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 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. 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 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 The ISO-SWS post-helium atlas of near-infrared stellar spectraWe present an atlas of near-infrared spectra (2.36 mu m-4.1 mu m) of ~300 stars at moderate resolution (lambda /delta lambda ~ 1500-2000). Thespectra were recorded using the Short-Wavelength Spectrometer aboard theInfrared Space Observatory (ISO-SWS). The bulk of the observations wereperformed during a dedicated observation campaign after the liquidhelium depletion of the ISO satellite, the so-called post-heliumprogramme. This programme was aimed at extending the MK-classificationto the near-infrared. Therefore the programme covers a large range ofspectral types and luminosity classes. The 2.36 mu m-4.05 mu m region isa valuable spectral probe for both hot and cool stars. H I lines(Bracket, Pfund and Humphreys series), He I and He II lines, atomiclines and molecular lines (CO, H2O, NH, OH, SiO, HCN,C2H2, ...) are sensitive to temperature, gravityand/or the nature of the outer layers of the stellar atmosphere(outflows, hot circumstellar discs, etc.). Another objective of theprogramme was to construct a homogeneous dataset of near-infraredstellar spectra that can be used for population synthesis studies ofgalaxies. At near-infrared wavelengths these objects emit the integratedlight of all stars in the system. In this paper we present the datasetof post-helium spectra completed with observations obtained during thenominal operations of the ISO-SWS. We discuss the calibration of the SWSdata obtained after the liquid helium boil-off and the data reduction.We also give a first qualitative overview of how the spectral featuresin this wavelength range change with spectral type. The dataset isscrutinised in two papers on the quantitative classification ofnear-infrared spectra of early-type stars ({Lenorzer} et al.\cite{lenorzer:2002a}) and late-type stars (Vandenbussche et al., inprep). Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instrumentsfunded by ESA Members States (especially the PI countries France,Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and with theparticipation of ISAS and NASA. The full atlas is available inelectronic form at www.edpsciences.org Table 1 is only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr(130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?/A+A/390/1033 A 25 micron search for Vega-like disks around main-sequence stars with ISOWe present an ISO 25 mu m photometric survey of a sample of 81 nearbymain-sequence stars in order to determine the incidence of warm'' dustdisks. All stars were detected by ISO. We used an empirical relation toestimate the photospheric flux of the stars at 25 mu m. We find 5 stars(6%) with excess above the photospheric flux which we attribute to aVega-like disk. These stars show disk temperatures not warmer than 120K. Our study indicates that warm disks are relatively rare. Not a singlestar in our sample older than 400 Myr has a warm disk. We find an upperlimit of Mdisk = 2x 10-5 Moplus forthe mass of the disks which we did not detect. ISO is an ESA projectwith instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PIcountries: France, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom) andwith the participation of ISAS and NASA. Rotational velocities of A-type stars. I. Measurement of v sin i in the southern hemisphereWithin the scope of a Key Programme determining fundamental parametersof stars observed by HIPPARCOS, spectra of 525 B8 to F2-type starsbrighter than V=8 have been collected at ESO. Fourier transforms ofseveral line profiles in the range 4200-4500 Å are used to derivev sin i from the frequency of the first zero. Statistical analysis ofthe sample indicates that measurement error is a function of v sin i andthis relative error of the rotational velocity is found to be about 6%on average. The results obtained are compared with data from theliterature. There is a systematic shift from standard values from\citet{Slk_75}, which are 10 to 12% lower than our findings. Comparisonswith other independent v sin i values tend to prove that those fromSlettebak et al. are underestimated. This effect is attributed to thepresence of binaries in the standard sample of Slettebak et al., and tothe model atmosphere they used. Based on observations made at theEuropean Southern Observatory (ESO), La Silla, Chile, in the frameworkof the Key Programme 5-004-43K. Table 4 is only available in electronicform at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.125.5)or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/381/105 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 Incidence and survival of remnant disks around main-sequence starsWe present photometric ISO 60 and 170 μm measurements, complementedby some IRAS data at 60 μm, of a sample of 84 nearby main-sequencestars of spectral class A, F, G and K in order to determine theincidence of dust disks around such main-sequence stars. Fifty starswere detected at 60 μm. 36 of these emit a flux expected from theirphotosphere while 14 emit significantly more. The excess emission weattribute to a circumstellar disk like the ones around Vega and betaPictoris. Thirty four stars were not detected at all; the expectedphotospheric flux, however, is so close to the detection limit that thestars cannot have an excess stronger than the photospheric flux densityat 60 μm. Of the stars younger than 400 Myr one in two has a disk;for the older stars this is true for only one in ten. We conclude thatmost stars arrive on the main sequence surrounded by a disk; this diskthen decays in about 400 Myr. Because (i) the dust particles disappearand must be replenished on a much shorter time scale and (ii) thecollision of planetesimals is a good source of new dust, we suggest thatthe rapid decay of the disks is caused by the destruction and escape ofplanetesimals. We suggest that the dissipation of the disk is related tothe heavy bombardment phase in our Solar System. Whether all starsarrive on the main sequence surrounded by a disk cannot be established:some very young stars do not have a disk. And not all stars destroytheir disk in a similar way: some stars as old as the Sun still havesignificant disks. Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project withinstruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries:France, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK) and with the participationof ISAS and NASA. Tables 2, 3 and 4 are also available in electronicform at the CDS via anonymous ftp cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5)} orvia http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/365/545 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 A New Association of Post-T Tauri Stars near the SunObserving ROSAT sources in an area 20°×25° centered at thehigh-latitude (b=-59°) active star ER Eri, we found evidences for anearby association, that we call the Horologium association (HorA),formed by at least 10 very young stars, some of them being bona fidepost-T Tauri stars. We suggest other six stars as possible members ofthis proposed association. We examine several requirements thatcharacterize a young stellar association. Although no one of them,isolated, gives an undisputed prove of the existence of the HorA, alltogether practically create a strong evidence for it. In fact, the Liline intensities are between those of the older classical T Tauri starsand the ones of the Local Association stars. The space velocitycomponents of the HorA relative to the Sun (U=-9.5+/-1.0, V=-20.9+/-1.1,W=-2.1+/-1.9) are not far from those of the Local Association, so thatit could be one of its last episodes of star formation. In this regionof the sky there are some hotter and non-X-ray active stars, withsimilar space velocities, that could be the massive members of the HorA,among them, the nearby Be star Achernar. The maximum of the massdistribution function of its probable members is around 0.7-0.9Msolar. We estimate its distance as ~60 pc and its size as~50 pc. If spherical, this size would be larger than the surveyed area,and many other members could have been missed. ER Eri itself was foundto be not a member, but a background RS CVn-like system. We alsoobserved three control regions, two at northern and southern Galacticlatitudes and a third one in the known TW Hya association (TWA), and theproperties and distribution of their young stars strengthen the realityof the HorA. Contrary to the TWA, the only known binaries in the HorAare two very wide systems. The HorA is much more isolated from cloudsand older (~30 Myr) than the TWA and could give some clues about thelifetime of the disks around T Tauri stars. Actually, none of theproposed members is an IRAS source indicating an advanced stage of theevolution of their primitive accreting disks. Based on observations madeunder the Observatório Nacional-ESO agreement for the jointoperation of the 1.52 m ESO telescope and at the Observatório doPico dos Dias, operated by MCT/Laboratório Nacional deAstrofísica, Brazil Disappearance of stellar debris disks around main-sequence stars after 400 million years.Not Available Late-type stars and magnetic activity.Not Available Five-colour photometry of OB-stars in the Southern HemisphereObservations of OB-stars, made in 1959 and 1960 at the Leiden SouthernStation near Hartebeespoortdam, South Africa, with the VBLUW photometerattached to the 90 cm light-collector, are given in this paper. They arecompared with photometry obtained by \cite[Graham (1968),]{gra68}\cite[Walraven & Walraven (1977),]{wal77} \cite[Lub & Pel(1977)]{lub77} and \cite[Van Genderen et al. (1984).]{gen84} Formulaefor the transformation of the present observations to those of\cite[Walraven & Walraven (1977)]{wal77} and \cite[Lub & Pel(1977)]{lub77} are given. Table 4 is only available in electronic format the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) orvia http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html Radial velocities of HIPPARCOS southern B8-F2 type starsRadial velocities have been determined for a sample of B8-F2 type starsobserved by the Hipparcos satellite. Observations were obtained withinthe framework of an ESO key-program. Radial velocities have beenmeasured using a cross-correlation method, the templates being a grid ofsynthetic spectra. The obtained precision depends on effectivetemperature and projected rotational velocity of the star as well as ona possible asymmetry of the correlation peak generally due to secondarycomponents. New spectroscopic binaries have been detected from theseasymmetries and the variability of the measured radial velocity.Simulations of binary and triple systems have been performed. Forbinaries our results have been compared with Hipparcos binary data.Adding the variable radial velocities, the minimum binary fraction hasbeen found 60% for physical systems. Radial velocities have beendetermined for 581 B8-F2 stars, 159 being new. Taking into accountpublished radial velocities, 39% south A-type stars with V magnitudelower than 7.5 have a radial velocity. Based on observations obtained atthe European Southern Observatory (ESO, La Silla, Chile) and on datafrom the ESA Hipparcos astrometry satellite.}\fnmsep \thanks{Tables 7, 8and 9 are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftpto cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html The ROSAT all-sky survey catalogue of the nearby starsWe present X-ray data for all entries of the Third Catalogue of NearbyStars \cite[(Gliese & Jahreiss 1991)]{gli91} that have been detectedas X-ray sources in the ROSAT all-sky survey. The catalogue contains1252 entries yielding an average detection rate of 32.9 percent. Inaddition to count rates, source detection parameters, hardness ratios,and X-ray fluxes we also list X-ray luminosities derived from Hipparcosparallaxes. Catalogue also available at CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html Age determinations of main-sequence stars: combining different methodsWe have determined the age of a sample of nearby main-sequence starswith spectral types B9-K9. We have derived the stellar ages from fivedifferent age estimators: the location in the HR diagram compared totheoretical isochrones, the rotational velocity, the strength ofchromospheric calcium emission lines, the stellar metallicity, and theirspace velocity. New calibrations consistent with recent theoreticalisochrones are provided for the last four indicators. For hot stars,isochrones are the best indicator, while stellar rotation is best forcool stars. However, many stars require in fact a combination ofdifferent methods to properly bracket their actual age. We also discussthe uncertainties involved, in particular those in using isochrones, andwe find that these uncertainties are often underestimated in theliterature. Chromospheric models for late A-type starsThe chromospheres of alpha Aql (Altair) and alpha Cep (Alderamin) areinvestigated. Different semi-empirical model atmospheres areconstructed, and the predicted spectra are compared to the observationsof the hydrogen Lyman-alpha line (IUE) and carbon (both neutral andionized) multiplets (GHRS-HST). It is found that chromospheric models atlow temperature ( ~ 10000 K) which fit the Lalpha line, produce C iilines in absorption, contrary to observations. Among the modelsinvestigated, only those with a mean temperature of ~ 20000 K are ableto fit simultaneously the Lalpha and C ii lines. Provisional referencemodels are proposed for alpha Aql. The lower emission of alpha Cep withrespect to alpha Aql is better explained by a difference of column massthan by a difference of temperature. The chromospheric column mass ratio(alpha Cep / alpha Aql) is estimated to about 0.8. For both stars, therelatively narrow dips of the C ii emission feature cannot be of stellarorigin, owing to the fast rotation, but of interstellar absorptionnature. Based on observations by the IUE satellite collected atVillafranca ESA IUE Observatory and at the GSFC NASA IUE Observatory.Also based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble SpaceTelescope, obtained from the data archive, at the Space TelescopeScience Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universitiesfor Research in Astronomy, Inc., under contract NAS 5-26555. The ROSAT all-sky survey catalogue of optically bright main-sequence stars and subgiant starsWe present X-ray data for all main-sequence and subgiant stars ofspectral types A, F, G, and K and luminosity classes IV and V listed inthe Bright Star Catalogue that have been detected as X-ray sources inthe ROSAT all-sky survey; several stars without luminosity class arealso included. The catalogue contains 980 entries yielding an averagedetection rate of 32 percent. In addition to count rates, sourcedetection parameters, hardness ratios, and X-ray fluxes we also listX-ray luminosities derived from Hipparcos parallaxes. The catalogue isalso available in electronic form via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html Determination of the temperatures of selected ISO flux calibration stars using the Infrared Flux MethodEffective temperatures for 420 stars with spectral types between A0 andK3, and luminosity classes between II and V, selected for a fluxcalibration of the Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, have been determinedusing the Infrared Flux Method (IRFM). The determinations are based onnarrow and wide band photometric data obtained for this purpose, andtake into account previously published narrow-band measures oftemperature. Regression coefficients are given for relations between thedetermined temperatures and the photometric parameters (B2-V1), (b-y)and (B-V), corrected for interstellar extinction through use ofHipparcos parallaxes. A correction for the effect of metallicity on thedetermination of integrated flux is proposed. The importance of aknowledge of metallicity in the representation of derived temperaturesfor Class V, IV and III stars by empirical functions is discussed andformulae given. An estimate is given for the probable error of eachtemperature determination. Based on data from the ESA HipparcosAstrometry Satellite. X-ray/optical observations of stars with shallow convection zones (A8-G2 V)We present Walraven photometry and ROSAT All-Sky Survey data for asample of 173 bright main-sequence stars with spectral types between A8Vand G2V\@. These observations are part of a study of the onset ofmagnetic surface activity along the main sequence. Values for theeffective temperature, surface gravity and interstellar reddening havebeen obtained from a comparison of the observed Walraven colours withtheoretical values. These parameters have been used to derive accurateX-ray\ surface flux densities. Are metallic A-F giants evolved AM stars? Rotation and rate of binaries among giant F starsWe test the hypothesis of Berthet (1992) {be91} which foresees that Amstars become giant metallic A and F stars (defined by an enhanced valueof the blanketing parameter Delta m_2 of the Geneva photometry) whenthey evolve. If this hypothesis is right, Am and metallic A-FIII starsneed to have the same rate of binaries and a similar distribution ofvsin i. From our new spectroscopic data and from vsin i and radialvelocities in the literature, we show that it is not the case. Themetallic giant stars are often fast rotators with vsin i larger than 100kms(-1) , while the maximum rotational velocity for Am stars is about100 kms(-1) . The rate of tight binaries with periods less than 1000days is less than 30% among metallic giants, which is incompatible withthe value of 75% for Am stars - [Abt & Levy 1985] {ab85}).Therefore, the simplest way to explain the existence of giant metallic Fstars is to suggest that all normal A and early F stars might go througha short metallic" phase when they are finishing their life on the mainsequence. Besides, it is shown that only giant stars with spectral typecomprised between F0 and F6 may have a really enhanced Delta m_2 value,while all A-type giants seem to be normal. Based on observationscollected at Observatoire de Haute Provence (OHP), France. Towards a fundamental calibration of stellar parameters of A, F, G, K dwarfs and giantsI report on the implementation of the empirical surface brightnesstechnique using the near-infrared Johnson broadband { (V-K)} colour assuitable sampling observable aimed at providing accurate effectivetemperatures of 537 dwarfs and giants of A-F-G-K spectral-type selectedfor a flux calibration of the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). Thesurface brightness-colour correlation is carefully calibrated using aset of high-precision angular diameters measured by moderninterferometry techniques. The stellar sizes predicted by thiscorrelation are then combined with the bolometric flux measurementsavailable for a subset of 327 ISO standard stars in order to determineone-dimensional { (T, V-K)} temperature scales of dwarfs and giants. Theresulting very tight relationships show an intrinsic scatter induced byobservational photometry and bolometric flux measurements well below thetarget accuracy of +/- 1 % required for temperature determinations ofthe ISO standards. Major improvements related to the actual directcalibration are the high-precision broadband { K} magnitudes obtainedfor this purpose and the use of Hipparcos parallaxes for dereddeningphotometric data. The temperature scale of F-G-K dwarfs shows thesmallest random errors closely consistent with those affecting theobservational photometry alone, indicating a negligible contributionfrom the component due to the bolometric flux measurements despite thewide range in metallicity for these stars. A more detailed analysisusing a subset of selected dwarfs with large metallicity gradientsstrongly supports the actual bolometric fluxes as being practicallyunaffected by the metallicity of field stars, in contrast with recentresults claiming somewhat significant effects. The temperature scale ofF-G-K giants is affected by random errors much larger than those ofdwarfs, indicating that most of the relevant component of the scattercomes from the bolometric flux measurements. Since the giants have smallmetallicities, only gravity effects become likely responsible for theincreased level of scatter. The empirical stellar temperatures withsmall model-dependent corrections are compared with the semiempiricaldata by the Infrared Flux Method (IRFM) using the large sample of 327comparison stars. One major achievement is that all empirical andsemiempirical temperature estimates of F-G-K giants and dwarfs are foundto be closely consistent between each other to within +/- 1 %. However,there is also evidence for somewhat significant differential effects.These include an average systematic shift of (2.33 +/- 0.13) % affectingthe A-type stars, the semiempirical estimates being too low by thisamount, and an additional component of scatter as significant as +/- 1 %affecting all the comparison stars. The systematic effect confirms theresults from other investigations and indicates that previousdiscrepancies in applying the IRFM to A-type stars are not yet removedby using new LTE line-blanketed model atmospheres along with the updatedabsolute flux calibration, whereas the additional random component isfound to disappear in a broadband version of the IRFM using an infraredreference flux derived from wide rather than narrow band photometricdata. Table 1 and 2 are only available in the electronic form of thispaper The Angular Momentum of Main Sequence Stars and Its Relation to Stellar ActivityRotational velocities are reported for intermediate-mass main sequencestars it the field. The measurements are based on new, high S/N CCDspectra from the Coudé Feed Telescope of the Kitt Peak NationalObservatory. We analyze these rotation rates for a dependence on bothmass and age. We compare the average rotation speeds of the field starswith mean velocities for young stars in Orion, the Alpha Persei cluster,the Pleiades, and the Hyades. The average rotation speeds of stars moremassive than $\sim1.6$ \msun\experience little or no change during theevolutionary lifetimes of these stars on the zero age main sequence orwithin the main sequence band. Less massive stars in the range betwee n1.6\msun\ and 1.3\msun\ also show little decline in mean rotation ratewhile they are on the main sequence, and at most a factor of 2 decreasein velocity as they evolve off the main sequence. The {\it e}-foldingtime for the loss of angular momentum b y the latter group of stars isat least 1--2 billion years. This inferred characteristic time scale forspindown is far longer than the established rotational braking time forsolar-type stars with masses below $\sim1.3$ \msun. We conclude from acomparison of the trends in rotation with trends in chromospheric andcoronal activity that the overall decline in mean rotation speed alongthe main sequence, from $\sim2$ \msun\ down to $\sim1.3$ \msun, isimposed during the pre-main sequence phase of evolution, and that thispattern changes little thereafter while the star resides on the mainsequence. The magnetic activity implicated in the rotational spindown ofthe Sun and of similar stars during their main sequence lifetimes mus ttherefore play only a minor role in determining the rotation rates ofthe intermediate mass stars, either because a solar-like dynamo is weakor absent, or else the geometry of the magnetic field is appreciablyless effective in removing angular momentu m from these stars. (SECTION:Stars) Spectropolarimetric observations of active starsThis paper reports the results of five years (five runs, 23 nights) ofspectropolarimetric observations of active stars with the UCL EchelleSpectrograph of the Anglo-Australian Telescope. A total of 225circularly (and four linearly) polarized spectra were recorded on 28objects (21 active stars and seven calibration standards) using the newtechnique of Zeeman-Doppler imaging. To extract polarization echellespectra from raw frames, we developed a new dedicated automatic softwarepackage (called ESPRIT, which utilizes optimal extraction techniques)whose detailed description is given. For each recorded spectrum, weextract 'mean' polarized and unpolarized profiles using 'least-squaresdeconvolution', a technique similar to cross-correlation, which canenhance enormously the sensitivity of Zeeman-Doppler imaging, by up to7.5 mag in flux with respect to a single average line analysis. Magneticfield is detected unambiguously on 14 objects. Marginal field detectionsare also obtained for the weak-line T Tauri star HD 283572 and theHerbig Ae star HD 104237. High Chromospheres of Late A StarsWe report the detection of N V 1239 A transition region emission inHST/Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph spectra of the A7 V stars,alpha Aql and alpha Cep. Our observations provide the first directevidence of 1--3 x 105 K material in the atmospheres of normal A-typestars. For both stars, and for the mid A-type star tau 3 Eri, we alsoreport the detection of chromospheric emission in the Si III 1206 Aline. At a B-V color of 0.16 and an effective temperature of ~8200 K,tau 3 Eri becomes the hottest main-sequence star known to have achromosphere and, thus, an outer convection zone. We see no firmevidence that the Si III line surface fluxes of the A stars are anylower than those of moderately active, solar-type G and K stars. Thiscontrasts sharply with their coronal X-ray emission, which is more than100 times weaker than that of the later type stars. Given the strengthof the N V emission observed here, it now appears unlikely that theX-ray faintness of A stars is due to their forming very cool, <=1 MKcoronae. An alternative explanation in terms of mass loss in coronalwinds remains a possibility, though we conclude from moderate resolutionspectra of the Si III lines that such winds, if they exist, do notpenetrate into the chromospheric Si III--forming layers of the star,since the profiles of these lines are not blueshifted and may well beredshifted with respect to the star. Quantitative spectral classification based on photoelectric spectrum scanner measurements of F-K stars.New criteria of quantitative spectral classification have beenintroduced and the method of stepwise linear regression to thesecriteria for quantitative spectral classification of F-K stars has beenapplied to the Bochum photoelectric spectra. The velocity structure of the local interstellar medium probed by ultra-high-resolution spectroscopy.We present ultra-high-resolution (0.35km/s FWHM) observations of theinterstellar Ca K line towards eight nearby stars (six of which arecloser than 30pc). The spectral resolution is sufficient to resolve theline profiles fully, thereby enabling us to detect hitherto unresolvedvelocity components, and to obtain accurate measurements of the velocitydispersions (b-values). Absorption components due to the LocalInterstellar Cloud (LIC) and/or the closely associated `G Cloud' areidentified towards all but one star (γ Oph), but only in one case(51 Oph) are both clouds reliably detected towards the same star. Mostof these nearby clouds have velocity dispersions (b=~2km/s) whichsuggest physical conditions similar to those inferred for the LIC(T_k_=~7000K, v_t_=~1km/s), although at least three lines of sight(towards γ Aqr, β Cen and ρ Cen) also sample coolerand/or less turbulent material. The spectrum of the nearby Vega-excessstar 51 Oph is of particular interest, owing to evidence that several ofthe absorption components arise in the circumstellar environment. Searching for chromospheric Lyman-α emission in A-F stars from IUE high resolution spectra.With the aim of locating the boundary for the onset of chromosphericemission in the H-R diagram we have undertaken a spectroscopic study ofthe hydrogen Ly-α, using the IUE short wavelength spectrograph inthe high resolution mode. We report here on the analysis of IUE spectraof 11 A-F type stars. We have detected Ly-α emission in stars asearly as A7 (B-V=0.19), establishing a new limit for the presence ofchromospheres. The constant or the slowly decreasing trend of theLy-α flux for B-V<0.5 is related to the decreasing trend ofX-ray emission in the same spectral type region. From the interstellarabsorption feature affecting the stellar Ly-α emission, the Hicolumn density is estimated.
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