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 Spectroscopic analyses of six suspected chemically peculiar starsThe abundance pattern of six stars classified as suspected chemicallypeculiar in the General Catalogue of Ap and Am stars by Renson has beenderived to ascertain the real nature of these objects. Spectroscopicobservations in the range λλ4800-5600 Å have beencarried out at the stellar station of the INAF - Catania AstrophysicalObservatory.Among the studied stars, for only three of them we confirmed theirpeculiarity, HD155102 being a silicon star, HD159082 a mercury-manganesestar and HD162132 a moderate metallic A-type star.The other three objects have chemical abundances not so different fromthe standard values derived in the literature for A-type stars and,furthermore, they do not show light variability. Hence, we suggest thatthey could be ruled out from Renson's catalogue. Analysis of main-sequence A-type stars showing radial velocity variability.We obtained high-resolution spectroscopic data for 33 bright (V < 8)A-type HIPPARCOS programme stars at the Observatoire deHaute-Provence'' (OHP) in December 2004. All our targets show someindication of radial velocity variability (Grenier et al, 1999), arelocated in or near the lower part of the Cepheid instability strip, andare poorly studied objects. In this contribution, we present the newdata of the most interesting programme stars and we derive a physicalinterpretation for their variable nature. Spitzer IRS Spectroscopy of IRAS-discovered Debris DisksWe have obtained Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph (IRS)5.5-35 μm spectra of 59 main-sequence stars that possess IRAS 60μm excess. The spectra of five objects possess spectral features thatare well-modeled using micron-sized grains and silicates withcrystalline mass fractions 0%-80%, consistent with T Tauri and HerbigAeBe stars. With the exception of η Crv, these objects are youngwith ages <=50 Myr. Our fits require the presence of a cool blackbodycontinuum, Tgr=80-200 K, in addition to hot, amorphous, andcrystalline silicates, Tgr=290-600 K, suggesting thatmultiple parent body belts are present in some debris disks, analogousto the asteroid and Kuiper belts in our solar system. The spectra forthe majority of objects are featureless, suggesting that the emittinggrains probably have radii a>10 μm. We have modeled the excesscontinua using a continuous disk with a uniform surface densitydistribution, expected if Poynting-Robertson and stellar wind drag arethe dominant grain removal processes, and using a single-temperatureblackbody, expected if the dust is located in a narrow ring around thestar. The IRS spectra of many objects are better modeled with asingle-temperature blackbody, suggesting that the disks possess innerholes. The distribution of grain temperatures, based on our blackbodyfits, peaks at Tgr=110-120 K. Since the timescale for icesublimation of micron-sized grains with Tgr>110 K is afraction of a Myr, the lack of warmer material may be explained if thegrains are icy. If planets dynamically clear the central portions ofdebris disks, then the frequency of planets around other stars isprobably high. We estimate that the majority of debris disk systemspossess parent body masses, MPB<1 M⊕. Thelow inferred parent body masses suggest that planet formation is anefficient process.Based on observations with the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, which isoperated by the California Institute of Technology for NASA. An Extended FUSE Survey of Diffuse O VI Emission in the Interstellar MediumWe present a survey of diffuse O VI emission in the interstellar medium(ISM) obtained with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE).Spanning 5.5 yr of FUSE observations, from launch through 2004 December,our data set consists of 2925 exposures along 183 sight lines, includingall of those with previously published O VI detections. The data wereprocessed using an implementation of CalFUSE version 3.1 modified tooptimize the signal-to-noise ratio and velocity scale of spectra from anaperture-filling source. Of our 183 sight lines, 73 show O VIλ1032 emission, 29 at >3 σ significance. Six of the 3σ features have velocities |vLSR|>120 kms-1, while the others have |vLSR|<=50 kms-1. Measured intensities range from 1800 to 9100 LU (lineunit; 1 photon cm-2 s-1 sr-1), with amedian of 3300 LU. Combining our results with published O VI absorptiondata, we find that an O VI-bearing interface in the local ISM yields anelectron density ne=0.2-0.3 cm-3 and a path lengthof 0.1 pc, while O VI-emitting regions associated with high-velocityclouds in the Galactic halo have densities an order of magnitude lowerand path lengths 2 orders of magnitude longer. Although the O VIintensities along these sight lines are similar, the emission isproduced by gas with very different properties.Based on observations made with the NASA-CNES-CSA Far UltravioletSpectroscopic Explorer. FUSE is operated for NASA by Johns HopkinsUniversity under NASA contract NAS5-32985. Forty Years of Spectroscopic Stellar Astrophysics in JapanThe development of Japanese spectroscopic stellar astrophysics in therecent 40 years is reviewed from an observational point of view. In thisarticle, the research activities are provisionally divided into fourfields: hot stars, hot emission-line (Be) stars, cool stars, and otherstars. Historical developments of the observational facilities atOkayama Astrophysical Observatory (spectrographs and detectors) are alsosummarized in connection with the progress in scientific researchactivities. 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. C, N, O in λ Boo stars and in composite spectraThe selective abundance of C, N, O (almost solar) with respect to thatof other elements (underabundant) in λ Boo stars has beeninterpreted as a characteristic peculiarity of these objects, whenconsidered as single stars. We show here that a similar selectiveabundance is predicted from the composite spectra resulting from twounresolved stars in the same temperature range as the λ Boostars. Mid-Infrared Spectra of Dust Debris around Main-Sequence StarsWe report spectra obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope in theλ=14-35μm range of 19 nearby main-sequence stars with infraredexcesses. The six stars with strong dust emission show no recognizablespectral features, suggesting that the bulk of the emitting particleshave diameters larger than 10 μm. If the observed dust results fromcollisional grinding of larger solids, we infer minimum masses of theparent body population between 0.004 and 0.06 M⊕. Weestimate grain production rates of ~1010 g s-1around λ Boo and HR 1570; selective accretion of this matter mayhelp explain their peculiar surface abundances. There appear to be innertruncations in the dust clouds at 48, 11, 52, and 54 AU around HR 333,HR 506, HR 1082, and HR 3927, respectively.Based on observations with the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, which isoperated by the California Institute of Technology for NASA. Classification of Spectra from the Infrared Space Observatory PHT-S DatabaseWe have classified over 1500 infrared spectra obtained with the PHT-Sspectrometer aboard the Infrared Space Observatory according to thesystem developed for the Short Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) spectra byKraemer et al. The majority of these spectra contribute to subclassesthat are either underrepresented in the SWS spectral database or containsources that are too faint, such as M dwarfs, to have been observed byeither the SWS or the Infrared Astronomical Satellite Low ResolutionSpectrometer. There is strong overall agreement about the chemistry ofobjects observed with both instruments. Discrepancies can usually betraced to the different wavelength ranges and sensitivities of theinstruments. Finally, a large subset of the observations (~=250 spectra)exhibit a featureless, red continuum that is consistent with emissionfrom zodiacal dust and suggest directions for further analysis of thisserendipitous measurement of the zodiacal background.Based on observations with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), aEuropean Space Agency (ESA) project with instruments funded by ESAMember States (especially the Principle Investigator countries: France,Germany, Netherlands, and United Kingdom) and with the participation ofthe Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The science case of the PEPSI high-resolution echelle spectrograph and polarimeter for the LBTWe lay out the scientific rationale for and present the instrumentalrequirements of a high-resolution adaptive-optics Echelle spectrographwith two full-Stokes polarimeters for the Large Binocular Telescope(LBT) in Arizona. Magnetic processes just like those seen on the Sun andin the space environment of the Earth are now well recognized in manyastrophysical areas. The application to other stars opened up a newfield of research that became widely known as the solar-stellarconnection. Late-type stars with convective envelopes are all affectedby magnetic processes which give rise to a rich variety of phenomena ontheir surface and are largely responsible for the heating of their outeratmospheres. Magnetic fields are likely to play a crucial role in theaccretion process of T-Tauri stars as well as in the acceleration andcollimation of jet-like flows in young stellar objects (YSOs). Anotherarea is the physics of active galactic nucleii (AGNs) , where themagnetic activity of the accreting black hole is now believed to beresponsible for most of the behavior of these objects, including theirX-ray spectrum, their notoriously dramatic variability, and the powerfulrelativistic jets they produce. Another is the physics of the centralengines of cosmic gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in theuniverse, for which the extreme apparent energy release are explainedthrough the collimation of the released energy by magnetic fields.Virtually all the physics of magnetic fields exploited in astrophysicsis somehow linked to our understanding of the Sun's and the star'smagnetic fields. Chemical analysis of 24 dusty (pre-)main-sequence starsWe have analysed the chemical photospheric composition of 24 HerbigAe/Be and Vega-type stars in search for the λ Bootis phenomenon.We present the results of the elemental abundances of the sample stars.Some of the stars were never before studied spectroscopically at opticalwavelengths. We have determined the projected rotational velocities ofour sample stars. Furthermore, we discuss stars that depict a(selective) depletion pattern in detail. HD 4881 andHD 139614 seem to display an overall deficiency.AB Aur and possibly HD 126367 havesubsolar values for the iron abundance, but are almost solar in silicon.HD 100546 is the only clear λ Bootis star inour sample.Appendix is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org A Reevaluation of the Super-LITHIUM-rich Star in NGC 6633We present a new abundance analysis of the super-Li-rich star J37 and acomparison star in NGC 6633. We confirm the result of Deliyannis et al.that J37 has a Li abundance well above the meteoritic value, and we alsoconfirm that Al, S, Si, Ca, Fe, and Ni are supersolar and that C issubsolar. We additionally find that Na, Sc, Ti are supersolar, while Ois subsolar. The abundance pattern of metals in J37 is generallyconsistent with the bulk composition of the Earth. We propose thataccretion of circumstellar matter is the best explanation for theseabundance anomalies, although we cannot rule out a secondarycontribution from diffusion. 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. The heterogeneous class of lambda Bootis starsWe demonstrate that it is arduous to define the lambda Boo stars as aclass of objects exhibiting uniform abundance peculiarities which wouldbe generated by a mechanism altering the structure of their atmosphericlayers. We collected the stars classified as lambda Boo up to now anddiscuss their properties, in particular the important percentage ofconfirmed binaries producing composite spectra (including our adaptiveoptics observations) and of misclassified objects. The unexplained RVvariables (and thus suspected binaries), the known SB for which we lackinformation on the companion, the stars with an UV flux inconsistentwith their classification, and the fast rotating stars for which noaccurate abundance analysis can be performed, are also reviewed.Partly based on observations collected at the CFH Telescope (Hawaii) andat TBL of the Pic du Midi Observatory (France).Table \ref{tab5} is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org 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 A study of lambda Bootis type stars in the wavelength region beyond 7000 ÅThe group of lambda Bootis type stars comprises late B- to earlyF-type, Population I objects which are basically metal weak, inparticular the Fe group elements, but with the clear exception of C, N,O and S. One of the theories to explain the abundance pattern of thesestars involves circumstellar or interstellar matter around the objects.Hence, we have compiled all available data from the literature of wellestablished members of the lambda Bootis group redward of 7000Å, in order to find evidence for matter around these objects.Furthermore, we present unpublished ISO as well as submillimetercontinuum and CO (2-1) line measurements to complete the data set. Intotal, measurements for 34 (26 with data redward of 20 mu m) wellestablished lambda Bootis stars are available. There is evidence foran infrared excesses in six stars (HD 31295, HD 74873, HD 110411, HD125162, HD 198160/1 and HD 210111) and two are doubtful cases (HD 11413and HD 192640) resulting in a percentage of 23% (excluding the twodoubtful cases). Dust models for these objects show fractional dustluminosities comparable to the Vega-type stars and slightly higher dusttemperatures. ISO-SWS spectroscopy for HD 125162 and HD 192640 resultedin the detection of pure stellar H I lines ruling out an activeaccretion disk (as found for several Herbig Ae/Be stars) around theseobjects. The submillimeter measurements gave only upper limits for theline and continuum fluxes.Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments fundedby ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, TheNetherlands and the UK) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA; andobservations at the Heinrich-Hertz-Telescope (HHT, operated by the theSubmillimeter Telescope Observatory).Tables 2 and 3 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org δ Scuti stars and their related objectsδ Scuti stars are a group of stars located on or a little abovethe main sequence of H-R diagram with spectral type from A3 to F5. Theyare low amplitude single or multi period pulsators with period shorterthan 0.3 d. Within the same area there are several groups of variablesor special stars correlated with them, e.g., Dwarf Cepheids, γ Dorvariables, Blue Stragglers, Am stars, Ap stars, ROAp variables, λBoo variables and δ Del variables. In this paper a general reviewin this field, including the number of new variables discovered after1995, is presented. The most reliable period variation rates for all thehigh amplitude variables and several low amplitude variables are listed.Statistic shows the higher the rotation rate v sin i is, the lower thelight variation amplitude is. Thus within young open clusters highamplitude variables cannot be found. The amplitudes-periods distributionhave 3 peaks with the highest of 1.0 mag in V at 0.17 d in period. Forδ Scuti variables in stellar systems the shorter the averageperiod is, the lower the metallicity and the older the age of thestellar system are. The status of Galactic field λ Bootis stars in the post-Hipparcos eraThe λ Bootis stars are Population I, late B- to early F-typestars, with moderate to extreme (up to a factor 100) surfaceunderabundances of most Fe-peak elements and solar abundances of lighterelements (C, N, O and S). To put constraints on the various existingtheories that try to explain these peculiar stars, we investigate theobservational properties of λ Bootis stars compared with areference sample of normal stars. Using various photometric systems andHipparcos data, we analyse the validity of standard photometriccalibrations, elemental abundances, and Galactic space motions. Therecrystallizes a clear picture of a homogeneous group of Population Iobjects found at all stages of their main-sequence evolution, with apeak at about 1 Gyr. No correlation of astrophysical parameters such asthe projected rotational velocities or elemental abundances with age isfound, suggesting that the a priori unknown mechanism, which createsλ Bootis stars, works continuously for late B- to early F-typestars in all stages of main-sequence evolution. Surprisingly, the sodiumabundances seem to indicate an interaction between the stars and theirlocal environment. The λ Bootis phenomenon: interaction between a star and a diffuse interstellar cloudThe λ Bootis stars, a group of late B- to early F-type PopulationI stars, have surface abundances that resemble the general metaldepletion pattern found in the interstellar medium. Inspired by therecent result that the fundamental parameters of these peculiar starsdiffer in no respect from those of a comparison sample of normal stars,the hypothesis of an interaction between a star and a diffuseinterstellar cloud is considered as a possible explanation of thepeculiar abundance pattern. It is found that such a scenario is able toexplain the selective accretion of interstellar gas depleted incondensable elements as well as the spectral range of the λBootis phenomenon. 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). Polarimetric Studies of Stars with an Infrared Emission ExcessThe results of polarimetric and IR (IRAS) observations of 24 B-A-F starsare given. Intrinsic polarization of the light from 11 of the 24 starsis observed. The degree of polarization for the other 13 stars is withinthe measurement errors. Two-color diagrams are also constructed. From acomparison of the degree of polarization with the color index on thetwo-color diagrams it is seen that 8 of these 13 stars probably are ofthe Vega type, while 5 are stars with gasdust shells and/ordiskshells. It is shown that 6 of the aforementioned 11 starswith intrinsic polarization evidently are stars with gasdustshells and/or diskshells, while 5 of them (also including No. 24)are of the Vega type. It is also shown that the IR emission from 10 ofthe stars corresponds to a power-law distribution F . This fact may beexplained both by freefree transitions of electrons and bythermal emission from dust grains in circumstellar gasdust shells(disks). A Spectroscopic Search for λ Bootis and Other Peculiar A-Type Stars in Intermediate-Age Open ClustersAs part of our continuing search for peculiar A-type stars, especiallyλ Bootis stars, in open clusters of all ages, we have obtainedclassification spectra of 130 late B, A, and early F-type stars in 12intermediate-age open clusters, including NGC 1039, 2281, 2548, 6633,7039, 7063, 7092, and 7209, IC 4665, IC 4756, Stock 2, and Praesepe. Thespectra were obtained with resolutions of 1.8 and 3.6 Å on the 0.8m telescope of Appalachian State University and were classified on theMK system. Numerous classical Ap and Am stars were found among the 130,including two new Ap stars in NGC 7092. In addition, three emission-linestars and two candidate λ Bootis stars were found. Neither ofthese λ Bootis candidates turned out to be members of theirrespective clusters. Combined with 184 stars previously classified in 10other intermediate-age open clusters, also devoid of λ Bootisstars, a statistically significant null result is obtained. We discussthe implications of this null result for our understanding of theλ Bootis mechanism. 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 On the effective temperatures and surface gravities of superficially normal main sequence band B and A starsEffective temperatures and surface gravities for 48 main sequence band Band A stars were found by matching optical region spectrophotometry andHγ profiles with the predictions of ATLAS9 solar composition modelatmospheres. When these values were compared with those found usingStrömgren uvbybeta photometry based on ATLAS6 model atmospheres, wefound a difference (photometry-spectrophotometry) of 25+/- 118 K for 29stars with 8000 K le Teff <= 10 050 K compared to 76 +/-105 K for 14 stars with 10 050 K <= Teff <= 17 000 K.The surface gravity scales are in agreement. These stars aresufficiently hot that their effective temperatures and surface gravitydeterminations are unaffected by discrepancies due to the choice ofMixing-Length or Canuto-Mazzitelli convection theories. A highly sensitive search for magnetic fields in B, A and F starsCircular spectropolarimetric observations of 74 stars were obtained inan attempt to detect magnetic fields via the longitudinal Zeeman effectin their spectral lines. The sample observed includes 22 normal B, A andF stars, four emission-line B and A stars, 25 Am stars, 10 HgMn stars,two lambda Boo stars and 11 magnetic Ap stars. Using the Least-SquaresDeconvolution multi-line analysis approach (Donati et al.\cite{donati97etal}), high precision Stokes I and V mean signatures wereextracted from each spectrum. We find absolutely no evidence formagnetic fields in the normal, Am and HgMn stars, with upper limits onlongitudinal field measurements usually considerably smaller than anypreviously obtained for these objects. We conclude that if any magneticfields exist in the photospheres of these stars, these fields are notordered as in the magnetic Ap stars, nor do they resemble the fields ofactive late-type stars. We also detect for the first time a field in theA2pSr star HD 108945 and make new precise measurements of longitudinalfields in five previously known magnetic Ap stars, but do not detectfields in five other stars classified as Ap SrCrEu. We also report newresults for several binary systems, including a new vsin i for therapidly rotating secondary of the Am-delta Del SB2 HD 110951. Based onobservations obtained using the MuSiCoS spectropolarimeter on theBernard Lyot telescope, l'Observatoire du Pic du Midi, France. On the Period-Luminosity-Colour-Metallicity relation and the pulsational characteristics of lambda Bootis type starsGenerally, chemical peculiarity found for stars on the upper mainsequence excludes delta Scuti type pulsation (e.g. Ap and Am stars), butfor the group of lambda Bootis stars it is just the opposite. This makesthem very interesting for asteroseismological investigations. The groupof lambda Bootis type stars comprises late B- to early F-type,Population I objects which are basically metal weak, in particular theFe group elements, but with the clear exception of C, N, O and S. Thepresent work is a continuation of the studies by Paunzen et al.(\cite{Pau97}, \cite{Pau98}), who presented first results on thepulsational characteristics of the lambda Bootis stars. Since then, wehave observed 22 additional objects; we found eight new pulsators andconfirmed another one. Furthermore, new spectroscopic data (Paunzen\cite{Pau01}) allowed us to sort out misidentified candidates and to addtrue members to the group. From 67 members of this group, only two arenot photometrically investigated yet which makes our analysis highlyrepresentative. We have compared our results on the pulsationalbehaviour of the lambda Bootis stars with those of a sample of deltaScuti type objects. We find that at least 70% of all lambda Bootis typestars inside the classical instability strip pulsate, and they do sowith high overtone modes (Q < 0.020 d). Only a few stars, if any,pulsate in the fundamental mode. Our photometric results are inexcellent agreement with the spectroscopic work on high-degree nonradialpulsations by Bohlender et al. (\cite{Boh99}). Compared to the deltaScuti stars, the cool and hot borders of the instability strip of thelambda Bootis stars are shifted by about 25 mmag, towards smaller(b-y)_0. Using published abundances and the metallicity sensitiveindices of the Geneva 7-colour and Strömgren uvbybeta systems, wehave derived [Z] values which describe the surface abundance of theheavier elements for the group members. We find that thePeriod-Luminosity-Colour relation for the group of lambda Bootis starsis within the errors identical with that of the normal delta Scutistars. No clear evidence for a statistically significant metallicityterm was detected. Based on observations from the Austrian AutomaticPhotoelectric Telescope (Fairborn Observatory), SAAO and Siding SpringObservatory. Do dusty A stars exhibit accretion signatures in their photospheres?We determined abundances of O, Ca, Fe, Ba and Y for a sample of dustyand dust-free A stars, taken from the list of Cheng et al.(\cite{Cheng92}). Five of the stars have an infrared-excess due tocircumstellar dust. Ongoing accretion from their circumstellarsurroundings might have modified the abundances in the photospheres ofthese stars, but our results clearly show, that there is no differencein the photospheric composition of the dusty and dust-free stars.Instead all of them show the typical diffusion pattern which diminishestowards larger rotational velocities. The accretion/diffusion theory for lambda Bootis stars in the light of spectroscopic dataMost of the current theories suggest the lambda Bootis phenomenon tooriginate from an interaction between the stellar surface and its localenvironment. In this paper, we compare the abundance pattern of thelambda Bootis stars to that of the interstellar medium and find largerdeficiencies for Mg, Si, Mn and Zn than in the interstellar medium. Acomparison with metal poor post-AGB stars showing evidence forcircumstellar material indicates a similar physical process possiblybeing at work for some of the lambda Bootis stars, but not for all ofthem. Despite the fact that the number of spectroscopically analysedlambda Bootis stars has considerably increased in the past, a test ofpredicted effects with observations shows current abundance andtemperature data to be still controversial. The abundance pattern of lambda Bootis starsWithin a project to investigate the properties of lambda Bootis stars,we report on their abundance pattern. High resolution spectra have beenobtained for a total of twelve candidate lambda Bootis stars, four ofthem being contained in spectroscopic binary systems, and detailedabundance analyses have been performed. All program stars show acharacteristic lambda Bootis abundance pattern (deficient heavy elementsand solar abundant light elements) and an enhanced abundance of Na. Thiswork raises the fraction of lambda Bootis stars with known abundances to50%. The resulting abundances complemented by literature data are usedto construct a mean lambda Bootis abundance pattern'', which exhibits,apart from general underabundances of heavy elements (~-1 dex) and solarabundances of C, N, O, Na and S, a star-to-star scatter which is up totwice as large as for a comparable sample of normal stars. Based onobservations obtained at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Padua-Asiago,OPD/LNA, KPNO and DSO.
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