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|An extrasolar planetary system with three Neptune-mass planets|
Over the past two years, the search for low-mass extrasolar planets hasled to the detection of seven so-called `hot Neptunes' or `super-Earths'around Sun-like stars. These planets have masses 5-20 times larger thanthe Earth and are mainly found on close-in orbits with periods of2-15days. Here we report a system of three Neptune-mass planets withperiods of 8.67, 31.6 and 197days, orbiting the nearby star HD 69830.This star was already known to show an infrared excess possibly causedby an asteroid belt within 1AU (the Sun-Earth distance). Simulationsshow that the system is in a dynamically stable configuration.Theoretical calculations favour a mainly rocky composition for bothinner planets, while the outer planet probably has a significant gaseousenvelope surrounding its rocky/icy core; the outer planet orbits withinthe habitable zone of this star.
|Metallicity, debris discs and planets|
We investigate the populations of main-sequence stars within 25 pc thathave debris discs and/or giant planets detected by Doppler shift. Themetallicity distribution of the debris sample is a very close match tothat of stars in general, but differs with >99 per cent confidencefrom the giant planet sample, which favours stars of above averagemetallicity. This result is not due to differences in age of the twosamples. The formation of debris-generating planetesimals at tens of authus appears independent of the metal fraction of the primordial disc,in contrast to the growth and migration history of giant planets withina few au. The data generally fit a core accumulation model, with outerplanetesimals forming eventually even from a disc low in solids, whileinner planets require fast core growth for gas to still be present tomake an atmosphere.
|Nearby Debris Disk Systems with High Fractional Luminosity Reconsidered|
By searching the IRAS and ISO databases, we compiled a list of 60 debrisdisks that exhibit the highest fractional luminosity values(fd>10-4) in the vicinity of the Sun (d<120pc). Eleven out of these 60 systems are new discoveries. Special carewas taken to exclude bogus disks from the sample. We computed thefractional luminosity values using available IRAS, ISO, and Spitzer dataand analyzed the Galactic space velocities of the objects. The resultsrevealed that stars with disks of high fractional luminosity oftenbelong to young stellar kinematic groups, providing an opportunity toobtain improved age estimates for these systems. We found thatpractically all disks with fd>5×10-4 areyounger than 100 Myr. The distribution of the disks in the fractionalluminosity versus age diagram indicates that (1) the number of oldsystems with high fd is lower than was claimed before, (2)there exist many relatively young disks of moderate fractionalluminosity, and (3) comparing the observations with a currenttheoretical model of debris disk evolution, a general good agreementcould be found.
|IRS Spectra of Solar-Type Stars: A Search for Asteroid Belt Analogs|
We report the results of a spectroscopic search for debris diskssurrounding 41 nearby solar-type stars, including eight planet-bearingstars, using the Infrared Spectrometer (IRS) on the Spitzer SpaceTelescope. With the accurate relative photometry of the IRS between 7and 34 μm we are able to look for excesses as small as ~2% ofphotospheric levels, with particular sensitivity to weak spectralfeatures. For stars with no excess, the 3 σ upper limit in a bandat 30-34 μm corresponds to ~75 times the brightness of our zodiacaldust cloud. Comparable limits at 8.5-13 μm correspond to ~1400 timesthe brightness of our zodiacal dust cloud. These limits correspond tomaterial located within the <1 to ~5 AU region that, in our solarsystem, originates predominantly from debris associated with theasteroid belt. We find excess emission longward of ~25 μm from fivestars, of which four also show excess emission at 70 μm. Thisemitting dust must be located in a region starting around 5-10 AU. Onestar has 70 μm emission but no IRS excess. In this case, the emittingregion must begin outside 10 AU; this star has a known radial velocityplanet. Only two stars of the five show emission shortward of 25 μm,where spectral features reveal the presence of a population of small,hot dust grains emitting in the 7-20 μm band. One of these stars, HD72905, is quite young (300 Myr), while the other, HD 69830, is olderthan 2 Gyr. The data presented here strengthen the results of previousstudies to show that excesses at 25 μm and shorter are rare: only 1out of 40 stars older than 1 Gyr or ~2.5% shows an excess. Asteroidbelts 10-30 times more massive than our own appear are rare amongmature, solar-type stars.
|The Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems (FEPS): Discovery of an Unusual Debris System Associated with HD 12039|
We report the discovery of a debris system associated with the ~30 Myrold G3/5V star HD 12039 using Spitzer Space Telescope observations from3.6-160 μm. An observed infrared excess(LIR/L*=1×10-4) above theexpected photosphere for λ>~14 μm is fit by thermallyemitting material with a color temperature of T~110 K, warmer than themajority of debris disks identified to date around Sun-like stars. Theobject is not detected at 70 μm with a 3 σ upper limit 6 timesthe expected photospheric flux. The spectrum of the infrared excess canbe explained by warm, optically thin material comprised ofblackbody-like grains of size >~7 μm that reside in a beltorbiting the star at 4-6 AU. An alternate model dominated by smallergrains, near the blowout size a~0.5 μm, located at 30-40 AU is alsopossible but requires the dust to have been produced recently, sincesuch small grains will be expelled from the system by radiation pressurein approximately a few times 102 yr.
|Frequency of Debris Disks around Solar-Type Stars: First Results from a Spitzer MIPS Survey|
We have searched for infrared excesses around a well-defined sample of69 FGK main-sequence field stars. These stars were selected withoutregard to their age, metallicity, or any previous detection of IRexcess; they have a median age of ~4 Gyr. We have detected 70 μmexcesses around seven stars at the 3 σ confidence level. Thisextra emission is produced by cool material (<100 K) located beyond10 AU, well outside the ``habitable zones'' of these systems andconsistent with the presence of Kuiper Belt analogs with ~100 times moreemitting surface area than in our own planetary system. Only one star,HD 69830, shows excess emission at 24 μm, corresponding to dust withtemperatures >~300 K located inside of 1 AU. While debris disks withLdust/L*>=10-3 are rare around oldFGK stars, we find that the disk frequency increases from 2%+/-2% forLdust/L*>=10-4 to 12%+/-5% forLdust/L*>=10-5. This trend in thedisk luminosity distribution is consistent with the estimated dust inour solar system being within an order of magnitude greater or less thanthe typical level around similar nearby stars. Although there is nocorrelation of IR excess with metallicity or spectral type, there is aweak correlation with stellar age, with stars younger than a gigayearmore likely to have excess emission.
|Dwarfs in the Local Region|
We present lithium, carbon, and oxygen abundance data for a sample ofnearby dwarfs-a total of 216 stars-including samples within 15 pc of theSun, as well as a sample of local close giant planet (CGP) hosts (55stars) and comparison stars. The spectroscopic data for this work have aresolution of R~60,000, a signal-to-noise ratio >150, and spectralcoverage from 475 to 685 nm. We have redetermined parameters and derivedadditional abundances (Z>10) for the CGP host and comparison samples.From our abundances for elements with Z>6 we determine the meanabundance of all elements in the CGP hosts to range from 0.1 to 0.2 dexhigher than nonhosts. However, when relative abundances ([x/Fe]) areconsidered we detect no differences in the samples. We find nodifference in the lithium contents of the hosts versus the nonhosts. Theplanet hosts appear to be the metal-rich extension of local regionabundances, and overall trends in the abundances are dominated byGalactic chemical evolution. A consideration of the kinematics of thesample shows that the planet hosts are spread through velocity space;they are not exclusively stars of the thin disk.
|Formation and structure of the three Neptune-mass planets system around HD 69830|
Since the discovery of the first giant planet outside the solar systemin 1995 (Mayor & Queloz 1995,Nature, 378, 355), more than 180 extrasolar planets have beendiscovered. With improving detection capabilities, a new class ofplanets with masses 5-20 times larger than the Earth, at close distancefrom their parent star is rapidly emerging. Recently, the first systemof three Neptune-mass planets has been discovered around the solar typestar HD 69830 (Lovis et al. 2006, Nature, 441, 305). Here, wepresent and discuss a possible formation scenario for this planetarysystem based on a consistent coupling between the extended coreaccretion model and evolutionary models (Alibert et al. 2005a,A&A, 434, 343; Baraffe et al. 2004,A&A, 419, L13; Baraffe et al. 2006,A&A, 450, 1221). We show that the innermost planet formed from anembryo having started inside the iceline is composed essentially of arocky core surrounded by a tiny gaseous envelope. The two outermostplanets started their formation beyond the iceline and, as aconsequence, accrete a substantial amount of water ice during theirformation. We calculate the present day thermodynamical conditionsinside these two latter planets and show that they are made of a rockycore surrounded by a shell of fluid water and a gaseous envelope.
|Abundance ratios of volatile vs. refractory elements in planet-harbouring stars: hints of pollution?|
We present the [ X/H] trends as a function of the elemental condensationtemperature TC in 88 planet host stars and in avolume-limited comparison sample of 33 dwarfs without detected planetarycompanions. We gathered homogeneous abundance results for many volatileand refractory elements spanning a wide range of T_C, from a few dozento several hundred kelvin. We investigate possible anomalous trends ofplanet hosts with respect to comparison sample stars to detect evidenceof possible pollution events. No significant differences are found inthe behaviour of stars with and without planets. This is consistent witha "primordial" origin of the metal excess in planet host stars. However,a subgroup of 5 planet host and 1 comparison sample stars stands out ashaving particularly high [ X/H] vs. TC slopes.
|Abundances of refractory elements in the atmospheres of stars with extrasolar planets|
Aims.This work presents a uniform and homogeneous study of chemicalabundances of refractory elements in 101 stars with and 93 without knownplanetary companions. We carry out an in-depth investigation of theabundances of Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Na, Mg and Al. The newcomparison sample, spanning the metallicity range -0.70< [Fe/H]<0.50, fills the gap that previously existed, mainly at highmetallicities, in the number of stars without known planets.Methods.Weused an enlarged set of data including new observations, especially forthe field "single" comparison stars . The line list previously studiedby other authors was improved: on average we analysed 90 spectral linesin every spectrum and carefully measured more than 16 600 equivalentwidths (EW) to calculate the abundances.Results.We investigate possibledifferences between the chemical abundances of the two groups of stars,both with and without planets. The results are globally comparable tothose obtained by other authors, and in most cases the abundance trendsof planet-host stars are very similar to those of the comparison sample.Conclusions.This work represents a step towards the comprehension ofrecently discovered planetary systems. These results could also beuseful for verifying galactic models at high metallicities andconsequently improve our knowledge of stellar nucleosynthesis andgalactic chemical evolution.
|Oxygen abundances in planet-harbouring stars. Comparison of different abundance indicators|
We present a detailed and uniform study of oxygen abundances in 155solar type stars, 96 of which are planet hosts and 59 of which form partof a volume-limited comparison sample with no known planets. EWmeasurements were carried out for the [O I] 6300 Å line and the OI triplet, and spectral synthesis was performed for several OH lines.NLTE corrections were calculated and applied to the LTE abundanceresults derived from the O I 7771-5 Å triplet. Abundances from [OI], the O I triplet and near-UV OH were obtained in 103, 87 and 77dwarfs, respectively. We present the first detailed and uniformcomparison of these three oxygen indicators in a large sample ofsolar-type stars. There is good agreement between the [O/H] ratios fromforbidden and OH lines, while the NLTE triplet shows a systematicallylower abundance. We found that discrepancies between OH, [O I] and the OI triplet do not exceed 0.2 dex in most cases. We have studied abundancetrends in planet host and comparison sample stars, and no obviousanomalies related to the presence of planets have been detected. Allthree indicators show that, on average, [O/Fe] decreases with [Fe/H] inthe metallicity range -0.8< [Fe/H] < 0.5. The planet host starspresent an average oxygen overabundance of 0.1-0.2 dex with respect tothe comparison sample.
|Lithium Abundances of F-, G-, and K-Type Stars: Profile-Fitting Analysis of the Li I 6708 Doublet|
An extensive profile-fitting analysis was performed for the Li(+Fe)6707-6708Å feature of nearby 160 F-K dwarfs/subgiants (including27 planet-host stars) in the Galactic disk ( 7000 K ≳Teff ≳ 5000 K, -1 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ +0.4), in orderto establish the photospheric lithium abundances of these stars. Thenon-LTE effect (though quantitatively insignificant) was taken intoaccount based on our statistical equilibrium calculations, which werecarried out on an adequate grid of models. Our results confirmed most ofthe interesting observational characteristics revealed by recentlypublished studies, such as the bimodal distribution of the Li abundancesfor stars at Teff ≳ 6000 K, the satisfactory agreementof the upper envelope of the A(Li) vs. [Fe/H] distribution with thetheoretical models, the existence of a positive correlation betweenA(Li) and the stellar mass, and the tendency of lower lithium abundancesof planet-host stars (as compared to stars without planets) at thenarrow ``transition'' region of 5900 K ≳ Teff ≳5800 K. The solar Li abundance derived from this analysis is 0.92 (H =12.00), which is by 0.24dex lower than the widely referenced standardvalue of 1.16.
|Spectroscopic Study on the Atmospheric Parameters of Nearby F--K Dwarfs and Subgiants|
Based on a collection of high-dispersion spectra obtained at OkayamaAstrophysical Observatory, the atmospheric parameters (Teff,log g, vt, and [Fe/H]) of 160 mid-F through early-K starswere extensively determined by the spectroscopic method using theequivalent widths of Fe I and Fe II lines along with the numericaltechnique of Takeda et al. (2002, PASJ, 54, 451). The results arecomprehensively discussed and compared with the parameter values derivedby different approaches (e.g., photometric colors, theoreticalevolutionary tracks, Hipparcos parallaxes, etc.) as well as with thepublished values found in various literature. It has been confirmed thatour purely spectroscopic approach yields fairly reliable and consistentresults.
|Spectroscopic Properties of Cool Stars (SPOCS). I. 1040 F, G, and K Dwarfs from Keck, Lick, and AAT Planet Search Programs|
We present a uniform catalog of stellar properties for 1040 nearby F, G,and K stars that have been observed by the Keck, Lick, and AAT planetsearch programs. Fitting observed echelle spectra with synthetic spectrayielded effective temperature, surface gravity, metallicity, projectedrotational velocity, and abundances of the elements Na, Si, Ti, Fe, andNi, for every star in the catalog. Combining V-band photometry andHipparcos parallaxes with a bolometric correction based on thespectroscopic results yielded stellar luminosity, radius, and mass.Interpolating Yonsei-Yale isochrones to the luminosity, effectivetemperature, metallicity, and α-element enhancement of each staryielded a theoretical mass, radius, gravity, and age range for moststars in the catalog. Automated tools provide uniform results and makeanalysis of such a large sample practical. Our analysis method differsfrom traditional abundance analyses in that we fit the observed spectrumdirectly, rather than trying to match equivalent widths, and wedetermine effective temperature and surface gravity from the spectrumitself, rather than adopting values based on measured photometry orparallax. As part of our analysis, we determined a new relationshipbetween macroturbulence and effective temperature on the main sequence.Detailed error analysis revealed small systematic offsets with respectto the Sun and spurious abundance trends as a function of effectivetemperature that would be inobvious in smaller samples. We attempted toremove these errors by applying empirical corrections, achieving aprecision per spectrum of 44 K in effective temperature, 0.03 dex inmetallicity, 0.06 dex in the logarithm of gravity, and 0.5 kms-1 in projected rotational velocity. Comparisons withprevious studies show only small discrepancies. Our spectroscopicallydetermined masses have a median fractional precision of 15%, but theyare systematically 10% higher than masses obtained by interpolatingisochrones. Our spectroscopic radii have a median fractional precisionof 3%. Our ages from isochrones have a precision that variesdramatically with location in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. We planto extend the catalog by applying our automated analysis technique toother large stellar samples.
|A Spitzer Study of Dusty Disks around Nearby, Young Stars|
We have obtained Spitzer Space Telescope MIPS (Multiband ImagingPhotometer for Spitzer) observations of 39 A- through M-type dwarfs,with estimated ages between 12 and 600 Myr; IRAC observations for asubset of 11 stars; and follow-up CSO SHARC II 350 μm observationsfor a subset of two stars. None of the objects observed with IRACpossess infrared excesses at 3.6-8.0 μm however, seven objectsobserved with MIPS possess 24 and/or 70 μm excesses. Four objects(κ Phe, HD 92945, HD 119124, and AU Mic), with estimated ages12-200 Myr, possess strong 70 μm excesses, >=100% larger thantheir predicted photospheres, and no 24 μm excesses, suggesting thatthe dust grains in these systems are cold. One object (HD 112429)possesses moderate 24 and 70 μm excesses with a color temperature,Tgr=100 K. Two objects (α1 Lib and HD177724) possess such strong 24 μm excesses that their 12, 24, and 70μm fluxes cannot be self-consistently modeled using a modifiedblackbody despite a 70 μm excess >2 times greater than thephotosphere around α1 Lib. The strong 24 μm excessesmay be the result of emission in spectral features, as observed towardthe Hale-Bopp star HD 69830.
|An Excess Due to Small Grains around the Nearby K0 V Star HD 69830: Asteroid or Cometary Debris?|
Spitzer photometry and spectroscopy of the star HD 69830 reveal anexcess of emission relative to the stellar photosphere between 8 and 35μm dominated by strong features attributable to crystalline silicateswith an emitting surface area more than 1000 times that of our zodiacalcloud. The spectrum closely resembles that of the comet C/1995 O1(Hale-Bopp). Since no excess is detected at 70 μm, the emittingmaterial must be quite warm, be confined within a few AU of the star,and originate in grains with low, long-wavelength emissivity, i.e.,grains much smaller than 70μm/2π~10 μm. The strongmineralogical features are evidence for even smaller, possiblysubmicron-sized grains. This small grain size is in direct contrast tothe 10-100 μm grains that dominate the relatively featureless spectraof our zodiacal dust cloud and most other main-sequence stars withexcesses. The upper limit at 70 μm also implies that any Kuiper Beltanalog must be either very cold or less massive than ~5 times our ownKuiper Belt. With collisional and Poynting-Robertson drag times of lessthan 1000 yr for small grains, the emitting material must either (1) becreated through continual grinding down of material in a dense asteroidbelt, or (2) originate in cometary debris arising from either a single``supercomet'' or a very large number of individual comets arriving froma distant reservoir. In the case of a cometary origin for the emission,the mass requirements for continuous generation by many individualcomets are unreasonable, and we favor the capture of a single supercomet into a 0.5-1 AU orbit, where it can evolve a large number of smallgrains over a 2 Myr period.
|Single-Visit Photometric and Obscurational Completeness|
We report a method that uses ``completeness'' to estimate the number ofextrasolar planets discovered by an observing program with adirect-imaging instrument. We develop a completeness function forEarth-like planets on ``habitable'' orbits for an instrument with acentral field obscuration, uniform sensitivity in an annular detectionzone, and limiting sensitivity that is expressed as a ``deltamagnitude'' with respect to the star, determined by systematic effects(given adequate exposure time). We demonstrate our method of estimationby applying it to our understanding of the coronagraphic version of theTerrestrial Planet Finder (TPF-C) mission as of 2004 October. Weestablish an initial relationship between the size, quality, andstability of the instrument's optics and its ability to meet missionscience requirements. We provide options for increasing the fidelity andversatility of the models on which our method is based, and we discusshow the method could be extended to model the TPF-C mission as a wholeto verify that its design can meet the science requirements.
|Planets and Infrared Excesses: Preliminary Results from a Spitzer MIPS Survey of Solar-Type Stars|
As part of a large Spitzer MIPS Guaranteed Time Observation program, wehave searched for infrared excesses due to debris disks toward 26 FGKfield stars known from radial velocity (RV) studies to have one or moreplanets. While none of these stars show excesses at 24 μm, we havedetected 70 μm excesses around six stars at the 3 σ confidencelevel. The excesses are produced by cool material (<100 K) locatedbeyond 10 AU, well outside the ``habitable zones'' of these systems andconsistent with the presence of Kuiper Belt analogs with ~100 times moreemitting surface area than in our own planetary system. Theseplanet-bearing stars are, by selection for RV studies, typically olderthan 1 Gyr, and the stars identified here with excesses have a medianage of 4 Gyr. We find a preliminary correlation of both the frequencyand the magnitude of dust emission with the presence of known planets.These are the first stars outside the solar system identified as havingboth well-confirmed planetary systems and well-confirmed IR excesses.
|The Planet-Metallicity Correlation|
We have recently carried out spectral synthesis modeling to determineTeff, logg, vsini, and [Fe/H] for 1040 FGK-type stars on theKeck, Lick, and Anglo-Australian Telescope planet search programs. Thisis the first time that a single, uniform spectroscopic analysis has beenmade for every star on a large Doppler planet search survey. We identifya subset of 850 stars that have Doppler observations sufficient todetect uniformly all planets with radial velocity semiamplitudes K>30m s-1 and orbital periods shorter than 4 yr. From this subsetof stars, we determine that fewer than 3% of stars with-0.5<[Fe/H]<0.0 have Doppler-detected planets. Above solarmetallicity, there is a smooth and rapid rise in the fraction of starswith planets. At [Fe/H]>+0.3 dex, 25% of observed stars have detectedgas giant planets. A power-law fit to these data relates the formationprobability for gas giant planets to the square of the number of metalatoms. High stellar metallicity also appears to be correlated with thepresence of multiple-planet systems and with the total detected planetmass. This data set was examined to better understand the origin of highmetallicity in stars with planets. None of the expected fossilsignatures of accretion are observed in stars with planets relative tothe general sample: (1) metallicity does not appear to increase as themass of the convective envelopes decreases, (2) subgiants with planetsdo not show dilution of metallicity, (3) no abundance variations for Na,Si, Ti, or Ni are found as a function of condensation temperature, and(4) no correlations between metallicity and orbital period oreccentricity could be identified. We conclude that stars with extrasolarplanets do not have an accretion signature that distinguishes them fromother stars; more likely, they are simply born in higher metallicitymolecular clouds.Based on observations obtained at Lick and Keck Observatories, operatedby the University of California, and the Anglo-Australian Observatories.
|Stars within 15 Parsecs: Abundances for a Northern Sample|
We present an abundance analysis for stars within 15 pc of the Sunlocated north of -30° declination. We have limited our abundancesample to absolute magnitudes brighter than +7.5 and have eliminatedseveral A stars in the local vicinity. Our final analysis list numbers114 stars. Unlike Allende Prieto et al. in their consideration of a verysimilar sample, we have enforced strict spectroscopic criteria in thedetermination of atmospheric parameters. Nevertheless, our results arevery similar to theirs. We determine the mean metallicity of the localregion to be <[Fe/H]>=-0.07 using all stars and -0.04 when interlopersfrom the thick disk are eliminated.
|Sulphur abundance in Galactic stars|
We investigate sulphur abundance in 74 Galactic stars by using highresolution spectra obtained at ESO VLT and NTT telescopes. For the firsttime the abundances are derived, where possible, from three opticalmultiplets: Mult. 1, 6, and 8. By combining our own measurements withdata in the literature we assemble a sample of 253 stars in themetallicity range -3.2 [Fe/H] +0.5. Two important features,which could hardly be detected in smaller samples, are obvious from thislarge sample: 1) a sizeable scatter in [S/Fe] ratios around [Fe/H]-1; 2) at low metallicities we observe stars with [S/Fe] 0.4, aswell as stars with higher [S/Fe] ratios. The latter do not seem to bekinematically different from the former ones. Whether the latter findingstems from a distinct population of metal-poor stars or simply from anincreased scatter in sulphur abundances remains an open question.
|Abundances of Na, Mg and Al in stars with giant planets|
We present Na, Mg and Al abundances in a set of 98 stars with knowngiant planets, and in a comparison sample of 41 “single”stars. The results show that the [X/H] abundances (with X = Na, Mg andAl) are, on average, higher in stars with giant planets, a resultsimilar to the one found for iron. However, we did not find any strongdifference in the [X/Fe] ratios, for a fixed [Fe/H], between the twosamples of stars in the region where the samples overlap. The data wasused to study the Galactic chemical evolution trends for Na, Mg and Aland to discuss the possible influence of planets on this evolution. Theresults, similar to those obtained by other authors, show that the[X/Fe] ratios all decrease as a function of metallicity up to solarvalues. While for Mg and Al this trend then becomes relatively constant,for Na we find indications of an upturn up to [Fe/H] values close to0.25 dex. For metallicities above this value the [Na/Fe] becomesconstant.
|Abundance trends in kinematical groups of the Milky Way's disk|
We have compiled a large catalogue of metallicities and abundance ratiosfrom the literature in order to investigate abundance trends of severalalpha and iron peak elements in the thin disk and the thick disk of theGalaxy. The catalogue includes 743 stars with abundances of Fe, O, Mg,Ca, Ti, Si, Na, Ni and Al in the metallicity range -1.30 < [Fe/H]< +0.50. We have checked that systematic differences betweenabundances measured in the different studies were lower than randomerrors before combining them. Accurate distances and proper motions fromHipparcos and radial velocities from several sources have been retreivedfor 639 stars and their velocities (U, V, W) and galactic orbits havebeen computed. Ages of 322 stars have been estimated with a Bayesianmethod of isochrone fitting. Two samples kinematically representative ofthe thin and thick disks have been selected, taking into account theHercules stream which is intermediate in kinematics, but with a probabledynamical origin. Our results show that the two disks are chemicallywell separated, they overlap greatly in metallicity and both showparallel decreasing alpha elements with increasing metallicity, in theinterval -0.80 < [Fe/H] < -0.30. The Mg enhancement with respectto Fe of the thick disk is measured to be 0.14 dex. An even largerenhancement is observed for Al. The thick disk is clearly older than thethin disk with tentative evidence of an AMR over 2-3 Gyr and a hiatus instar formation before the formation of the thin disk. We do not observea vertical gradient in the metallicity of the thick disk. The Herculesstream has properties similar to that of the thin disk, with a widerrange of metallicity. Metal-rich stars assigned to the thick disk andsuper-metal-rich stars assigned to the thin disk appear as outliers inall their properties.
|Submillimetre observations and modelling of Vega-type stars|
We present new submillimetre observations of Vega-excess stars, andconsistent modelling for all known Vega-excess stars with submillimetredata. Our analysis uses dust grain models with realistic opticalproperties, with the aim of determining physical parameters of theunresolved discs from just their spectral energy distributions (SEDs).For the resolved targets, we find that different objects require verydifferent dust grain properties in order to fit the image data and SEDsimultaneously. Fomalhaut and Vega require solid dust grains, while HR4796 and HD 141569 can only be fitted using porous grains. The olderstars tend to have grains which are less porous than the younger stars,which may indicate that collisions in the discs have reprocessed theinitially fluffy grains into a more solid form. ɛ Eri appears to bedeficient in small dust grains compared with our best-fitting model.This may show that it is important to include all the factors that causethe size distribution to depart from a simple power law for grains closeto the radiation pressure blow-out limit. Alternatively, thisdiscrepancy may be due to some external influence on the disc (e.g. aplanet).When the model is applied to the unresolved targets, an estimate of thedisc size can be made. However, the large diversity in dust compositionfor the resolved discs means that we cannot make a reliable assumptionas to the composition of the grains in an unresolved disc, and there iscorresponding uncertainty in the disc size. In addition, the poor fitfor ɛ Eri shows that the model cannot always account for the SEDeven if the disc size is known. These two factors mean that it may notbe possible to determine the size of a disc without actually resolvingit.
|A search for debris discs around stars with giant planets|
Eight nearby stars with known giant planets have been searched forthermal emission in the submillimetre arising from dust debris. The nullresults imply quantities of dust typically less than 0.02 Earth massesper star. Conversely, literature data for 20 Sun-like stars with debrisdiscs show that <= 5 per cent have gas giants inside a fewastronomical units - but the dust distribution suggests that nearly allhave more distant planets. The lack of overlap in these systems - i.e.few stars possess both inner planets and a disc - indicates that thesephenomena either are not connected or are mutually exclusive. Comparisonwith an evolutionary model shows that debris masses are predicted to below by the stellar ages of 2-8 Gyr (unless the colliding parent bodiesare quite distant, located beyond 100-200 au), but it remains to beexplained why stars that do have debris should preferentially only havedistant planets. A simple idea is proposed that could produce theselargely different systems, invoking a difference in the primordial discmass. Large masses promote fast gas giant growth and inwards migration,whereas small masses imply slow evolution, low-mass gas giants andoutwards migration that increases the collision rate of Kuiper Belt-likeobjects. This explanation neglects other sources of diversity betweendiscs (such as density and planetesimal composition and orbits), but itdoes have the merit of matching the observational results.
|Chromospheric Ca II Emission in Nearby F, G, K, and M Stars|
We present chromospheric Ca II H and K activity measurements, rotationperiods, and ages for ~1200 F, G, K, and M type main-sequence stars from~18,000 archival spectra taken at Keck and Lick Observatories as a partof the California and Carnegie Planet Search Project. We have calibratedour chromospheric S-values against the Mount Wilson chromosphericactivity data. From these measurements we have calculated medianactivity levels and derived R'HK, stellar ages,and rotation periods from general parameterizations for 1228 stars,~1000 of which have no previously published S-values. We also presentprecise time series of activity measurements for these stars.Based on observations obtained at Lick Observatory, which is operated bythe University of California, and on observations obtained at the W. M.Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University ofCalifornia and the California Institute of Technology. The KeckObservatory was made possible by the generous financial support of theW. M. Keck Foundation.
|The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar Spectra|
We have obtained spectra for 1273 stars using the 0.9 m coudéfeed telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This telescope feedsthe coudé spectrograph of the 2.1 m telescope. The spectra havebeen obtained with the no. 5 camera of the coudé spectrograph anda Loral 3K×1K CCD. Two gratings have been used to provide spectralcoverage from 3460 to 9464 Å, at a resolution of ~1 Å FWHMand at an original dispersion of 0.44 Å pixel-1. For885 stars we have complete spectra over the entire 3460 to 9464 Åwavelength region (neglecting small gaps of less than 50 Å), andpartial spectral coverage for the remaining stars. The 1273 stars havebeen selected to provide broad coverage of the atmospheric parametersTeff, logg, and [Fe/H], as well as spectral type. The goal ofthe project is to provide a comprehensive library of stellar spectra foruse in the automated classification of stellar and galaxy spectra and ingalaxy population synthesis. In this paper we discuss thecharacteristics of the spectral library, viz., details of theobservations, data reduction procedures, and selection of stars. We alsopresent a few illustrations of the quality and information available inthe spectra. The first version of the complete spectral library is nowpublicly available from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory(NOAO) via ftp and http.
|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\tau200 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.
|The Integrated Spectrum of M67 and the Spectroscopic Age of M32|
We construct an integrated spectrum of the intermediate-age,solar-metallicity Galactic cluster M67, from individual spectroscopicobservations of bona fide cluster members. The spectrum so obtained isused as a template to test our stellar population synthesis models, inan age and metallicity regime where such models remain largely untested.As a result, we demonstrate that our models predict a spectroscopic ageof 3.5+/-0.5 Gyr for M67, which is the same age we obtain from fittingisochrones to the color-magnitude diagram of the cluster. Fullconsistency is reached when using either Hβ, Hγ, or Hδas the age indicator. We also check if the models, when applied to thecluster integrated spectrum, predict elemental abundances in agreementwith the known detailed abundance pattern of the cluster. The modelsalso pass the latter test, by predicting the abundances of iron,magnesium, carbon, and nitrogen in agreement with detailed abundanceanalyses of cluster stars to within 0.1 dex. Encouraged by the highdegree of consistency of our models, we apply them to the study of theintegrated spectrum of the central 3" of the compact elliptical galaxyM32. The resulting luminosity-weighted age of the galaxy ranges between2 and 3.5 Gyr, depending on the age indicator adopted. According to ourmodels, the center of M32 seems to have a supersolar iron abundance,ranging between [Fe/H]~+0.1 and +0.3, depending on the spectral indexadopted. The light element magnesium seems to be underabundant in thecenter of M32 relative to iron by about ~0.1-0.2 dex, whereas the dataare consistent with nearly solar carbon and nitrogen abundances relativeto iron. We find that single-age, single-metallicity stellar populationmodels with solar-scaled abundance patterns cannot fit all the Balmerand metal lines in the integrated spectrum of M32. In particular, thereis a systematic trend in the sense that bluer absorption lines indicatea younger age and a higher metallicity. This slight inconsistency can bedue either to (unaccounted for) abundance ratio effects on blue iron andBalmer line indices or to a spread of the ages of the stellarpopulations in M32. Current stellar population models cannot break thisdegeneracy at the level of accuracy required to address this problem.
|Are beryllium abundances anomalous in stars with giant planets?|
In this paper we present beryllium (Be) abundances in a large sample of41 extra-solar planet host stars, and for 29 stars without any knownplanetary-mass companion, spanning a large range of effectivetemperatures. The Be abundances were derived through spectral synthesisdone in standard Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium, using spectra obtainedwith various instruments. The results seem to confirm that overall,planet-host stars have ``normal'' Be abundances, although a small, butnot significant, difference might be present. This result is discussed,and we show that this difference is probably not due to any stellar``pollution'' events. In other words, our results support the idea thatthe high-metal content of planet-host stars has, overall, a``primordial'' origin. However, we also find a small subset ofplanet-host late-F and early-G dwarfs that might have higher thanaverage Be abundances. The reason for the offset is not clear, and mightbe related either to the engulfment of planetary material, to galacticchemical evolution effects, or to stellar-mass differences for stars ofsimilar temperature.Based on observations collected with the VLT/UT2 Kueyen telescope(Paranal Observatory, ESO, Chile) using the UVES spectrograph (Observingruns 66.C-0116 A, 66.D-0284 A, and 68.C-0058 A), and with the WilliamHerschel and Nordic Optical Telescopes, operated on the island of LaPalma by the Isaac Newton Group and jointly by Denmark, Finland,Iceland, and Norway, respectively, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roquede los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.
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