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# α Oph (Rasalhague)

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 Computed Hβ indices from ATLAS9 model atmospheresAims.Grids of Hβ indices based on updated (new-ODF) ATLAS9 modelatmospheres were computed for solar and scaled solar metallicities[+0.5], [+0.2], [0.0], [ -0.5] , [ -1.0] , [ -1.5] , [ -2.0] , [ -2.5]and for α enhanced compositions [+0.5a], [0.0a], [ -0.5a] , [-1.0a] , [ -1.5a] , [ -2.0a] , [ -2.5a] , and [ -4.0a] . Methods:.Indices for T_eff > 5000 K were computed with the same methods asdescribed by Lester et al. (1986, LGK86) except for a differentnormalization of the computed natural system to the standard system.LGK86 used special ODFs to compute the fluxes. For T_eff ≤ 5000 K wecomputed the fluxes using the synthetic spectrum method. In order toassess the accuracy of the computed indices comparisons were made withthe indices computed by Smalley & Dworetsky (1995, A&A, 293,446, MD95) and with the empirical relations T_eff-Hβ given byAlonso et al. (1996, A&A, 313, 873) for several metallicities.Furthermore, for cool stars, temperatures inferred from the computedindices were compared with those of the fundamental stars listed byMD95. The same kind of comparison was made between gravities for B-typestars. Results: .The temperatures from the computed indices are ingood agreement, within the error limits, with the literature values for4750 K ≤ T_eff ≤ 8000 K, while the gravities agree for T_eff> 9000 K. The computed Hβ indices for the Sun and for Procyonare very close to the observed values. The comparison between theobserved and computed Hβ indices as function of the observedHβ has shown a very small trend which almost completely disappearswhen only stars hotter than 10 000 K are considered. The trend due tothe cool stars is probably related with the low accuracy of thefundamental T_eff which are affected by large errors for most of thestars. An Improved Infrared Passband System for Ground-based Photometry: RealizationWe describe new simulations and field trials of the new infraredpassband system developed and discussed by Young, Milone, & Stagg,who discussed and illustrated the state of infrared photometry andsuggested ways in which it could be improved. In particular, theypresented a new set of passbands that minimize the dependence of thephotometry on the water vapor bands of the atmospheric windows, whichdefined the edges of many previous infrared passbands, especially whenused at sites and under conditions for which they were not designed. Inthis paper, we present numerical simulations for three atmosphericmodels, demonstrate a measure of the signal-to-noise ratio in the newpassbands for these models, and present observational data obtained at arelatively low-elevation site. The latter demonstrate the utility ofthis system for most astronomical sites where photometry can beperformed, and permit the transformation of observations to this system.Publications of the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, No. 74. Atlas and Catalog of Dark Clouds Based on Digitized Sky Survey IWe present a quantitative atlas and catalog of dark clouds derived byusing the optical database Digitized Sky Survey I''. Applying atraditional star-count technique to 1043 plates contained in thedatabase, we produced an AV map covering the entire region inthe galactic latitude range |b| ≤ 40°. The map was drawn at twodifferent angular resolutions of 6' and 18', and is shown in detail in aseries of figures in this paper. Based on the AV map, weidentified 2448 dark clouds and 2841 clumps located inside them. Somephysical parameters, such as the position, extent, and opticalextinction, were measured for each of the clouds and clumps. We alsosearched for counterparts among already known dark clouds in theliterature. The catalog of dark clouds presented in this paper lists thecloud parameters as well as the counterparts. The epoch of the constellations on the Farnese Atlas and their origin in Hipparchus's lost catalogueNot Available Variability of Stars in the Pulkovo Spectrophotometric CatalogWe present the results of a statistical study of brightness variabilityfor 693 stars of the Pulkovo spectrophotometric database in fivespectral bands in the range λλ 320 1080 nm. Significantbrightness variations were detected in at least one spectral bandagainst the background of the random noise for one-third of the starsnot earlier believed to be variable. A comparison of the distributionsof these variations in amplitude and spectral band for the normal andvariable stars shows that variability is inherent to most stars to someextent and is often wavelength dependent. Observed Orbital EccentricitiesFor 391 spectroscopic and visual binaries with known orbital elementsand having B0-F0 IV or V primaries, we collected the derivedeccentricities. As has been found by others, those binaries with periodsof a few days have been circularized. However, those with periods up toabout 1000 or more days show reduced eccentricities that asymptoticallyapproach a mean value of 0.5 for the longest periods. For those binarieswith periods greater than 1000 days their distribution of eccentricitiesis flat from 0 to nearly 1, indicating that in the formation of binariesthere is no preferential eccentricity. The binaries with intermediateperiods (10-100 days) lack highly eccentric orbits. Can Life Develop in the Expanded Habitable Zones around Red Giant Stars?We present some new ideas about the possibility of life developingaround subgiant and red giant stars. Our study concerns the temporalevolution of the habitable zone. The distance between the star and thehabitable zone, as well as its width, increases with time as aconsequence of stellar evolution. The habitable zone moves outward afterthe star leaves the main sequence, sweeping a wider range of distancesfrom the star until the star reaches the tip of the asymptotic giantbranch. Currently there is no clear evidence as to when life actuallyformed on the Earth, but recent isotopic data suggest life existed atleast as early as 7×108 yr after the Earth was formed.Thus, if life could form and evolve over time intervals from5×108 to 109 yr, then there could behabitable planets with life around red giant stars. For a 1Msolar star at the first stages of its post-main-sequenceevolution, the temporal transit of the habitable zone is estimated to beseveral times 109 yr at 2 AU and around 108 yr at9 AU. Under these circumstances life could develop at distances in therange 2-9 AU in the environment of subgiant or giant stars, and in thefar distant future in the environment of our own solar system. After astar completes its first ascent along the red giant branch and the Heflash takes place, there is an additional stable period of quiescent Hecore burning during which there is another opportunity for life todevelop. For a 1 Msolar star there is an additional109 yr with a stable habitable zone in the region from 7 to22 AU. Space astronomy missions, such as proposed for the TerrestrialPlanet Finder (TPF) and Darwin, that focus on searches for signatures oflife on extrasolar planets, should also consider the environments ofsubgiants and red giant stars as potentially interesting sites forunderstanding the development of life. We performed a preliminaryevaluation of the difficulty of interferometric observations of planetsaround red giant stars compared to a main-sequence star environment. Weshow that pathfinder missions for TPF and Darwin, such as Eclipse andFKSI, have sufficient angular resolution and sensitivity to search forhabitable planets around some of the closest evolved stars of thesubgiant and red giant class. UVBLUE: A New High-Resolution Theoretical Library of Ultraviolet Stellar SpectraWe 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. A new look at the position of the 1604 Supernova (V843 Ophiuchi)The position of the supernova of 1604 (V843 Oph) is re-assessed, withrelevant discussion pertaining to the present-day remnant, 3C 358. An Astrometric Study of the Binary Star α OphiuchiThe work reported here combines data from the Multichannel AstrometricPhotometer (MAP), the European astrometric satellite, Hipparcos, andinfrared speckle observations of the nearby subgiant binary star systemα Oph. The A5 IV primary is found to have a mass of 2.84+/-0.19Msolar, while the approximately K2 V companion has a mass of0.78+/-0.058 Msolar. The distance modulus is 0.834+/-0.024mag, yielding an absolute visual magnitude of 1.248+/-0.025 mag and anabsolute K magnitude of the secondary of 4.3+/-0.2 mag. Tables list theMAP data and an ephemeris that indicates that the next 4 yr are idealfor further interferometry. Statistical Constraints for Astrometric Binaries with Nonlinear MotionUseful 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). Highly ionized gas in the local ISM: Some like it hot?We present HST-STIS medium-resolution spectra (R  6.5 kms-1) of the ultraviolet interstellar absorption linesobserved towards 4 early-type stars located within the localinterstellar medium (ISM), with sight-line distances <186 pc in thegeneral direction of the Loop I superbubble (l = 330°, b =+18°). These data have been supplemented with high resolution (R 3 km s-1) visible absorption observations of the NaID-lines towards these 4 stars. Our main discovery is the detection ofhighly ionized absorption components of CIV, SiIV and NV towards the twomost distant targets, HD 127381 and HD 142256. These lines-of-sight areknown to cross both the near and far neutral interface boundaries to theLoop I cavity, in addition to intersecting the fragmented shell ofneutral and partially ionized gas that defines the boundary to the LocalBubble. However, the presently measured narrow line profile-widths andtheir measured absorption intensities are found to be incompatible withtheoretical models that predict high ion absorption due to the presenceof evaporating cloud conduction interfaces. We conclude that theformation of high ions in the local ISM is highly dependent on thelocation of the absorbing gas clouds with respect to nearby sources ofboth hot X-ray emitting gas and/or photo-ionization. Our observationshave also revealed at least 6 gas clouds with distances ranging from 5pc to 150 pc along these sight-lines. We have detected a cloud ofneutral and partially ionized gas with a velocity of -15 kms-1 and a hydrogen column density of log N(HI +HII) 19.3 cm-2 that is thought to define the boundary to the LocalBubble cavity at a distance of ~90 pc in this galactic direction. Thefar neutral boundary to the Loop I superbubble cavity is also detectedat a distance of 150-180 pc and is composed of two cold clouds moving atvelocities close to Vhelio 0 km s-1possessing a combined hydrogen column density of log N(HI + HII)≫19.5 cm-2. In contrast, we have also detected three lowdensity, warm and partially ionized diffuse clouds with averagevelocities of ~-10, -23 and -32 km s-1, that are all locatedwithin a distance of ~150 pc. The cloud component at V  -23 kms-1 may be associated with the very local "G-cloud" at adistance of <5 pc, but we also provide evidence for its placement ata greater distance. The measured velocities of the majority of the gasclouds we have detected along all 4 sight-lines are consistent with aninflow of gas into the LB cavity from the direction of the Loop Isuperbubble. This gas is flowing through a region of fragmentation at adistance of ~90 pc that represents the interaction region between theLoop I and Local Bubble cavities. CHARM2: An updated Catalog of High Angular Resolution MeasurementsWe 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 (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/431/773 The physical properties of normal A starsDesignating a star as of A-type is a result of spectral classification.After separating the peculiar stars from those deemed to be normal usingthe results of a century of stellar astrophysical wisdom, I define thephysical properties of the "normal" stars. The hotter A stars haveatmospheres almost in radiative equilibrium. In the A stars convectivemotions can be found which increase in strength as the temperaturedecreases. Tidal Effects in Binaries of Various PeriodsWe found in the published literature the rotational velocities for 162B0-B9.5, 152 A0-A5, and 86 A6-F0 stars, all of luminosity classes V orIV, that are in spectroscopic or visual binaries with known orbitalelements. The data show that stars in binaries with periods of less thanabout 4 days have synchronized rotational and orbital motions. Stars inbinaries with periods of more than about 500 days have the samerotational velocities as single stars. However, the primaries inbinaries with periods of between 4 and 500 days have substantiallysmaller rotational velocities than single stars, implying that they havelost one-third to two-thirds of their angular momentum, presumablybecause of tidal interactions. The angular momentum losses increase withdecreasing binary separations or periods and increase with increasingage or decreasing mass. Nearby stars of the Galactic disk and halo. III.High-resolution spectroscopic observations of about 150 nearby stars orstar systems are presented and discussed. The study of these and another100 objects of the previous papers of this series implies that theGalaxy became reality 13 or 14 Gyr ago with the implementation of amassive, rotationally-supported population of thick-disk stars. The veryhigh star formation rate in that phase gave rise to a rapid metalenrichment and an expulsion of gas in supernovae-driven Galactic winds,but was followed by a star formation gap for no less than three billionyears at the Sun's galactocentric distance. In a second phase, then, thethin disk - our familiar Milky Way'' - came on stage. Nowadays ittraces the bright side of the Galaxy, but it is also embedded in a hugecoffin of dead thick-disk stars that account for a large amount ofbaryonic dark matter. As opposed to this, cold-dark-matter-dominatedcosmologies that suggest a more gradual hierarchical buildup throughmergers of minor structures, though popular, are a poor description forthe Milky Way Galaxy - and by inference many other spirals as well - if,as the sample implies, the fossil records of its long-lived stars do notstick to this paradigm. Apart from this general picture that emergeswith reference to the entire sample stars, a good deal of the presentwork is however also concerned with detailed discussions of manyindividual objects. Among the most interesting we mention the bluestraggler or merger candidates HD 165401 and HD 137763/HD 137778, thelikely accretion of a giant planet or brown dwarf on 59 Vir in itsrecent history, and HD 63433 that proves to be a young solar analog at\tau200 Myr. Likewise, the secondary to HR 4867, formerly suspectednon-single from the Hipparcos astrometry, is directly detectable in thehigh-resolution spectroscopic tracings, whereas the visual binary \chiCet is instead at least triple, and presumably even quadruple. Withrespect to the nearby young stars a complete account of the Ursa MajorAssociation is presented, and we provide as well plain evidence foranother, the Hercules-Lyra Association'', the likely existence ofwhich was only realized in recent years. On account of its rotation,chemistry, and age we do confirm that the Sun is very typical among itsG-type neighbors; as to its kinematics, it appears however not unlikelythat the Sun's known low peculiar space velocity could indeed be thecause for the weak paleontological record of mass extinctions and majorimpact events on our parent planet during the most recent Galactic planepassage of the solar system. Although the significance of thiscorrelation certainly remains a matter of debate for years to come, wepoint in this context to the principal importance of the thick disk fora complete census with respect to the local surface and volumedensities. Other important effects that can be ascribed to this darkstellar population comprise (i) the observed plateau in the shape of theluminosity function of the local FGK stars, (ii) a small thoughsystematic effect on the basic solar motion, (iii) a reassessment of theterm asymmetrical drift velocity'' for the remainder (i.e. the thindisk) of the stellar objects, (iv) its ability to account for the bulkof the recently discovered high-velocity blue white dwarfs, (v) itsmajor contribution to the Sun's 220 km s-1 rotationalvelocity around the Galactic center, and (vi) the significant flatteningthat it imposes on the Milky Way's rotation curve. Finally we note ahigh multiplicity fraction in the small but volume-complete local sampleof stars of this ancient population. This in turn is highly suggestivefor a star formation scenario wherein the few existing single stellarobjects might only arise from either late mergers or the dynamicalejection of former triple or higher level star systems. Empirically Constrained Color-Temperature Relations. II. uvbyA 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. S4N: A spectroscopic survey of stars in the solar neighborhood. The Nearest 15 pcWe report the results of a high-resolution spectroscopic survey of allthe stars more luminous than M_V = 6.5 mag within 14.5 pc from the Sun.The Hipparcos catalog's completeness limits guarantee that our survey iscomprehensive and free from some of the selection effects in othersamples of nearby stars. The resulting spectroscopic database, which wehave made publicly available, includes spectra for 118 stars obtainedwith a resolving power of R ≃ 50 000, continuous spectral coveragebetween  362-921 nm, and typical signal-to-noise ratios in therange 150-600. We derive stellar parameters and perform a preliminaryabundance and kinematic analysis of the F-G-K stars in the sample. Theinferred metallicity ([Fe/H]) distribution is centered at about -0.1dex, and shows a standard deviation of 0.2 dex. A comparison with largersamples of Hipparcos stars, some of which have been part of previousabundance studies, suggests that our limited sample is representative ofa larger volume of the local thin disk. We identify a number ofmetal-rich K-type stars which appear to be very old, confirming theclaims for the existence of such stars in the solar neighborhood. Withatmospheric effective temperatures and gravities derived independentlyof the spectra, we find that our classical LTE model-atmosphere analysisof metal-rich (and mainly K-type) stars provides discrepant abundancesfrom neutral and ionized lines of several metals. This ionizationimbalance could be a sign of departures from LTE or inhomogeneousstructure, which are ignored in the interpretation of the spectra.Alternatively, but seemingly unlikely, the mismatch could be explainedby systematic errors in the scale of effective temperatures. Based ontransitions of majority species, we discuss abundances of 16 chemicalelements. In agreement with earlier studies we find that the abundanceratios to iron of Si, Sc, Ti, Co, and Zn become smaller as the ironabundance increases until approaching the solar values, but the trendsreverse for higher iron abundances. At any given metallicity, stars witha low galactic rotational velocity tend to have high abundances of Mg,Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, Co, Zn, and Eu, but low abundances of Ba, Ce, and Nd.The Sun appears deficient by roughly 0.1 dex in O, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, Y,Ce, Nd, and Eu, compared to its immediate neighbors with similar ironabundances.Based on observations made with the 2.7 m telescope at the McDonaldObservatory of the University of Texas at Austin (Texas), and the 1.52 mtelescope at the European Southern Observatory (La Silla, Chile) underthe agreement with the CNPq/Observatorio Nacional (Brazil).Tables 3-5 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/420/183 J - K DENIS photometry of a VLTI-selected sample of bright southern starsWe present a photometric survey of bright southern stars carried outusing the DENIS instrument equipped with attenuating filters. Theobservations were carried out not using the survey mode of DENIS, butwith individual target pointings. This project was stimulated by theneed to obtain near-infrared photometry of stars to be used in earlycommissioning observations of the ESO Very Large TelescopeInterferometer, and in particular to establish a network of brightcalibrator sources.We stress that near-infrared photometry is peculiarly lacking for manybright stars. These stars are saturated in 2MASS as well as in regularDENIS observations. The only other observations available for brightinfrared stars are those of the Two Micron Sky Survey dating from overthirty years ago. These were restricted to declinations above≈-30°, and thus cover only about half of the sky accessible fromthe VLTI site.We note that the final 2MASS data release includes photometry of brightstars, obtained by means of point-spread function fitting. However, thismethod only achieves about 30% accuracy, which is not sufficient formost applications.In this work, we present photometry for over 600 stars, each with atleast one and up to eight measurements, in the J and K filters. Typicalaccuracy is at the level of 0\fm05 and 0\fm04 in the J and K_s bands,respectively.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla.Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/413/1037 High-Resolution Observations of Interstellar Ca I Absorption-Implications for Depletions and Electron Densities in Diffuse CloudsWe 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 ofgrain-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. Local Interstellar Matter: The Apex CloudSeveral nearby individual low column density interstellar cloudlets havebeen identified previously on the basis of kinematical features evidentin high-resolution Ca+ observations near the Sun. One ofthese cloudlets, the Apex Cloud'' (AC), is within 5 pc of the Sun inthe solar apex direction. The question of which interstellar cloud willconstitute the next Galactic environment of the Sun can, in principle,be determined from cloudlet velocities. The interstellar absorptionlines toward α Cen (the nearest star) are consistent withinmeasurement uncertainties with the projected G'' cloud (GC) and ACvelocities, and also with the velocity of the cloud inside of the solarsystem (the local interstellar cloud [LIC]), provided a small velocitygradient is present in the LIC. The high GC column density towardα Oph compared to α Aql suggests that α Aql may beembedded in the GC so that the AC would be closer to the Sun than theGC. This scenario favors the AC as the next cloud to be encountered bythe Sun, and the AC would have a supersonic velocity with respect to theLIC. The weak feature at the AC velocity toward 36 Oph suggests that theAC cloud is either patchy or does not extend to this direction.Alternatively, if the GC is the cloud that is foreground to α Cen,the similar values for N(H0) in the GC components towardα Cen and 36 Oph indicate this cloud is entirely contained withinthe nearest ~1.3 pc, and the Ca+ GC data toward α Ophwould then imply a cloud volume density of ~5 cm-3, withdramatic consequences for the heliosphere in the near future. 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. Stellar Kinematic Groups. II. A Reexamination of the Membership, Activity, and Age of the Ursa Major GroupUtilizing Hipparcos parallaxes, original radial velocities and recentliterature values, new Ca II H and K emission measurements,literature-based abundance estimates, and updated photometry (includingrecent resolved measurements of close doubles), we revisit the UrsaMajor moving group membership status of some 220 stars to produce afinal clean list of nearly 60 assured members, based on kinematic andphotometric criteria. Scatter in the velocity dispersions and H-Rdiagram is correlated with trial activity-based membership assignments,indicating the usefulness of criteria based on photometric andchromospheric emission to examine membership. Closer inspection,however, shows that activity is considerably more robust at excludingmembership, failing to do so only for <=15% of objects, perhapsconsiderably less. Our UMa members demonstrate nonzero vertex deviationin the Bottlinger diagram, behavior seen in older and recent studies ofnearby young disk stars and perhaps related to Galactic spiralstructure. Comparison of isochrones and our final UMa group membersindicates an age of 500+/-100 Myr, some 200 Myr older than thecanonically quoted UMa age. Our UMa kinematic/photometric members' meanchromospheric emission levels, rotational velocities, and scattertherein are indistinguishable from values in the Hyades and smaller thanthose evinced by members of the younger Pleiades and M34 clusters,suggesting these characteristics decline rapidly with age over 200-500Myr. None of our UMa members demonstrate inordinately low absolutevalues of chromospheric emission, but several may show residual fluxes afactor of >=2 below a Hyades-defined lower envelope. If one defines aMaunder-like minimum in a relative sense, then the UMa results maysuggest that solar-type stars spend 10% of their entire main-sequencelives in periods of precipitously low activity, which is consistent withestimates from older field stars. As related asides, we note six evolvedstars (among our UMa nonmembers) with distinctive kinematics that liealong a 2 Gyr isochrone and appear to be late-type counterparts to diskF stars defining intermediate-age star streams in previous studies,identify a small number of potentially very young but isolated fieldstars, note that active stars (whether UMa members or not) in our samplelie very close to the solar composition zero-age main sequence, unlikeHipparcos-based positions in the H-R diagram of Pleiades dwarfs, andargue that some extant transformations of activity indices are notadequate for cool dwarfs, for which Ca II infrared triplet emissionseems to be a better proxy than Hα-based values for Ca II H and Kindices. High resolution spectroscopy of circumstellar material around A starsWe have analysed a time series of high resolution spectra (R=217 000) ofthe CaII K line of 9 stars which are candidates for the presence ofcircumstellar material from our previous studies. We have searched forvariable narrow absorption components similar to those extensivelystudied in the case of beta Pictoris. Our data show long-termvariations in the spectra of HR 2550 and HR 3685 which can be attributedto the dynamics of circumstellar gas. About one third of the samplestars show variable line absorption but only beta Pictoris seems toexhibit uniquely strong variations on short (nightly) timescales. Inorder to examine possible interstellar contributions we compared ourresults with interstellar data from the literature. The column densitiesof our absorption features are up to three orders of magnitude higherthan those found for the Local Interstellar Cloud.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla, Chile. Automated spectroscopic abundances of A and F-type stars using echelle spectrographs. II. Abundances of 140 A-F stars from ELODIEUsing the method presented in Erspamer & North (\cite{erspamer},hereafter Paper I), detailed abundances of 140 stars are presented. Theuncertainties characteristic of this method are presented and discussed.In particular, we show that for a S/N ratio higher than 200, the methodis applicable to stars with a rotational velocity as high as 200 kms-1. There is no correlation between abundances and Vsin i,except a spurious one for Sr, Sc and Na which we explain by the smallnumber of lines of these elements combined with a locally biasedcontinuum. Metallic giants (Hauck \cite{hauck}) show larger abundancesthan normal giants for at least 8 elements: Al, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Niand Ba. The anticorrelation for Na, Mg, Si, Ca, Fe and Ni with Vsin isuggested by Varenne & Monier (\cite{varenne99}) is not confirmed.The predictions of the Montréal models (e.g. Richard et al.\cite{richard01}) are not fulfilled in general. However, a correlationbetween left [(Fe)/(H)right ] and log g is found for stars of 1.8 to 2.0M_sun. Various possible causes are discussed, but the physical realityof this correlation seems inescapable.Based on observations collected at the 1.93 m telescope at theObservatoire de Haute-Provence (St-Michel l'Observatoire, France) andCORALIE.Based on observations collected at the Swiss 1.2 m Leonard Eulertelescopes at the European Southern Observatory (La Silla, Chile).Tables 5 and 6 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u.strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/398/1121 The radii and spectra of the nearest starsWe discuss direct measurements of the radii of 36 stars located closerthan 25 parsecs to the Sun. We present the data on 307 radii and 326spectral types and luminosity classes for the nearest stars locatedinside the sphere with a radius of 10 parsecs. 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. Empirical calibration of the near-infrared Ca II triplet - III. Fitting functionsUsing a near-infrared stellar library of 706 stars with a wide coverageof atmospheric parameters, we study the behaviour of the CaII tripletstrength in terms of effective temperature, surface gravity andmetallicity. Empirical fitting functions for recently definedline-strength indices, namely CaT*, CaT and PaT, are provided. Thesefunctions can be easily implemented into stellar population models toprovide accurate predictions for integrated CaII strengths. We alsopresent a thorough study of the various error sources and their relationto the residuals of the derived fitting functions. Finally, the derivedfunctional forms and the behaviour of the predicted CaII are comparedwith those of previous works in the field. Astrometric Orbits from a Direct Combination of Ground-Based Catalogs with the Hipparcos CatalogNot Available
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 Constellation: Schlangenträger Right ascension: 17h34m56.10s Declination: +12Â°33'36.0" Apparent magnitude: 2.08 Distance: 14.318 parsecs

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 Proper Names Rasalhague   (Edit) Bayer α Oph Flamsteed 55 Oph HD 1989 HD 159561 USNO-A2.0 USNO-A2 0975-09401973 BSC 1991 HR 6556 → Request more catalogs and designations from VizieR