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 Caroline Herschel's catalogue of nebulaeNot Available 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. La supernova de 1572, une diversite d'interpretations.Not Available A 2dF survey of the Small Magellanic CloudWe present a catalogue of new spectral types for hot, luminous stars inthe Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The catalogue contains 4161 objects,giving an order-of-magnitude increase in the number of SMC stars withpublished spectroscopic classifications. The targets are primarily B-and A-type stars (2862 and 853 objects respectively), with oneWolf-Rayet, 139 O-type and 306 FG stars, sampling the main sequence to~mid-B. The selection and classification criteria are described, andobjects of particular interest are discussed, including UV-selectedtargets from the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT) experiment, Be andB[e] stars, anomalous A supergiants' and composite-spectrum systems. Weexamine the incidence of Balmer-line emission, and the relationshipbetween Hγ equivalent width and absolute magnitude for BA stars. A near-infrared stellar spectral library: I. H-band spectra.This paper presents the H band near-infrared (NIR) spectral library of135 solar type stars covering spectral types O5-M3 and luminosityclasses I-V as per MK classification. The observations were carried outwith 1.2 meter Gurushikhar Infrared Telescope (GIRT), at Mt. Abu, Indiausing a NICMOS3 HgCdTe 256 x 256 NIR array based spectrometer. Thespectra have a moderate resolution of 1000 (about 16 A) at the H bandand have been continuum shape corrected to their respective effectivetemperatures. This library and the remaining ones in J and K bands oncereleased will serve as an important database for stellar populationsynthesis and other applications in conjunction with the newly formedlarge optical coude feed stellar spectral library of Valdes et al.(2004). The complete H-Band library is available online at: http://vo.iucaa.ernet.in/~voi/NIR_Header.html Astrometry of the 1572 supernova (B Cassiopeiae)Contemporary European measurements of the Milky Way supernova of 1572 (BCas) have been analyzed to compute a modern position for the star in1572. This work adds to that done by previous 20th-century authors byusing a new procedure and previously unused astrometry by 16th-centuryEuropean observers. Comparison is made with earlier analyses and tomodern positional data on the supernova remnant (3C 10). Characteristics and classification of A-type supergiants in the Small Magellanic CloudWe address the relationship between spectral type and physicalproperties for A-type supergiants in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC).First, we construct a self-consistent classification scheme for Asupergiants, employing the calcium K to Hɛ line ratio as atemperature-sequence discriminant. Following the precepts of the MKprocess', the same morphological criteria are applied to Galactic andSMC spectra, with the understanding that there may not be acorrespondence in physical properties between spectral counterparts indifferent environments. Then we discuss the temperature scale,concluding that A supergiants in the SMC are systematically cooler thantheir Galactic counterparts at the same spectral type, by up to ~10 percent. Considering the relative line strengths of Hγ and the CH Gband, we extend our study to F- and early G-type supergiants, for whichsimilar effects are found. We note the implications for analyses ofluminous extragalactic supergiants, for the flux-weightedgravity-luminosity relationship and for population synthesis studies inunresolved stellar systems. 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. Elemental Abundances and Mass Densities of Dust and Gas in the Local Interstellar CloudObservationally derived gas-phase abundances and appropriate assumptionsfor the total elemental abundances of dust and gas determine theelemental composition of dust and the elemental depletion from gas inthe interstellar medium (ISM). In addition to the elemental abundances,the total mass ratio of hydrogen atoms to dust grains per spatial volumeis a measure of the interaction between dust and gas in the ISM. Recentremote astronomical observations and in situ measurements provide theopportunity of estimating the elemental abundances and the hydrogengas-to-dust mass ratio of the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC), in whichthe Sun is currently embedded. We show that the composition of dust inthe LIC is similar to that of cometary dust in the solar system,although the nitrogen abundance remains uncertain. Depletions ofelements from the LIC gas are consistent with measurements of warmneutral clouds in the Galactic disk, except for Mg and Si, which areheavily depleted in the LIC. Remote astronomical observations and insitu measurements give essentially the same value for the gas-to-dustmass ratio of the LIC, which is comparable to the average value of thediffuse ISM in the Galaxy. This indicates the association of dust withgas in the LIC, which is also inferred from the depletion pattern in theLIC. Neither the depletions of elements nor the gas-to-dust mass ratioshow evidence for severe grain destruction that would result from shockswith velocity ~1.5×107 cm s-1 as suggestedby a model that postulates the LIC to be a fragment of the expandingLoop I superbubble shell. Our results rather favor an alternative modelthat describes the origin of the LIC as being one of H I cloudletsexpelled from the interaction zone between the Loop I superbubble andthe Local Bubble, which encloses the LIC and similar clouds in the solarneighborhood. The association of IRAS sources and 12CO emission in the outer GalaxyWe have revisited the question of the association of CO emission withIRAS sources in the outer Galaxy using data from the FCRAO Outer GalaxySurvey (OGS). The availability of a large-scale high-resolution COsurvey allows us to approach the question of IRAS-CO associations from anew direction - namely we examined all of the IRAS sources within theOGS region for associated molecular material. By investigating theassociation of molecular material with random lines of sight in the OGSregion we were able to construct a quantitative means to judge thelikelihood that any given IRAS-CO association is valid and todisentangle multiple emission components along the line of sight. Thepaper presents a list of all of the IRAS-CO associations in the OGSregion. We show that, within the OGS region, there is a significantincrease ( ~ 22%) in the number of probable star forming regions overprevious targeted CO surveys towards IRAS sources. As a demonstration ofthe utility of the IRAS-CO association table we present the results ofthree brief studies on candidate zone-of-avoidance galaxies with IRAScounterparts, far outer Galaxy CO clouds, and very bright CO clouds withno associated IRAS sources. We find that ~ 25% of such candidate ZOAGsare Galactic objects. We have discovered two new far outer Galaxystar-forming regions, and have discovered six bright molecular cloudsthat we believe are ideal targets for the investigation of the earlieststages of sequential star formation around HII regions. Finally, thispaper provides readers with the necessary data to compare othercatalogued data sets with the OGS data.Tables 1, 2 and A1 are 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/399/1083 The Structure of the Local Interstellar Medium. I. High-Resolution Observations of Fe II, Mg II, and Ca II toward Stars within 100 ParsecsHigh-resolution absorption measurements(λ/Δλ>~100,000) of the resonance lines of Fe II,Mg II, and Ca II are presented for all available observed targets within100 pc. The Fe II and Mg II spectra were obtained with the Goddard HighResolution Spectrograph (GHRS) and the Space Telescope ImagingSpectrograph (STIS) instruments aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).Of the 63 observations of targets within 100 pc, we present newmeasurements for 24 lines of sight. We also compiled all publishedabsorption measurements based on Ca II spectra obtained by variousground-based instruments. For each observation we provide measurementsof the central velocity, Doppler parameter, and column density for eachabsorption component. These three ions provide the best opportunity tomeasure the component velocity structure. Because these are the heaviestions observed in absorption through the warm local interstellar medium(LISM), the narrow line widths minimize significant blending ofcomponents and allow for accurate measurements of the central velocity.We present a statistical analysis of the LISM absorption measurements,which provides an overview of some physical characteristics of warmclouds in the LISM, such as, temperature, turbulent velocity, ionizationdegree, and depletion. The complete collection and reduction of all LISMabsorption measurements provides an important database for studying thestructure of nearby warm clouds. Subsequent papers will present modelsfor the morphology and physical properties of individual structures(clouds) in the LISM. The Velocity Distribution of the Nearest Interstellar GasThe bulk flow velocity for the cluster of interstellar cloudlets within~30 pc of the Sun is determined from optical and ultraviolet absorptionline data, after omitting from the sample stars with circumstellar disksor variable emission lines and the active variable HR 1099. A total of96 velocity components toward the remaining 60 stars yield a streamingvelocity through the local standard of rest of -17.0+/-4.6 kms-1, with an upstream direction of l=2.3d, b=-5.2d (usingHipparcos values for the solar apex motion). The velocity dispersion ofthe interstellar matter (ISM) within 30 pc is consistent with that ofnearby diffuse clouds, but present statistics are inadequate todistinguish between a Gaussian or exponential distribution about thebulk flow velocity. The upstream direction of the bulk flow vectorsuggests an origin associated with the Loop I supernova remnant.Groupings of component velocities by region are seen, indicatingregional departures from the bulk flow velocity or possibly separateclouds. The absorption components from the cloudlet feeding ISM into thesolar system form one of the regional features. The nominal gradientbetween the velocities of upstream and downstream gas may be an artifactof the Sun's location near the edge of the local cloud complex. The Sunmay emerge from the surrounding gas patch within several thousand years. 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 Microstructure of the Local Interstellar Cloud and the Identification of the Hyades CloudWe analyze high-resolution UV spectra of the Mg II h and k lines for 18members of the Hyades to study inhomogeneity along these proximate linesof sight. The observations were taken by the Space Telescope ImagingSpectrograph (STIS) instrument on board the Hubble Space Telescope(HST). Three distinct velocity components are observed. All 18 lines ofsight show absorption by the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC); 10 starsshow absorption by an additional cloud, which we name the Hyades Cloud;and one star exhibits a third absorption component. The LIC absorptionis observed at a lower radial velocity than predicted by the LICvelocity vector derived by Lallement & Bertin in 1992 and Lallementet al. in 1995[vpredicted(LIC)-vobserved(LIC)=2.9+/-0.7 kms-1], which may indicate a compression or deceleration at theleading edge of the LIC. We propose an extension of the Hyades Cloudboundary based on previous HST observations of other stars in thegeneral vicinity of the Hyades, as well as ground-based Ca IIobservations. We present our fits of the interstellar parameters foreach absorption component. The availability of 18 similar lines of sightprovides an excellent opportunity to study the inhomogeneity of thewarm, partially ionized local interstellar medium (LISM). We find thatthese structures are roughly homogeneous. The measured Mg II columndensities do not vary by more than a factor of 2 for angular separationsof <~8°, which at the outer edge of the LIC correspond tophysical separations of <~0.6 pc. Mid-Infrared Images of the Circumstellar Dust around α ScorpiiWe present the first two-dimensional mid-infrared images of thecircumstellar dust distribution around the supergiant star αScorpii. Our observations were made at wavelengths of 12.5 and 20.8μm using the MIRLIN focal-plane array camera on the Keck II 10 mtelescope, with spatial resolution (λ/D) of 0.29" and 0.48" atthe two wavelengths, respectively. Our deconvolved images, which providea resolution enhancement of approximately a factor of 2, show that thedust shell previously detected in one-dimensional scans is actuallyhighly nonuniform. Specifically, the shell is now seen to beconcentrated largely into three discrete clumps, and there is evidenceof a more recent ejection which has left a central concentration of dustwithin about 0.3" from the star. GasDust Shells around Some Early-Type Stars with an IR Excess (of Emission)The results of an investigation of IR (IRAS) observations of 58OBAF stars of different luminosity classes, whichare mainly members of various associations, are presented. The colorindices of these stars are determined and two-color diagrams areconstructed. The emission excesses at 12 and 25 mm (E 12 and E 25) arealso compared with the absorption A1640 of UV radiation. It is concludedthat 24 stars (of the 58 investigated) are disk systems of the Vegatype, to which Vega = N 53 also belongs. Eight known stars of the Vegatype are also given in the figures for comparison. The remaining 34stars may have gasdust shells and/or shelldisks. The IRemission excesses of the 34 investigated stars and 11 comparison stars(eight of them are Be-Ae stars) are evidently due both to thermalemission from grains and to the emission from freefreetransitions of electrons in the gasdust shells of these stars. The Physical Basis of Luminosity Classification in the Late A-, F-, and Early G-Type Stars. II. Basic Parameters of Program Stars and the Role of MicroturbulencePaper I of this series presented precise MK spectral types for 372 lateA-, F-, and early G-type stars with the aim of understanding the natureof luminosity classification on the MK spectral classification systemfor this range of spectral types. In this paper, a multidimensionaldownhill simplex technique is introduced to determine the basicparameters of the program stars from fits of synthetic spectra andfluxes with observed spectra and fluxes from Strömgren uvbyphotometry. This exercise yields useful calibrations of the MK spectralclassification system but, most importantly, gives insight into thephysical nature of luminosity classification on the MK spectralclassification system. In particular, we find that in this range ofspectral types, microturbulence appears to be at least as important asgravity in determining the MK luminosity type. The Physical Basis of Luminosity Classification in the Late A-, F-, and Early G-Type Stars. I. Precise Spectral Types for 372 StarsThis is the first in a series of two papers that address the problem ofthe physical nature of luminosity classification in the late A-, F-, andearly G-type stars. In this paper, we present precise spectralclassifications of 372 stars on the MK system. For those stars in theset with Strömgren uvbyβ photometry, we derive reddenings andpresent a calibration of MK temperature types in terms of the intrinsicStrömgren (b-y)0 index. We also examine the relationshipbetween the luminosity class and the Strömgren c1 index,which measures the Balmer jump. The second paper will address thederivation of the physical parameters of these stars, and therelationships between these physical parameters and the luminosityclass. Stars classified in this paper include one new λ Bootisstar and 10 of the F- and G-type dwarfs with recently discoveredplanets. Local clouds: Ionization, temperatures, electron densities and interfaces, from GHRS and IMAPS spectra of epsilon Canis MajorisThe composition and physical properties of several local clouds,including the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC) in which the Sun isembedded, are derived from absorption features in the UV spectrum of thestar epsilon CMa. We derive temperatures and densities for threecomponents by combining our interpretations of the ionization balance ofmagnesium and the relative population of C II in an excitedfine-structure level. We find that for the LIC ne =0.12+/-0.05 cm-3 and T = 7000+/-1200 K. We derive theionization fractions of hydrogen and discuss the ionizing processes. Inparticular the hydrogen and helium ionizations in the LIC are compatiblewith photoionization by the local EUV radiation fields from the hotstars and the cloud interface with the hot gas. We confirm the detectionof high ionization species: Si III is detected in all clouds and C IV intwo of them, including the LIC, suggesting the presence of ionizedinterfaces around the local clouds. Based on observations with theNASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space TelescopeInstitute, which is operated by the Association of Universities forResearch in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statisticsThe Catalogue, available at the Centre de Données Stellaires deStrasbourg, consists of 13 573 records concerning the results obtainedfrom different methods for 7778 stars, reported in the literature. Thefollowing data are listed for each star: identifications, apparentmagnitude, spectral type, apparent diameter in arcsec, absolute radiusin solar units, method of determination, reference, remarks. Commentsand statistics obtained from CADARS are given. The Catalogue isavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcar?J/A+A/367/521 Research Note Hipparcos photometry: The least variable starsThe data known as the Hipparcos Photometry obtained with the Hipparcossatellite have been investigated to find those stars which are leastvariable. Such stars are excellent candidates to serve as standards forphotometric systems. Their spectral types suggest in which parts of theHR diagrams stars are most constant. In some cases these values stronglyindicate that previous ground based studies claiming photometricvariability are incorrect or that the level of stellar activity haschanged. Table 2 is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/367/297 The proper motions of fundamental stars. I. 1535 stars from the Basic FK5A direct combination of the positions given in the HIPPARCOS cataloguewith astrometric ground-based catalogues having epochs later than 1939allows us to obtain new proper motions for the 1535 stars of the BasicFK5. The results are presented as the catalogue Proper Motions ofFundamental Stars (PMFS), Part I. The median precision of the propermotions is 0.5 mas/year for mu alpha cos delta and 0.7mas/year for mu delta . The non-linear motions of thephotocentres of a few hundred astrometric binaries are separated intotheir linear and elliptic motions. Since the PMFS proper motions do notinclude the information given by the proper motions from othercatalogues (HIPPARCOS, FK5, FK6, etc.) this catalogue can be used as anindependent source of the proper motions of the fundamental stars.Catalogue (Table 3) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strastg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/365/222 On the Variability of A3-F0 Luminosity Class III-V StarsI investigate the Hipparcos Satellite photometry of A3-F0 stars ofluminosity classes III-V to learn about their variability and identify afew stars for which further study is desirable. The Normal Energy Distributions in Stellar Spectra: Giants and SupergiantsWe have derived the normal spectral energy distributions for thoseearly-type subgiants, giants, and supergiants that were not investigatedin our earlier studies, which were in most cases also not included inthe studies of Sviderskiene. Color indices computed using our normalenergy distributions are in good agreement with normal colors derivedfrom observations in the Vilnius photometric system. The reliability ofour distribution curves is also demonstrated by comparisons of observedand computed (W-B)-(B-V) two-color diagrams in the WBVR system. Normalcolor indices for the photometric WBVR system are derived. Near-Infrared Classification Spectroscopy: J-Band Spectra of Fundamental MK StandardsWe present a catalog of J-band spectra for 88 fundamental MK standardstars observed at a resolving power of R~3000. This contribution servesas a companion atlas to the K-band spectra recently published by Wallace& Hinkle and the H-band atlas by Meyer and coworkers. We report datafrom 7400 to 9550 cm-1 (1.05-1.34 μm) for stars ofspectral types O7-M6 and luminosity classes I-V as defined in the MKsystem. In reducing these data, special care has been taken to removetime-variable telluric features of water vapor. We identify atomic andmolecular indexes that are both temperature and luminosity sensitivethat aid in the classification of stellar spectra in the J band. Inaddition to being useful in the classification of late-type stars, the Jband contains several features of interest in the study of early-typestellar photospheres. These data are available electronically foranonymous FTP in addition to being served on the World Wide Web. The Three-dimensional Structure of the Warm Local Interstellar Medium. II. The Colorado Model of the Local Interstellar CloudIn this second paper in a series on the structure of the localinterstellar medium (LISM), we construct a three-dimensional model ofthe local interstellar cloud (LIC) based on Hubble Space Telescope(HST), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE), and ground-based Ca IIspectra. Starting with hydrogen column densities derived from deuteriumcolumn densities measured with the Goddard High Resolution Spectrographinstrument on HST for 16 lines of sight to nearby stars, we derive amodel consisting of the sum of nine spherical harmonics that best fitthe data. We then rederive the model by including the lines of sight tothree hot white dwarfs observed by EUVE and 13 lines of sight with Ca IIcolumn densities at the projected LIC velocity. The LIC model is clearlynot a long thin filamentary structure like optical images of someinterstellar clouds (e.g., reflection nebulae in the Pleiades), butneither is it spherical in shape. As seen from the north Galactic pole,the LIC is egg-shaped with an axis of symmetry that points in thedirection l~315deg. Since the direction of the center of theScorpius-Centaurus association is l=320deg, the shape of theLIC could be determined by the flow of hot gas from Sco-Cen. The modelshows that the Sun is located just inside the LIC in the direction ofthe Galactic center and toward the north Galactic pole. The absence ofMg II absorption at the LIC velocity toward α Cen indicates thatthe distance to the edge of the LIC in this direction is <=0.05 pcand the Sun should cross the boundary between the LIC and the Galactic(G) cloud in less than 3000 yr. We estimate that the volume of the LICis about 93 pc3 and its mass is about 0.32 Msolar.The physical parameters and hydrogen column density of the LIC areroughly consistent with theoretical models of the warm interstellarmedium that assume pressure and ionization equilibrium. However, theempirical hydrogen ionization of the LIC is much higher and the gastemperature lower than the theoretical models predict. Therefore, theionization is likely due to shock activity from a nearby supernova thathas not yet reached equilibrium. The higher ionization increases the gascooling, which can explain why the gas is 2400 K cooler than theionization equilibrium models predict. Computed and observedtemperatures are in agreement for a model with the observed LIC electrondensity. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated bythe Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., underNASA contract NAS 5-26555. Sixth Catalogue of Fundamental Stars (FK6). Part I. Basic fundamental stars with direct solutionsThe FK6 is a suitable combination of the results of the HIPPARCOSastrometry satellite with ground-based data, measured over more than twocenturies and summarized in the FK5. Part I of the FK6 (abbreviatedFK6(I)) contains 878 basic fundamental stars with direct solutions. Suchdirect solutions are appropriate for single stars or for objects whichcan be treated like single stars. From the 878 stars in Part I, we haveselected 340 objects as "astrometrically excellent stars", since theirinstantaneous proper motions and mean (time-averaged) ones do not differsignificantly. Hence most of the astrometrically excellent stars arewell-behaving "single-star candidates" with good astrometric data. Thesestars are most suited for high-precision astrometry. On the other hand,199 of the stars in Part I are Δμ binaries in the sense ofWielen et al. (1999). Many of them are newly discovered probablebinaries with no other hitherto known indication of binarity. The FK6gives, besides the classical "single-star mode" solutions (SI mode),other solutions which take into account the fact that hidden astrometricbinaries among "apparently single-stars" introduce sizable "cosmicerrors" into the quasi-instantaneously measured HIPPARCOS proper motionsand positions. The FK6 gives in addition to the SI mode the "long-termprediction (LTP) mode" and the "short-term prediction (STP) mode". TheseLTP and STP modes are on average the most precise solutions forapparently single stars, depending on the epoch difference with respectto the HIPPARCOS epoch of about 1991. The typical mean error of anFK6(I) proper motion in the single-star mode is 0.35 mas/year. This isabout a factor of two better than the typical HIPPARCOS errors for thesestars of 0.67 mas/year. In the long-term prediction mode, in whichcosmic errors are taken into account, the FK6(I) proper motions have atypical mean error of 0.50 mas/year, which is by a factor of more than 4better than the corresponding error for the HIPPARCOS values of 2.21mas/year (cosmic errors included). The Local Interstellar MediumSubstantial progress in the field of the Local Interstellar Medium hasbeen largely due to recent launches of space missions, mostly in the UVand X-ray domains, but also to ground-based observations, mainly in highresolution spectroscopy. However, a clear gap seems to remain betweenthe wealth of new data and the theoretical understanding. This papergives an overview of some observational aspects, with no attempt ofcompleteness or doing justice to all the people involved in the field.As progress rarely evolves in straight paths, we can expect that ourpresent picture of the solar system surroundings is not definitive. Deuterium Abundance in the Local ISM and Possible Spatial VariationsExcellent HST/GHRS spectra of interstellar hydrogen and deuteriumLyman-(alpha) absorption toward nearby stars allow us to identifysystematic errors that have plagued earlier work and to measure accuratevalues of the D/H ratio in local interstellar gas. Analysis of 12sightlines through the Local Interstellar Cloud leads to a mean value ofD/H = (1.50 +/- 0.10) x 10-5 with all data points lyingwithin +/- l(delta) of the mean. Whether or not the D/H ratio hasdifferent values elsewhere in the Galaxy and beyond is a very importantopen question that will be one of the major objectives of the FarUltraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) mission. Near-Infrared Classification Spectroscopy: H-Band Spectra of Fundamental MK StandardsWe present a catalog of H-band spectra for 85 stars of approximatelysolar abundance observed at a resolving power of 3000 with the KPNOMayall 4 m Fourier Transform Spectrometer. The atlas covers spectraltypes O7-M5 and luminosity classes I-V as defined in the MK system. Weidentify both atomic and molecular indices and line ratios that aretemperature and luminosity sensitive, allowing spectral classificationto be carried out in the H-band. The line ratios permit spectralclassification in the presence of continuum excess emission, which iscommonly found in pre-main-sequence or evolved stars. We demonstratethat with spectra of R = 1000 obtained at signal-to-noise ratio >50,it is possible to derive spectral types within +/-2 subclasses forlate-type stars. These data are available electronically through theAstronomical Data Center in addition to being served on the World WideWeb.
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