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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.

First AU-scale observations of V1647 Orionis with VLTI/MIDI
The young eruptive star V1647 Ori was observed with MIDI, themid-infrared interferometric instrument at the Very Large TelescopeInterferometer (VLTI), on March 2, 2005. We present the first spectrallyresolved interferometric visibility points for this object. Our resultsshow that (1) the mid-infrared emitting region is extended, having asize of ≈7 AU at 10 μm; (2) no signatures of a close companion canbe seen; (3) the 8{-}13 μm spectrum exhibits no obvious spectralfeatures. Comparison with similar observations of Herbig Ae starssuggests that V1647 Ori probably possesses a disk of moderate flaring. Asimple disk model with T˜ r-0.53, Әr-1.5, M_d=0.05 {M}ȯ is able to fit both thespectral energy distribution and the observed visibility valuessimultaneously.

Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - I. Observations and nuclear data
This is the first paper of a series on the investigation of stellarpopulation properties and galaxy evolution of an observationallyhomogeneous sample of early-type galaxies in groups, field and isolatedgalaxies.Here we present high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectroscopyof 86 nearby elliptical and S0 galaxies. Eight of them are isolated,selected according to a rigorous criterion, which guarantees a genuinelow-density subsample. The present survey has the advantage of coveringa larger wavelength range than normally found in the literature, whichincludes [OIII]λ5007 and Hα, both lines important foremission correction. Among the 86 galaxies with S/N >= 15 (perresolution element, for re/8 central aperture), 57 have theirHβ-index corrected for emission (the average correction is 0.190Åin Hβ) and 42 galaxies reveal [OIII]λ5007 emission,of which 16 also show obvious Hα emission. Most of the galaxies inthe sample do not show obvious signs of disturbances nor tidal featuresin the morphologies, although 11 belong to the Arp catalogue of peculiargalaxies; only three of them (NGC 750, 751 and 3226) seem to be stronglyinteracting. We present the measurement of 25 central line-strengthindices calibrated to the Lick/IDS system. Kinematic information isobtained for the sample. We analyse the line-strength index versusvelocity dispersion relations for our sample of mainly low-densityenvironment galaxies, and compare the slope of the relations withcluster galaxies from the literature. Our main findings are that theindex-σ0 relations presented for low-density regionsare not significantly different from those of cluster E/S0s. The slopeof the index-σ0 relations does not seem to change forearly-type galaxies of different environmental densities, but thescatter of the relations seems larger for group, field and isolatedgalaxies than for cluster galaxies.

UVBLUE: A New High-Resolution Theoretical Library of Ultraviolet Stellar Spectra
We present an extended ultraviolet-blue (850-4700 Å) library oftheoretical stellar spectral energy distributions computed at highresolution, λ/Δλ=50,000. The UVBLUE grid, as wenamed the library, is based on LTE calculations carried out with ATLAS9and SYNTHE codes developed by R. L. Kurucz and consists of nearly 1800entries that cover a large volume of the parameter space. It spans arange in Teff from 3000 to 50,000 K, the surface gravityranges from logg=0.0 to 5.0 with Δlogg=0.5 dex, while sevenchemical compositions are considered:[M/H]=-2.0,-1.5,-1.0,-0.5,+0.0,+0.3, and +0.5 dex. For its coverageacross the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, this library is the mostcomprehensive one ever computed at high resolution in theshort-wavelength spectral range, and useful application can be foreseenfor both the study of single stars and in population synthesis models ofgalaxies and other stellar systems. We briefly discuss some relevantissues for a safe application of the theoretical output to ultravioletobservations, and a comparison of our LTE models with the non-LTE (NLTE)ones from the TLUSTY code is also carried out. NLTE spectra are found,on average, to be slightly ``redder'' compared to the LTE ones for thesame value of Teff, while a larger difference could bedetected for weak lines, which are nearly wiped out by the enhanced coreemission component in case of NLTE atmospheres. These effects seem to bemagnified at low metallicity (typically [M/H]<~-1). A match with aworking sample of 111 stars from the IUE atlas, with availableatmosphere parameters from the literature, shows that UVBLUE modelsprovide an accurate description of the main mid- and low-resolutionspectral features for stars along the whole sequence from the B to ~G5type. The comparison sensibly degrades for later spectral types, withsupergiant stars that are in general more poorly reproduced than dwarfs.As a possible explanation of this overall trend, we partly invoke theuncertainty in the input atmosphere parameters to compute thetheoretical spectra. In addition, one should also consider the importantcontamination of the IUE stellar sample, where the presence of binaryand variable stars certainly works in the sense of artificiallyworsening the match between theory and observations.

Survey for Transiting Extrasolar Planets in Stellar Systems. II. Spectrophotometry and Metallicities of Open Clusters
We present metallicity estimates for seven open clusters based onspectrophotometric indices from moderate-resolution spectroscopy.Observations of field giants of known metallicity provide a correlationbetween the spectroscopic indices and the metallicity of open clustergiants. We use χ2 analysis to fit the relation ofspectrophotometric indices to metallicity in field giants. The resultingfunction allows an estimate of the target-cluster giants' metallicitieswith an error in the method of +/-0.08 dex. We derive the followingmetallicities for the seven open clusters: NGC 1245, [M/H]=-0.14+/-0.04NGC 2099, [M/H]=+0.05+/-0.05 NGC 2324, [M/H]=-0.06+/-0.04 NGC 2539,[M/H]=-0.04+/-0.03 NGC 2682 (M67), [M/H]=-0.05+/-0.02 NGC 6705,[M/H]=+0.14+/-0.08 NGC 6819, [M/H]=-0.07+/-0.12. These metallicityestimates will be useful in planning future extrasolar planet transitsearches, since planets may form more readily in metal-richenvironments.

Statistical Constraints for Astrometric Binaries with Nonlinear Motion
Useful constraints on the orbits and mass ratios of astrometric binariesin the Hipparcos catalog are derived from the measured proper motiondifferences of Hipparcos and Tycho-2 (Δμ), accelerations ofproper motions (μ˙), and second derivatives of proper motions(μ̈). It is shown how, in some cases, statistical bounds can beestimated for the masses of the secondary components. Two catalogs ofastrometric binaries are generated, one of binaries with significantproper motion differences and the other of binaries with significantaccelerations of their proper motions. Mathematical relations betweenthe astrometric observables Δμ, μ˙, and μ̈ andthe orbital elements are derived in the appendices. We find a remarkabledifference between the distribution of spectral types of stars withlarge accelerations but small proper motion differences and that ofstars with large proper motion differences but insignificantaccelerations. The spectral type distribution for the former sample ofbinaries is the same as the general distribution of all stars in theHipparcos catalog, whereas the latter sample is clearly dominated bysolar-type stars, with an obvious dearth of blue stars. We point outthat the latter set includes mostly binaries with long periods (longerthan about 6 yr).

First results from the ESO VLTI calibrators program
The ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) is one of the leadinginterferometric facilities. It is equipped with several 8.2 and 1.8 mtelescopes, a large number of baselines up to 200 m, and with severalsubsystems designed to enable high quality measurements and to improvesignificantly the limits of sensitivities currently available tolong-baseline interferometry. The full scientific potential of the VLTIcan be exploited only if a consistent set of good quality calibrators isavailable. For this, a large number of observations of potentialcalibrators have been obtained during the commissioning phase of theVLTI. These data are publicly available. We briefly describe theinterferometer, the VINCI instrument used for the observations, the dataflow from acquisition to processed results, and we present and commenton the volume of observations gathered and scrutinized. The result is alist of 191 calibrator candidates, for which a total of 12 066observations can be deemed of satisfactory quality. We present a generalstatistical analysis of this sample, using as a starting point theangular diameters previously available in the literature. We derive thegeneral characteristics of the VLTI transfer function, and its trendwith time in the period 2001 through mid-2004. A second paper will bedevoted to a detailed investigation of a selected sample, aimed atestablishing a VLTI-based homogeneous system of calibrators.

CHARM2: An updated Catalog of High Angular Resolution 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

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.

Synthetic Lick Indices and Detection of α-enhanced Stars. II. F, G, and K Stars in the -1.0 < [Fe/H] < +0.50 Range
We present an analysis of 402 F, G, and K solar neighborhood stars, withaccurate estimates of [Fe/H] in the range -1.0 to +0.5 dex, aimed at thedetection of α-enhanced stars and at the investigation of theirkinematical properties. The analysis is based on the comparison of 571sets of spectral indices in the Lick/IDS system, coming from fourdifferent observational data sets, with synthetic indices computed withsolar-scaled abundances and with α-element enhancement. We useselected combinations of indices to single out α-enhanced starswithout requiring previous knowledge of their main atmosphericparameters. By applying this approach to the total data set, we obtain alist of 60 bona fide α-enhanced stars and of 146 stars withsolar-scaled abundances. The properties of the detected α-enhancedand solar-scaled abundance stars with respect to their [Fe/H] values andkinematics are presented. A clear kinematic distinction betweensolar-scaled and α-enhanced stars was found, although a one-to-onecorrespondence to ``thin disk'' and ``thick disk'' components cannot besupported with the present data.

High-Resolution Mid-infrared Imaging of SN 1987A
Using the Thermal Region Camera and Spectrograph (T-ReCS) attached tothe Gemini South 8 m telescope, we have detected and resolved 10 μmemission at the position of the inner equatorial ring (ER) of supernovaSN 1987A at day 6067. ``Hot spots'' similar to those found in theoptical and near-IR are clearly present. The morphology of the 10 μmemission is globally similar to the morphology at other wavelengths fromX-rays to radio. The observed mid-IR flux in the region of SN 1987A isprobably dominated by emission from dust in the ER. We have alsodetected the ER at 20 μm at a 4 σ level. Assuming that thermaldust radiation is the origin of the mid-IR emission, we derive a dusttemperature of 180+20-10 K and a dust mass of(1-8)×10-5 Msolar for the ER. Ourobservations also show a weak detection of the central ejecta at 10μm. We show that previous bolometric flux estimates (through day2100) were not significantly contaminated by this newly discoveredemission from the ER. If we assume that the energy input comes fromradioactive decays only, our measurements, together with the currenttheoretical models, set a temperature of 90K<=T<=100 K and a massrange of 10-4 to 2×10-3 Msolarfor the dust in the ejecta. With such dust temperatures the estimatedthermal emission is (9+/-3)×1035 ergs s-1from the inner ring and (1.5+/-0.5)×1036 ergss-1 from the ejecta. Finally, using SN 1987A as a template,we discuss the possible role of supernovae as major sources of dust inthe universe.Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which isoperated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(AURA), Inc., under cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of theGemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), theParticle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (United Kingdom), theNational Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the AustralianResearch Council (Australia), CNPq (Brazil), and CONICET (Argentina).

Models of Strange Stars with a Crust and Strange Dwarfs
Strange quark stars with a crust and strange dwarfs consisting of acompact strange quark core and an extended crust are investigated interms of a bag model. The crust, which consists of atomic nuclei anddegenerate electrons, has a limiting density of cr=drip=4.3·1011g/cm3. A series of configurations are calculated for two sets of bagmodel parameters and three different values of cr (109 g/cm3 ≤ρcr ≤ ρdrip) to find the dependence of a star's mass M andradius R on the central density. Sequences of stars ranging from compactstrange stars to extended strange dwarfs are constructed out of strangequark matter with a crust. The effect of the bag model parameters andlimiting crust density ρcr on the parameters of the strange starsand strange dwarfs is examined. The strange dwarfs are compared withordinary white dwarfs and observational differences between the two arepointed out.

Empirically Constrained Color-Temperature Relations. II. uvby
A new grid of theoretical color indices for the Strömgren uvbyphotometric system has been derived from MARCS model atmospheres and SSGsynthetic spectra for cool dwarf and giant stars having-3.0<=[Fe/H]<=+0.5 and 3000<=Teff<=8000 K. Atwarmer temperatures (i.e., 8000-2.0. To overcome thisproblem, the theoretical indices at intermediate and high metallicitieshave been corrected using a set of color calibrations based on fieldstars having well-determined distances from Hipparcos, accurateTeff estimates from the infrared flux method, andspectroscopic [Fe/H] values. In contrast with Paper I, star clustersplayed only a minor role in this analysis in that they provided asupplementary constraint on the color corrections for cool dwarf starswith Teff<=5500 K. They were mainly used to test thecolor-Teff relations and, encouragingly, isochrones thatemploy the transformations derived in this study are able to reproducethe observed CMDs (involving u-v, v-b, and b-y colors) for a number ofopen and globular clusters (including M67, the Hyades, and 47 Tuc)rather well. Moreover, our interpretations of such data are verysimilar, if not identical, with those given in Paper I from aconsideration of BV(RI)C observations for the sameclusters-which provides a compelling argument in support of thecolor-Teff relations that are reported in both studies. Inthe present investigation, we have also analyzed the observedStrömgren photometry for the classic Population II subdwarfs,compared our ``final'' (b-y)-Teff relationship with thosederived empirically in a number of recent studies and examined in somedetail the dependence of the m1 index on [Fe/H].Based, in part, on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope,operated jointly on the island of La Palma by Denmark, Finland, Iceland,Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de losMuchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.Based, in part, on observations obtained with the Danish 1.54 mtelescope at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.

Improved Astrometry and Photometry for the Luyten Catalog. II. Faint Stars and the Revised Catalog
We 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.

High-Precision Near-Infrared Photometry of a Large Sample of Bright Stars Visible from the Northern Hemisphere
We present the results of 8 yr of infrared photometric monitoring of alarge sample of stars visible from Teide Observatory (Tenerife, CanaryIslands). The final archive is made up of 10,949 photometric measuresthrough a standard InSb single-channel photometer system, principally inJHK, although some stars have measures in L'. The core of this list ofstars is the standard-star list developed for the Carlos SánchezTelescope. A total of 298 stars have been observed on at least twooccasions on a system carefully linked to the zero point defined byVega. We present high-precision photometry for these stars. The medianuncertainty in magnitude for stars with a minimum of four observationsand thus reliable statistics ranges from 0.0038 mag in J to 0.0033 magin K. Many of these stars are faint enough to be observable with arraydetectors (42 are K>8) and thus to permit a linkage of the bright andfaint infrared photometric systems. We also present photometry of anadditional 25 stars for which the original measures are no longeravailable, plus photometry in L' and/or M of 36 stars from the mainlist. We calculate the mean infrared colors of main-sequence stars fromA0 V to K5 V and show that the locus of the H-K color is linearlycorrelated with J-H. The rms dispersion in the correlation between J-Hand H-K is 0.0073 mag. We use the relationship to interpolate colors forall subclasses from A0 V to K5 V. We find that K and M main-sequence andgiant stars can be separated on the color-color diagram withhigh-precision near-infrared photometry and thus that photometry canallow us to identify potential mistakes in luminosity classclassification.

Interrelations between V il and S tr photometric systems: The luminosity indicator (v - X)
Using the largest database of near-IR Ca II Triplet indices currentlyavailable (Cenarro et al. \cite{Cenarro01a},b), we confirm our findingabout the influence of the Ca II stellar lines on the X magnitude ofthe Vilnius photometric system. This effect is significant for spectralsub-classes from early F until mid K. For this spectral range there is alinear relation between the v-X index and the strength of the infraredCa II Triplet, which implies that the Ca II H&K lines shouldinfluence the difference in a similar way. For the spectral intervalstudied, v-X repeats the behavior of the Ca II Triplet with respect togravity, temperature and metallicity. The Ca II Triplet lines are apowerful diagnostic of the stellar populations in galaxies because oftheir sensitivity to the main stellar atmospheric parameters. Being mucheasily achievable observationally and virtually reddening free, the v-Xindex may find similar applications. v-X is log g sensitive butadditional means are required to break the dwarf - giant duplicity. Forthis purpose we have studied the variation of thev(Strömgren)-B(Johnson) index with gravity, temperature and theequivalent width of the Ca II Triplet. Sincev(Strömgren)-B(Johnson) have a none overlapping variation with theCa II Triplet the dwarfs and giants may be separated and Teffand log g may be estimated. The v(Strömgren)-B(Johnson) index hasfurthermore the advantage that E(v-B) ~ 0.25E(B-V).Based on CDS data.

Line Absorption as a Metallicity Index for Giant Stars
The fraction of light removed from a star's spectrum by the spectrallines, the line absorption, is shown to be a precise empirical indicatorof metallicity. We measured the line absorption in 89 class III giantstars in a 42.5 Å window between 6219.0 and 6261.5 Å andthen calibrated these values against published metallicities. We showthat the line absorption can be measured precisely enough to improve themetallicity precision about fivefold over the original calibrationmetallicities, reaching a precision of 0.01 dex in favorable cases.

Chromospherically Active Stars. XXI. The Giant, Single-lined Binaries HD 89546 And HD 113816
We have obtained spectroscopy and photometry of the chromosphericallyactive, single-lined spectroscopic binaries HD 89546 and HD 113816. HD89546 has a circular orbit with a period of 21.3596 days. Its primaryhas a spectral type of G9 III and is somewhat metal-poor with[Fe/H]~-0.5. HD 113816 has an orbit with a period of 23.6546 and a loweccentricity of 0.022. Its mass function is extremely small, 0.0007Msolar, consistent with a very low inclination. The primaryis a slightly metal-poor K2 III. A decade or more of photometricmonitoring with an automatic telescope demonstrates that both systemsdisplay brightness variations due to rotational modulation of thevisibility of photospheric star spots, as well as light-curve changesresulting from the redistribution of star spots by differential rotationand long-term changes in the filling factor of the spots. We determinedrotation periods for each season when the observations were numerousenough. Our mean rotation periods of 21.3 and 24.1 days for HD 89546 andHD 113816, respectively, confirm that the giants in each system aresynchronously rotating. The orbital elements and properties of the giantcomponents of these two systems, including levels of surface magneticactivity, are quite similar. However, the two rotational inclinationsare rather different, 57° for HD 89546 and 13° for HD 113816.Thus the latter giant is seen nearly pole on. We analyzed the lightcurves for similarities and differences that result from viewing thesetwo systems from quite different inclinations.

Identification of non-radial pulsation modes in the close-binary beta Cephei star nu Centauri
We present time series of high-resolution spectra of the beta Cepheistar nu Cen, showing multi-periodic variations in the SiIII lambda 4552and lambda 4567 line profiles. After correction for the binary motion,we analyse the time series of spectra by Fourier transforms for eachposition in the line profile. For selected frequencies we perform adirect fit of multiple sinusoids. Four frequencies are needed todescribe the pattern of moving bumps in the line profiles. We presentthe distributions of variational amplitude and phase across the lineprofile and use these diagnostics to show that most of the variabilitycan be explained by multiple non-radial pulsations. From the phasedistributions across the line profiles we derive estimates for thedegree l of the individual pulsation modes in nu Cen. We find l valuesranging from 6 to 10. We find no trace of a previously reportedlow-degree l <~ 2 pulsation with a period of 0.17 day. We brieflydiscuss these observations, and those of the other close-binary betaCephei stars alpha Vir and psi 2 Ori, in terms of tidaleffects on pulsation-mode stability. Based on data taken at ESO LaSilla.

A catalogue of calibrator stars for long baseline stellar interferometry
Long baseline stellar interferometry shares with other techniques theneed for calibrator stars in order to correct for instrumental andatmospheric effects. We present a catalogue of 374 stars carefullyselected to be used for that purpose in the near infrared. Owing toseveral convergent criteria with the work of Cohen et al.(\cite{cohen99}), this catalogue is in essence a subset of theirself-consistent all-sky network of spectro-photometric calibrator stars.For every star, we provide the angular limb-darkened diameter, uniformdisc angular diameters in the J, H and K bands, the Johnson photometryand other useful parameters. Most stars are type III giants withspectral types K or M0, magnitudes V=3-7 and K=0-3. Their angularlimb-darkened diameters range from 1 to 3 mas with a median uncertaintyas low as 1.2%. The median distance from a given point on the sky to theclosest reference is 5.2degr , whereas this distance never exceeds16.4degr for any celestial location. The catalogue is only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/393/183

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.

New algorithms for reducing cross-dispersed echelle spectra
We describe advanced image processing algorithms, implemented in a dataanalysis package for conventional and cross-dispersed echelle spectra.Comparisons with results from other packages illustrate the outstandingquality of the new REDUCE package, particularly in terms of resultingnoise level and treatment of CCD defects and cosmic ray spikes. REDUCEcan be adapted relatively easily to handle a variety of instrumenttypes, including spectrographs with prism or grating cross-dispersers,possibly fed by a fiber or image slicer, etc. In addition to reducedspectra, an accurate spatial profile is recovered, providing valuableinformation about the spectrograph PSF and simplifying scattered lightcorrections. Based on data obtained with the VLT UVES and SAAO Giraffespectrometers.

Line-Depth Ratios: Temperature Indices for Giant Stars
Ratios of the depths of appropriately chosen spectral lines are shown tobe excellent indicators of stellar temperatures for giant stars in theG3 to K3 spectral type range. We calibrate five line-depth ratiosagainst B-V and R-I color indices and then translate these intotemperatures. Our goal is to set up line-depth ratios to (1) accuratelymonitor any temperature variations of a few degrees or less that mayoccur during magnetic cycles or oscillations and (2) rank giantsprecisely on a temperature coordinate. This is not an absolutecalibration of stellar temperatures. We show how giant spectra can bemisleading because of the complex dependences of spectral lines onmetallicity and absolute magnitude as well as temperature, and it isessential to make corrections to accommodate these complications. Thefive line-depth ratios we use yield precision for monitoring, i.e.,detecting temperature variations, of 4 K from a single exposure. Rankinggiants by temperature can be done with errors of ~25 K but could beimproved with better determinations of the metallicity andabsolute-magnitude corrections.

Absolute spectrophotometry of late-type stars.
Not Available

Speckle Interferometry of New and Problem Hipparcos Binaries. II. Observations Obtained in 1998-1999 from McDonald Observatory
The Hipparcos satellite made measurements of over 9734 known doublestars, 3406 new double stars, and 11,687 unresolved but possible doublestars. The high angular resolution afforded by speckle interferometrymakes it an efficient means to confirm these systems from the ground,which were first discovered from space. Because of its coverage of adifferent region of angular separation-magnitude difference(ρ-Δm) space, speckle interferometry also holds promise toascertain the duplicity of the unresolved Hipparcos ``problem'' stars.Presented are observations of 116 new Hipparcos double stars and 469Hipparcos ``problem stars,'' as well as 238 measures of other doublestars and 246 other high-quality nondetections. Included in these areobservations of double stars listed in the Tycho-2 Catalogue andpossible grid stars for the Space Interferometry Mission.

On the Wilson-Bappu relationship in the Mg II k line
An investigation is carried out on the Wilson-Bappu effect in the Mg Iik line at 2796.34 Å. The work is based on a selection of 230 starsobserved by both the IUE and HIPPARCOS satellites, covering a wide rangeof spectral types (F to M) and absolute visual magnitudes (-5.4<=MV <=9.0). A semi-automatic procedure is used to measurethe line widths, which applies also in the presence of strong centralabsorption reversal. The Wilson-Bappu relationship here provided isconsidered to represent an improvement over previous recent results forthe considerably larger data sample used, as well as for a properconsideration of the measurement errors. No evidence has been found fora possible dependence of the WB effect on stellar metallicity andeffective temperature.

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

Research Note Hipparcos photometry: The least variable stars
The 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 ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/367/297

The stellar populations of early-type galaxies in the Fornax cluster
We have measured central line strengths for a magnitude-limited sampleof early-type galaxies in the Fornax cluster, comprising 11 elliptical(E) and 11 lenticular (S0) galaxies, more luminous thanMB=-17. When compared with single-burst stellar populationmodels we find that the centres of Fornax ellipticals follow a locus offixed age and have metallicities varying roughly from half solar totwice solar. The centres of (lower luminosity) lenticular galaxies,however, exhibit a substantial spread to younger luminosity-weightedages, indicating a more extended star formation history. Galaxies withold stellar populations show tight scaling relations between metal-lineindices and the central velocity dispersion. Remarkably also, the Felines are well correlated with σ0. Our detailedanalysis of the stellar populations suggests that these scalingrelations are driven mostly by metallicity. Galaxies with a youngstellar component do generally deviate from the main relation. Inparticular, the lower luminosity S0s show a large spread. Ourconclusions are based on several age/metallicity diagnostic diagrams inthe Lick/IDS system comprising established indices such asMg2 and Hβ as well as new and more sensitive indicessuch as HγA and Fe3, a combination of three prominentFe lines. The inferred difference in the age distribution betweenlenticular and elliptical galaxies is a robust conclusion, as the modelsgenerate consistent relative ages using different age and metallicityindicators, even though the absolute ages remain uncertain. The absoluteage uncertainty is mainly caused by the effects of non-solar abundanceratios which are not yet accounted for by the stellar population models.Furthermore, we find that elliptical galaxies and the bulge of onebright S0 are overabundant in magnesium, where the most luminousgalaxies show the strongest overabundances. The stellar populations ofyoung and faint S0s are consistent with solar abundance ratios or a weakMg underabundance. Two of the faintest lenticular galaxies in our samplehave blue continua and extremely strong Balmer-line absorption,suggesting star formation <2Gyr ago.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:05h36m54.30s
Apparent magnitude:4.09
Distance:35.587 parsecs
Proper motion RA:98.7
Proper motion Dec:-305.2
B-T magnitude:5.287
V-T magnitude:4.187

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesKhad Posterior
Bayerφβ Ori
Flamsteed40 Ori
HD 1989HD 37160
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 701-2047-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0975-01778117
BSC 1991HR 1907
HIPHIP 26366

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