ in the embedded massive young stellar objectGL 490 suggests the presence of a small-scale rotating accretion discwith an inner hole - similar to those recently discovered at opticalwavelengths in Herbig Ae and T Tauri stars.

Abundances and Depletions of Interstellar Oxygen
We report on the abundance of interstellar neutral oxygen (O I) for 26sight lines, using data from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer,the International Spectroscopic Explorer, and the Hubble SpaceTelescope. O I column densities are derived by measuring the equivalentwidths of several ultraviolet absorption lines and subsequently fittingthose to a curve of growth. We consider both our general sample of 26sight lines and a more restrictive sample of 10 sight lines that utilizeHST data for a measurement of the weak 1355 Å line of oxygen andare thus better constrained owing to our sampling of all three sectionsof the curve of growth. The column densities of our HST sample showratios of O/H that agree with the current best solar value if dust isconsidered, with the possible exception of one sight line (HD 37903). Wenote some very limited evidence in the HST sample for trends ofincreasing depletion with respect to RV and f(H2),but the trends are not conclusive. Unlike a recent result from Cartledgeet al., we do not see evidence for increasing depletion with respect to, but our HST sample contains only two points moredense than the critical density determined in that paper. The columndensities of our more general sample show some scatter in O/H, but mostagree with the solar value to within errors. We discuss these results inthe context of establishing the best method for determining interstellarabundances, the unresolved question of the best value for O/H in theinterstellar medium, the O/H ratios observed in Galactic stars, and thedepletion of gas-phase oxygen onto dust grains.

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

Large-scale wind structures in OB supergiants: a search for rotationally modulated Hα variability
We present the results of a long-term monitoring campaign of theHα line in a sample of bright OB supergiants (O7.5-B9) which aimsat detecting rotationally modulated changes potentially related to theexistence of large-scale wind structures. A total of 22 objects weremonitored during 36 nights spread over six months in 2001-2002.Coordinated broad-band photometric observations were also obtained forsome targets. Conspicuous evidence for variability in Hα is foundfor the stars displaying a feature contaminated by wind emission. Mostchanges take place on a daily time-scale, although hourly variations arealso occasionally detected. Convincing evidence for a cyclical patternof variability in Hα has been found in two stars: HD 14134 and HD42087. Periodic signals are also detected in other stars, butindependent confirmation is required. Rotational modulation is suggestedfrom the similarity between the observed recurrence time-scales (in therange 13-25 d) and estimated periods of stellar rotation. We callattention to the atypical case of HD 14134, which exhibits a clear12.8-d periodicity, both in the photometric and in the spectroscopicdata sets. This places this object among a handful of early-type starswhere one may observe a clear link between extended wind structures andphotospheric disturbances. Further modelling may test the hypothesisthat azimuthally-extended wind streams are responsible for the patternsof spectral variability in our target stars.

ARIES imaging polarimeter.
An Imaging Polarimeter has been fabricated for use with liquid- N2cooled CCD camera and is designed to suit 104-cm Sampurnanand telescopewith an f/13 focus at Aryabhatta Research Institute of ObservationalSciences (ARIES), Naini Tal. The instrument measures the linearpolarisation in broad B, V and R band and has a field of view ~ 20' x20'. We are presenting here some observations regarding the polarisationof some polarised as well as unpolarised stars with a view to show theperformance of our polarimeter.

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.

Infrared and visual lunar occultations measurements of stellar diameters and new binary stars detections at the Calar Alto 1.5 m telescope
We present a program of routine lunar occultations, at optical andnear-IR wavelengths, recently started at the 1.5 m Spanish telescope atthe Calar Alto Observatory. Both a CCD and an infrared array detectorare used. The program is aimed mainly at the detection and investigationof binary systems, although results in other areas of stellar researchare also anticipated. Occultations are reported for a total of 40 stars.Among these, SAO 164567, SAO 78258and AG+24 788 have been discovered to be binaries,with projected separations as small as 0.006 arcsec. Furthermore,binarity is suspected in the case of SAO 78119 andSAO 79251. Additionally, the angular diameter of thelate-type giant 30 Psc and of the infrared starV349 Gem have been accurately measured, the latterfor the first time. We finally evaluate the instrumentation performancein terms of the limiting magnitude and angular resolution, and discussapplications to larger telescopes.Appendix A is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

Polarimetric evolution of V838 Monocerotis
We present the results of our polarimetric and spectropolarimetricmonitoring of V838 Monocerotis, performed at the Asiago and Crimeanobservatories during and after the multiple outbursts that occurred inJanuary-March 2002. The polarization of the object is mainly due tointerstellar polarization (P˜ 2.48%). Intrinsic polarization up to˜ 0.7% at 5000 Å is present during the second maximum of theobject (February 2002). This intrinsic component increases towardshorter wavelengths but our limited spectral coverage (5000-7500Å) does not allow conclusive inferences about its origin. A strongdepolarization across the Hα profile is observed. Theinterstellar polarization gives a lower limit to the reddening of E(B-V)>0.28, with E(B-V)˜ 0.5 being the most probable value. A normalratio of total to selective absorption (RV=3.22±0.17)was derived from the wavelength of maximum interstellar polarization.This suggests a low (if any) contribution by circumstellar material witha peculiar dust to gas ratio. A polarimetric map of a portion of thelight echo shows a complex polarization distribution reachingPmax=45%.Based on observations collected at Padua Astronomical Observatory atAsiago and Crimean Astrophysical Observatory.

Toward an adequate method to isolate spectroscopic families of diffuse interstellar bands
We divide some of the observed diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) intofamilies that appear to have the spectral structure of single species.Three different methods are applied to separate such families, exploringthe best approach for future investigations of this type. Starting witha statistical treatment of the data, we found that statistical methodsby themselves give insufficient results. Two other methods of dataanalysis (`averaging equivalent widths' and `investigating the figureswith arranged spectrograms') were found to be more useful as tools forfinding the spectroscopic families of DIBs. On the basis of thesemethods, we suggest some candidates as `relatives' of 5780- and5797-Å bands.

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.

High-Resolution Observations of Interstellar Ca I Absorption-Implications for Depletions and Electron Densities in Diffuse Clouds
We present high-resolution (FWHM~0.3-1.5 km s-1) spectra,obtained with the AAT UHRF, the McDonald Observatory 2.7 m coudéspectrograph, and/or the KPNO coudé feed, of interstellar Ca Iabsorption toward 30 Galactic stars. Comparisons of the column densitiesof Ca I, Ca II, K I, and other species-for individual componentsidentified in the line profiles and also when integrated over entirelines of sight-yield information on relative electron densities anddepletions (dependent on assumptions regarding the ionizationequilibrium). There is no obvious relationship between the ratio N(CaI)/N(Ca II) [equal to ne/(Γ/αr) forphotoionization equilibrium] and the fraction of hydrogen in molecularform f(H2) (often taken to be indicative of the local densitynH). For a smaller sample of sight lines for which thethermal pressure (nHT) and local density can be estimated viaanalysis of the C I fine-structure excitation, the average electrondensity inferred from C, Na, and K (assuming photoionizationequilibrium) seems to be independent of nH andnHT. While the electron density (ne) obtained fromthe ratio N(Ca I)/N(Ca II) is often significantly higher than the valuesderived from other elements, the patterns of relative nederived from different elements show both similarities and differencesfor different lines of sight-suggesting that additional processesbesides photoionization and radiative recombination commonly andsignificantly affect the ionization balance of heavy elements in diffuseinterstellar clouds. Such additional processes may also contribute tothe (apparently) larger than expected fractional ionizations(ne/nH) found for some lines of sight withindependent determinations of nH. In general, inclusion of``grain-assisted'' recombination does reduce the inferred ne,but it does not reconcile the ne estimated from differentelements; it may, however, suggest some dependence of ne onnH. The depletion of calcium may have a much weakerdependence on density than was suggested by earlier comparisons with CHand CN. Two appendices present similar high-resolution spectra of Fe Ifor a few stars and give a compilation of column density data for Ca I,Ca II, Fe I, and S I.

Observations of Rotationally Resolved C3 in Translucent Sight Lines
The rotationally resolved spectrum of theA1Πu<--X1Σ+g000-000 transition of C3, centered at 4051.6 Å, hasbeen observed along 10 translucent lines of sight. To interpret thesespectra, a new method for the determination of column densities andanalysis of excitation profiles involving the simulation and fitting ofobserved spectra has been developed. The populations of lower rotationallevels (J<=14) in C3 are best fitted by thermaldistributions that are consistent with the kinetic temperaturesdetermined from the excitation profile of C2. Just as in thecase of C2, higher rotational levels (J>14) ofC3 show increased nonthermal population distributions inclouds that have been determined to have total gas densities below ~500cm-3.

Some Diffuse Interstellar Bands Related to Interstellar C2 Molecules
We have investigated the correlations between the equivalent widths of21 selected diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) and the correspondinginterstellar column densities N(C2), N(CN), and N(CH), toward53 stars with color excesses 0.11<=E(B-V)<=1.99. The observationaldata were derived primarily from echelle spectra acquired at R=38,000 aspart of our extensive, continuing survey of the bands. All but six ofthe 53 final spectra show signal-to-noise ratios >=800 at 5780Å. The principal result presented here is that seven of the 21bands prove to be examples of ``the C2 DIBs,'' a class ofweak, narrow bands whose normalized equivalent widthsWλ(X)/Wλ (λ6196) are wellcorrelated specifically with N(C2)/E(B-V) via power laws. Incontrast, the similarly normalized equivalent widths of the 14 other,well-known DIBs analyzed here are uncorrelated, or weaklyanticorrelated, with N(C2)/E(B-V), to within theobservational uncertainties. Thus, the polyatomic molecule(s) presumedto cause these seven C2 DIBs may bear a direct chemicalrelation to C2 that is not shared by the polyatomic moleculesputatively responsible for the other 14 bands. The C2 DIBsalso show positive correlations with N(CN)/E(B-V) and N(CH)/E(B-V) inour particular sample of light paths, although generally with shallowerslopes in the case of N(CN) and with greater scatter in the case ofN(CH). Eleven additional C2 DIBs are also identified but arenot analyzed here. Among the 18 C2 DIBs identified, fourapparently have not been previously detected. The λ4963 band isgenerally the strongest of the 18 C2 DIBs, while theλ4734 band shows the most sensitive correlation withN(C2).Based on observations obtained with the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 mtelescope, which is owned and operated by the Astrophysical ResearchConsortium.

The total-to-selective extinction ratio determined from near IR photometry of OB stars
The paper presents an extensive list of the total to selectiveextinction ratios R calculated from the infrared magnitudes of 597 O andB stars using the extrapolation method. The IR magnitudes of these starswere taken from the literature. The IR colour excesses are determinedwith the aid of "artificial standards" - Wegner (1994). The individualand mean values of total to selective extinction ratios R differ in mostcases from the average value R=3.10 +/-0.05 - Wegner (1993) in differentOB associations. The relation between total to selective extinctionratios R determined in this paper and those calculated using the "methodof variable extinction" and the Cardelli et al. (1989) formulae isdiscussed. The R values presented in this paper can be used to determineindividual absolute magnitudes of reddened OB stars with knowntrigonometric parallaxes.

Grey extinction in the solar neighbourhood?
Some of the close O and B dwarfs appear to be fainter than indicated bytheir Hipparcos distances, intrinsic absolute magnitudes attributed totheir spectral types, and estimated selective interstellar extinction.This discrepancy is explained in the paper by the grey (neutral)interstellar extinction in the visual range of spectrum. The measure ofsuch an effect is related to discrete features of the interstellarmatter.

Rotational Velocities of B Stars
We 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.

Evidence for Extremely High Dust Polarization Efficiency in NGC 3184
Recent studies have found the Type II-plateau supernova (SN) 1999gi tobe highly polarized (pmax=5.8%, where pmax is thehighest degree of polarization measured in the optical bandpass) andminimally reddened [E(B-V)=0.21+/-0.09 mag]. From multiple lines ofevidence, including the convincing fit of a ``Serkowski'' interstellarpolarization (ISP) curve to the continuum polarization shape, weconclude that the bulk of the observed polarization is likely due todust along the line of sight and is not intrinsic to SN 1999gi. Wepresent new spectropolarimetric observations of four distant Galacticstars close to the line of sight to SN 1999gi (two are within 0.02d) andfind that all are null to within 0.2%, effectively eliminating Galacticdust as the cause of the high polarization. The high ISP coupled withthe low reddening implies an extraordinarily high polarizationefficiency for the dust along this line of sight in NGC 3184:ISP/E(B-V)=31+22-9% mag -1. This isinconsistent with the empirical Galactic limit [ISP/E(B-V)<9%mag-1] and represents the highest polarization efficiency yetconfirmed for a single sight line in either the Milky Way or an externalgalaxy.

Is It Round? Spectropolarimetry of the Type II-p Supernova 1999EM
We present the first multiepoch spectropolarimetry of a Type II plateausupernova (SN II-P), with optical observations of SN 1999em on days 7,40, 49, 159, and 163 after discovery. These data are used to probe thegeometry of the electron scattering atmosphere before, during, and afterthe plateau phase, which ended roughly 90 days after discovery. Weakcontinuum polarization with an unchanging polarization angle(θ~160deg) is detected at all epochs, with p~0.2% onday 7, p~0.3% on days 40 and 49, and p~0.5% in the final observations.Distinct polarization modulations across strong line features arepresent on days 40, 49, 159, and 163. Uncorrected for interstellarpolarization (which is believed to be quite small), polarization peaksare associated with strong P Cygni absorption troughs, and nearlycomplete depolarization is seen across the Hα emission profile.The temporal evolution of the continuum polarization and sharp changesacross lines indicate polarization intrinsic to SN 1999em. When modeledin terms of the oblate, electron scattering atmospheres of Höflich,the observed polarization suggests an asphericity of at least 7% duringthe period studied. The temporal polarization increase may indicategreater asphericity deeper into the ejecta. We discuss the implicationsof asphericity on the use of Type II-P supernovae as primaryextragalactic distance indicators through the expanding photospheremethod (EPM). If asphericity produces directionally dependent flux andpeculiar galaxy motions are characterized byσvrec=300 km s-1, it is shownthat the agreement between previous EPM measurements of SNe II anddistances to the host galaxies predicted by a linear Hubble lawrestricts mean SN II asphericity to values less than 30% (3 σ)during the photospheric phase.

A possible sets of diffuse bands originating at the same carrier
This paper discusses measurements of eight selected diffuse interstellarbands (DIBs): lambda lambda 5793, 5809, 5819, 5828, 6196, 6397, 6614 and6660 performed in high resolution, high S/N spectra of 41 reddenedstars. Central depths, considered less error-prone than equivalentwidths, are measured and mutual correlations between the selected DIBsare analyzed. Tight correlations between the DIBs: 5809, 6196, 6614 and6660 may suggest their common origin despite their widths differing by afactor of up to 2. The performed simulations prove that this fact doesnot preclude a common, molecular carrier of such features.

Multicomponent radiatively driven stellar winds. II. Gayley-Owocki heating in multitemperature winds of OB stars
We show that the so-called Gayley-Owocki (Doppler) heating is importantfor the temperature structure of the wind of main sequence stars coolerthan the spectral type O6. The formula for Gayley-Owocki heating isderived directly from the Boltzmann equation as a direct consequence ofthe dependence of the driving force on the velocity gradient. SinceGayley-Owocki heating deposits heat directly on the absorbing ions, wealso investigated the possibility that individual components of theradiatively driven stellar wind have different temperatures. This effectis negligible in the wind of O stars, whereas a significant temperaturedifference takes place in the winds of main sequence B stars for starscooler than B2. Typical temperature differences between absorbing ionsand other flow components for such stars is of the order 103K. However, in the case when the passive component falls back onto thestar, the absorbing component reaches temperatures of order106 K, which allows for emission of X-rays. Moreover, wecompare our computed terminal velocities with the observed ones. Wefound quite good agreement between predicted and observed terminalvelocities. The systematic difference coming from the using of the socalled ``cooking formula'' has been removed.

Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statistics
The 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 ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcar?J/A+A/367/521

The 74th Special Name-list of Variable Stars
We present the Name-list introducing GCVS names for 3153 variable starsdiscovered by the Hipparcos mission.

On correlations between diffuse interstellar bands
One way to better apprehend the problem of diffuse interstellar bands(DIBs) is to search for correlations between the bands in a large sampleof spectra towards various lines of sight: a strict correlation mayimply that a common carrier is at the origin of the bands, whereas anon-correlation means that different species are involved. We proposethis observational test for 10 DIBs collected in up to 62 Galactic linesof sight. Strong DIBs do not strictly correlate, and sometimes thecorrelation is very poor. Only one example of a strict correlation hasbeen found in our sample between the DIBs at 6614 and 6196 Ä, thatcould signify a single carrier for those two bands. The general absenceof strict correlations is discussed in the context of molecular carriersfor the DIBs.

UBV beta Database for Case-Hamburg Northern and Southern Luminous Stars
A database of photoelectric UBV beta photometry for stars listed in theCase-Hamburg northern and southern Milky Way luminous stars surveys hasbeen compiled from the original research literature. Consisting of over16,000 observations of some 7300 stars from over 500 sources, thisdatabase constitutes the most complete compilation of such photometryavailable for intrinsically luminous stars around the Galactic plane.Over 5000 stars listed in the Case-Hamburg surveys still lackfundamental photometric data.

UBV polarimetry of 361 A- and F-type stars in selected areas
We present simultaneous UBV linear polarization measurements for 361 A-and F-type stars with accurate colour excess and distance determination.These stars are distributed in 35 Kapteyn's Selected Areas, covering thethird and fourth quadrants of the galactic plane (|b| <= 30degr ).The obtained polarization and the known colour excess are compared. Ananalysis of the polarization distribution as a function of the stellardistance is also performed. Based on observations collected at theEuropean Southern Observatory (ESO), La Silla, Chile.

Long-term visual spectrophotometric behaviour of Be stars
The long-term spectrophotometric variations of 49 Be stars are studiedusing the U and V magnitudes of the UBV system, the total Balmerdiscontinuity D and the visible gradient Phi _rb. BCD spectrophotometricand photometric data in five different photometric systems, obtained inmost cases since 1950 and reduced to the BCD system, were used. The(U,D), (V,D), (Phi _rb,D) and (Phi _rb,V) correlations obtained differfrom star to star and they can be single or double-valued. They differclearly for Be phases or Be-shell phases. Be stars with small Vsin ishowing the ``spectrophotometric shell behaviour'': D > D_*, werefound. This finding implies either that strongly flattened models ofcircumstellar envelopes are in doubt for these stars, or that not all Bestars are rapid rotators. Comparison of observed variations with thosepredicted for model Be stars with spherical circumstellar envelopes ofvariable densities and dimensions implies that spectrophotometricpatterns of Be phases are due to circumstellar envelopes in low opacityregimes, while those of spectrophotometric shell phases are due tocircumstellar envelopes in high opacity regimes. In a given star, theenvelope regions responsible for the observed variations of D and Phi_rbin spectrophotometric shell phases seem to be smaller and denser thanthose producing the observed variations of these parameters inspectrophotometric Be phases. The high positive RV found in strong shellphases might favor the formation of compact circumstellar layers nearthe star. Figure 6 is only available in electronic form at CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

An imaging polarimeter (IMPOL) for multi-wavelength observations
Taking advantage of the advances in array detector technology, animaging polarimeter (IMPOL) has been constructed for measuring linearpolarization in the wavelength band from 400-800 nm. It makes use of aWollaston prism as the analyzer to measure simultaneously the twoorthogonal polarization components that define a Stoke's parameter. Anachromatic half-wave plate is used to rotate the plane of polarizationwith respect to the axis of the analyzer so that the second Stoke'sparameter also can be determined. With a field of view corresponding toabout 30x30 mm(2) for a \diameter 1.2 m, f/13 telescope, a sensitive,liquid-N_2 cooled CCD camera as the detector and a built-in acquisitionand guidance unit, the instrument can be used for studying stellarfields or extended objects with an angular resolution of ~ 2arcsec . Theinstrumental polarization is less than 0.05% and the accuracies ofmeasurement are primarily limited by photon noise for typicalobservations.

Study of an unbiased sample of B stars observed with Hipparcos: the discovery of a large amount of new slowly pulsating B stars
We present a classification of 267 new variable B-type stars discoveredby Hipparcos. We have used two different classification schemes and theyboth result in only a few new beta Cephei stars, a huge number of newslowly pulsating B stars, quite some supergiants with alpha Cyg-typevariations and variable CP stars, and further some new periodic Be starsand eclipsing binaries. Our results clearly point out the biased naturetowards short-period variables of earlier, ground-based surveys ofvariable stars. The position of the new beta Cephei stars and slowlypulsating B stars in the HR diagram is determined by means of Genevaphotometry and is confronted with the most recent calculations of theinstability strips for both groups of variables. We find that the newbeta Cephei stars are situated in the blue part of the instability stripand that the new slowly pulsating B stars almost fully cover thetheoretical instability domain determined for such stars. Thesupergiants with alpha Cyg-type variations are situated between theinstability strips of the beta Cephei and the slowly pulsating B starson the one hand and previously known supergiants that exhibitmicrovariations on the other hand. This suggests some connection betweenthe variability caused by the kappa mechanism acting in a zone ofpartially ionised metals and the unknown cause of the variations insupergiants.

UV Spectral Classification of O and B Stars in the Small Magellanic =
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1997AJ....114.1951N&db_key=AST

Cross-correlation characteristics of OB stars from IUE spectroscopy
We present a catalogue of homogeneous measures of the linewidthparameter, v_esin i, for 373 O-type stars and early B supergiants(including the separate components of 25 binary and three triplesystems), produced by cross-correlating high-resolution,short-wavelength IUE spectra against a `template' spectrum of tauSco. Wealso tabulate terminal velocities. There are no O supergiants in oursample with v_esin i<65 km s^-1, and only one supergiant earlier thanB5 has v_esin i<50 km s^-1, confirming that an important linebroadening mechanism in addition to rotation must be present in theseobjects. A calibration of the area under the cross-correlation peakagainst spectral type is used to obtain estimates of continuum intensityratios of the components in 28 spectroscopically binary or multiplesystems. At least seven SB2 systems show evidence for the `Struve-Sahadeeffect', a systematic variation in relative line strength as a functionof orbital phase. The stellar wind profiles of the most rapid rotator inour sample, the O9III:n* star HD 191423 (v_esin i=436km s^-1), show itto have a `wind-compressed disc' similar to that of HD 93521; this starand other rapid rotators are good candidates for studies of non-radialpulsation.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:06h16m58.70s
Apparent magnitude:6.25
Distance:641.026 parsecs
Proper motion RA:0.7
Proper motion Dec:-1.8
B-T magnitude:6.736
V-T magnitude:6.327

Catalogs and designations:
Proper Names   (Edit)
Flamsteed9 Gem
HD 1989HD 43384
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 1878-1430-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 1125-03693362
BSC 1991HR 2240
HIPHIP 29840

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