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 The Compact Circumstellar Material around OH 231.8+4.2We have observed the bipolar post-asymptotic giant branch candidate OH231.8+4.2, using the mid-infrared interferometer MIDI and the infraredcamera with the adaptive optics system NACO on the Very Large Telescope.An unresolved core (<200 mas in FWHM) is found at the center of OH231.8+4.2 in the 3.8 μm image. This compact source is resolved withthe interferometer. We used two 8 m telescopes with four differentbaselines, which cover projected baseline lengths from 62 to 47 m, andprojected position angles from 112° to 131° that are almostperpendicular to the bipolar outflow. Fringes from 8 to 9 μm and from12 to 13.5 μm were clearly detected, while strong silicateself-absorption allows only marginal detection of visibilities between 9and 12 μm. The fringes from the four baselines consistently show thepresence of a compact circumstellar object with an inner radius of 30-40mas, which is equivalent to 40-50 AU at 1.3 kpc. This clearly shows thatthe mid-infrared compact source is not the central star (3 AU) butcircumstellar material. The measured size of the circumstellar materialis consistent with the size of such disks calculated by hydrodynamicmodels, implying that the circumstellar material may be in a diskconfiguration.Based on observations made with the VLT and the VLTI (programs065.L-0395, 072.D-0766, and 074.D-0405). Elemental abundances in the atmosphere of clump giantsAims.The aim of this paper is to provide the fundamental parameters andabundances for a large sample of local clump giants with a highaccuracy. This study is a part of a big project, in which the verticaldistribution of the stars in the Galactic disc and the chemical anddynamical evolution of the Galaxy are being investigated. Methods:.The selection of clump stars for the sample group was made applying acolour-absolute magnitude window to nearby Hipparcos stars. Theeffective temperatures were estimated by the line depth ratio method.The surface gravities (log {g}) were determined by two methods (thefirst one was the method based on the ionization balance of iron and thesecond one was the method based on fitting of the wings of the Ca I6162.17 Å line). The abundances of carbon and nitrogen wereobtained from the molecular synthetic spectrum, and the Mg and Naabundances were derived using the non-LTE approximation. The "classical"models of stellar evolution without atomic diffusion androtation-induced mixing were employed. Results: .The atmosphericparameters ({T_eff}, log {g}, [Fe/H], {Vt}) and Li, C, N, O,Na, Mg, Si, Ca, and Ni abundances in 177 clump giants of the Galacticdisc were determined. The underabundance of carbon, overabundance ofnitrogen, and "normal" abundance of oxygen were detected. A small sodiumoverabundance was found. A possibility of a selection of the clumpgiants based on their chemical composition and the evolutionary trackswas explored. Conclusions: .The theoretical predictions based onthe classical stellar evolution models are in good agreement with theobserved surface variations of the carbon and nitrogen just after thefirst dredge-up episode. The giants show the same behaviour of thedependencies of O, Mg, Ca, and Si (α-elements) and Ni (iron-peakelement) abundances vs. [Fe/H] as dwarfs do. This allows us to use suchabundance ratios to study the chemical and dynamical evolution of theGalaxy. Precise radial velocities of giant stars. I. Stable starsContext: .Future astrometric missions such as SIM PlanetQuest need verystable reference stars. K giants have large luminosities, which placethem at large distances and thus the jitter of their photocenters bycompanions is relatively small. Therefore K giants would be best suitedas references. To confirm this observationally a radial velocity surveyis performed to quantify the level of intrinsic variability in Kgiants. Aims: .From this radial velocity survey we present 34 Kgiants with an observed standard deviation of the radial velocity ofless than 20 m/s. These stars are considered "stable" and can be used asradial velocity standards. Methods: .The radial velocity surveycontains 179 K giants. All K giants have a declination between -30°and +65° and visual magnitude of 3{-}6 mag. The CoudéAuxiliary Telescope (CAT) at UCO/Lick Observatory is used to obtainradial velocities with an accuracy of 5{-}8 m/s. The number of epochsfor the 34 stable stars ranges from 11 to 28 with a total timespan ofthe observations between 1800 and a little over 2200 days. Results: .The observational results of the 34 "stable" stars are showntogether with a discussion about their position in the MV vs.B-V diagram and some conclusions concerning the radial velocityvariability of K giants. These results are in agreement with thetheoretical predictions. K giants in a certain range of theMV vs. B-V diagram are suitable reference stars. Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - I. Observations and nuclear dataThis is the first paper of a series on the investigation of stellarpopulation properties and galaxy evolution of an observationallyhomogeneous sample of early-type galaxies in groups, field and isolatedgalaxies.Here we present high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectroscopyof 86 nearby elliptical and S0 galaxies. Eight of them are isolated,selected according to a rigorous criterion, which guarantees a genuinelow-density subsample. The present survey has the advantage of coveringa larger wavelength range than normally found in the literature, whichincludes [OIII]λ5007 and Hα, both lines important foremission correction. Among the 86 galaxies with S/N >= 15 (perresolution element, for re/8 central aperture), 57 have theirHβ-index corrected for emission (the average correction is 0.190Åin Hβ) and 42 galaxies reveal [OIII]λ5007 emission,of which 16 also show obvious Hα emission. Most of the galaxies inthe sample do not show obvious signs of disturbances nor tidal featuresin the morphologies, although 11 belong to the Arp catalogue of peculiargalaxies; only three of them (NGC 750, 751 and 3226) seem to be stronglyinteracting. We present the measurement of 25 central line-strengthindices calibrated to the Lick/IDS system. Kinematic information isobtained for the sample. We analyse the line-strength index versusvelocity dispersion relations for our sample of mainly low-densityenvironment galaxies, and compare the slope of the relations withcluster galaxies from the literature. Our main findings are that theindex-σ0 relations presented for low-density regionsare not significantly different from those of cluster E/S0s. The slopeof the index-σ0 relations does not seem to change forearly-type galaxies of different environmental densities, but thescatter of the relations seems larger for group, field and isolatedgalaxies than for cluster galaxies. Wer beobachtet mit? UX Monocerotis.Not Available Dust Morphology and Composition in FU Orionis SystemsFU Orionis stars are a small group of pre-main-sequence stars known forlarge-amplitude optical variability. These objects also exhibitmultiwavelength phenomena suggestive of active accretion from acircumstellar disk. We present high spatial resolution mid-IR imagingand spectroscopy, submillimeter photometry, and 3-4 μm photometry offour FU Ori-class objects, RNO 1B and C, Z CMa, and Par 21, and oneobject classified as a pre-FU Ori star, V380 Ori. We resolve multiple IRsources and extended emission in the RNO 1B/C system, and we discuss indetail their association with disk activity and the source of theInfrared Astronomical Satellite far-IR and radio maser emission in thisfield. We derive dust temperatures and masses for all sources anddiscuss how dust composition and morphology is related to theevolutionary stage of these objects. On the nature of lithium-rich giant stars. Constraints from beryllium abundancesWe have derived beryllium abundances for 7 Li-rich giant (A(Li) >1.5) stars and 10 other Li-normal giants with the aim of investigatingthe origin of the lithium in the Li-rich giants. In particular, we testthe predictions of the engulfment scenario proposed by Siess & Livio(1999, MNRAS, 308, 1133), where the engulfment of a brown dwarf or oneor more giant planets would lead to simultaneous enrichment of7Li and 9Be. We show that regardless of theirnature, none of the stars studied in this paper were found to havedetectable beryllium. Using simple dilution arguments we show thatengulfment of an external object as the sole source of Li enrichment isruled out by the Li and Be abundance data. The present results favor theidea that Li has been produced in the interior of the stars by aCameron-Fowler process and brought up to the surface by an extra mixingmechanism. CHARM2: An updated Catalog of High Angular Resolution MeasurementsWe present an update of the Catalog of High Angular ResolutionMeasurements (CHARM, Richichi & Percheron \cite{CHARM}, A&A,386, 492), which includes results available until July 2004. CHARM2 is acompilation of direct measurements by high angular resolution methods,as well as indirect estimates of stellar diameters. Its main goal is toprovide a reference list of sources which can be used for calibrationand verification observations with long-baseline optical and near-IRinterferometers. Single and binary stars are included, as are complexobjects from circumstellar shells to extragalactic sources. The presentupdate provides an increase of almost a factor of two over the previousedition. Additionally, it includes several corrections and improvements,as well as a cross-check with the valuable public release observationsof the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). A total of 8231entries for 3238 unique sources are now present in CHARM2. Thisrepresents an increase of a factor of 3.4 and 2.0, respectively, overthe contents of the previous version of CHARM.The catalog is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/431/773 Mg II chromospheric radiative loss rates in cool active and quiet starsThe Mg II k emission line is a good indicator of the level ofchromospheric activity in late-type stars. We investigate the dependenceof this activity indicator on fundamental stellar parameters. To thispurpose we use IUE observations of the Mg II k line in 225 late-typestars of luminosity classes I-V, with different levels of chromosphericactivity. We first re-analyse the relation between Mg II k lineluminosity and stellar absolute magnitude, performing linear fits to thepoints. The ratio of Mg II surface flux to total surface flux is foundto be independent of stellar luminosity for evolved stars and toincrease with decreasing luminosity for dwarfs. We also analyse the MgII k line surface flux-metallicity connection. The Mg II k emissionlevel turns out to be not dependent on metallicity. Finally, the Mg II kline surface flux-temperature relation is investigated by treatingseparately, for the first time, a large sample of very active and normalstars. The stellar surface fluxes in the k line of normal stars arefound to be strongly dependent on the temperature and slightly dependenton the gravity, thus confirming the validity of recently proposedmodels. In contrast, data relative to RS CVn binaries and BY Dra stars,which show very strong chromospheric activity, are not justified in theframework of a description based only on acoustic waves and uniformlydistributed magnetic flux tubes so that they require more detailedmodels. 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 The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar SpectraWe 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. Synthetic Lick Indices and Detection of α-enhanced Stars. II. F, G, and K Stars in the -1.0 < [Fe/H] < +0.50 RangeWe present an analysis of 402 F, G, and K solar neighborhood stars, withaccurate estimates of [Fe/H] in the range -1.0 to +0.5 dex, aimed at thedetection of α-enhanced stars and at the investigation of theirkinematical properties. The analysis is based on the comparison of 571sets of spectral indices in the Lick/IDS system, coming from fourdifferent observational data sets, with synthetic indices computed withsolar-scaled abundances and with α-element enhancement. We useselected combinations of indices to single out α-enhanced starswithout requiring previous knowledge of their main atmosphericparameters. By applying this approach to the total data set, we obtain alist of 60 bona fide α-enhanced stars and of 146 stars withsolar-scaled abundances. The properties of the detected α-enhancedand solar-scaled abundance stars with respect to their [Fe/H] values andkinematics are presented. A clear kinematic distinction betweensolar-scaled and α-enhanced stars was found, although a one-to-onecorrespondence to thin disk'' and thick disk'' components cannot besupported with the present data. Precise radial velocity measurements of G and K giants. Multiple systems and variability trend along the Red Giant BranchWe present the results of our radial velocity (RV) measurements of G andK giants, concentrating on the presence of multiple systems in oursample. Eighty-three giants have been observed for 2.5 years with thefiber-fed echelle spectrograph FEROS at the 1.52 m ESO telescope in LaSilla, Chile. Seventy-seven stars (93%) of the targets have beenanalyzed for RV variability using simultaneous Th-Ar calibration and across-correlation technique. We estimate the long-term precision of ourmeasurement as better than 25 m s-1. Projected rotationalvelocities have been measured for most stars of the sample. Within ourtime-base only 21 stars (or 27%) show variability below 2\sigma, whilethe others show RV variability with amplitudes up to several kms-1. The large amplitude (several km s-1) andshape (high eccentricity) of the RV variations for 11 of the programstars are consistent with stellar companions, and possibly brown dwarfcompanions for two of the program stars. In those systems for which afull orbit could be derived, the companions have minimum masses from0.6 M\sun down to 0.1 M\sun. To thesemultiple systems we add the two candidates of giant planets alreadydiscovered in the sample. This analysis shows that multiple systemscontribute substantially to the long-term RV variability of giant stars,with about 20% of the sample being composed of multiple systems despitescreening our sample for known binary stars. After removing binaries,the range of RV variability in the whole sample clearly decreases, butthe remaining stars retain a statistical trend of RV variability withluminosity: luminous cool giants with B-V≥1.2 show RV variationswith \sigma_{/lineRV} > 60 m s-1, while giants with B-V< 1.2 including those in the clump region exhibit less variability orthey are constant within our accuracy. The same trend is observed withrespect to absolute visual magnitudes: brighter stars show a largerdegree of variability and, when plotted in the RV variability vs.magnitude diagram a trend of increasing RV scatter with luminosity isseen. The amplitude of RV variability does not increase dramatically, aspredicted, for instance, by simple scaling laws. At least two luminousand cooler stars of the sample show a correlation between RV andchromospheric activity and bisector asymmetry, indicating that in thesetwo objects RV variability is likely induced by the presence of(chromospheric) surface structures.Based on observations collected at the 1.52 m-ESO telescope at the LaSilla Observatory from Oct 1999 to Feb. 2002 under ESO programs and theESO-Observatório Nacional, Brazil, agreement and in part onobservations collected on the Alfred Jensch 2 m telescope of theThüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg. Line Absorption as a Metallicity Index for Giant StarsThe fraction of light removed from a star's spectrum by the spectrallines, the line absorption, is shown to be a precise empirical indicatorof metallicity. We measured the line absorption in 89 class III giantstars in a 42.5 Å window between 6219.0 and 6261.5 Å andthen calibrated these values against published metallicities. We showthat the line absorption can be measured precisely enough to improve themetallicity precision about fivefold over the original calibrationmetallicities, reaching a precision of 0.01 dex in favorable cases. Line-strength indices and velocity dispersions for 148 early-type galaxies in different environmentsWe have derived high quality line-strength indices and velocitydispersions for a sample of 148 early-type galaxies in differentenvironments. The wavelength region covered by the observations (lambda=~ 4600 to 6600 Å) includes the Lick/IDS indices Hβ,Mg1, Mg2, Mgb, Fe5015, Fe5270, Fe5335, Fe5406,Fe5709, Fe5782, NaD, TiO1 and TiO2. The data areintended to address possible differences of the stellar populations ofearly-type galaxies in low- and high-density environments. This paperdescribes the sample properties, explains the data reduction andpresents the complete list of all the measurements. Most galaxies of thesample (85%) had no previous measurements of any Lick/IDS indices andfor 30% of the galaxies we present first-time determinations of theirvelocity dispersions. Special care is taken to identify galaxies withemission lines. We found that 62 per cent of the galaxies in the samplehave emission lines, as measured by the equivalent width of the [OIII]5007Å line, EW[OIII] > 0.3 Å. Tables 5 and 6 are onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/ A+A/395/431. They are also available via ftp atftp.mpe.mpg.de in the directory people/dthomas/Beuing02 or via WWW atftp://ftp.mpe.mpg.de/people/dthomas/Beuing02. A catalogue of calibrator stars for long baseline stellar interferometryLong baseline stellar interferometry shares with other techniques theneed for calibrator stars in order to correct for instrumental andatmospheric effects. We present a catalogue of 374 stars carefullyselected to be used for that purpose in the near infrared. Owing toseveral convergent criteria with the work of Cohen et al.(\cite{cohen99}), this catalogue is in essence a subset of theirself-consistent all-sky network of spectro-photometric calibrator stars.For every star, we provide the angular limb-darkened diameter, uniformdisc angular diameters in the J, H and K bands, the Johnson photometryand other useful parameters. Most stars are type III giants withspectral types K or M0, magnitudes V=3-7 and K=0-3. Their angularlimb-darkened diameters range from 1 to 3 mas with a median uncertaintyas low as 1.2%. The median distance from a given point on the sky to theclosest reference is 5.2degr , whereas this distance never exceeds16.4degr for any celestial location. The catalogue 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?J/A+A/393/183 CHARM: A Catalog of High Angular Resolution MeasurementsThe Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements (CHARM) includesmost of the measurements obtained by the techniques of lunaroccultations and long-baseline interferometry at visual and infraredwavelengths, which have appeared in the literature or have otherwisebeen made public until mid-2001. A total of 2432 measurements of 1625sources are included, along with extensive auxiliary information. Inparticular, visual and infrared photometry is included for almost allthe sources. This has been partly extracted from currently availablecatalogs, and partly obtained specifically for CHARM. The main aim is toprovide a compilation of sources which could be used as calibrators orfor science verification purposes by the new generation of largeground-based facilities such as the ESO Very Large Interferometer andthe Keck Interferometer. The Catalog is available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/386/492, and from theauthors on CD-Rom. Line-Depth Ratios: Temperature Indices for Giant StarsRatios of the depths of appropriately chosen spectral lines are shown tobe excellent indicators of stellar temperatures for giant stars in theG3 to K3 spectral type range. We calibrate five line-depth ratiosagainst B-V and R-I color indices and then translate these intotemperatures. Our goal is to set up line-depth ratios to (1) accuratelymonitor any temperature variations of a few degrees or less that mayoccur during magnetic cycles or oscillations and (2) rank giantsprecisely on a temperature coordinate. This is not an absolutecalibration of stellar temperatures. We show how giant spectra can bemisleading because of the complex dependences of spectral lines onmetallicity and absolute magnitude as well as temperature, and it isessential to make corrections to accommodate these complications. Thefive line-depth ratios we use yield precision for monitoring, i.e.,detecting temperature variations, of 4 K from a single exposure. Rankinggiants by temperature can be done with errors of ~25 K but could beimproved with better determinations of the metallicity andabsolute-magnitude corrections. On the Wilson-Bappu relationship in the Mg II k lineAn investigation is carried out on the Wilson-Bappu effect in the Mg Iik line at 2796.34 Å. The work is based on a selection of 230 starsobserved by both the IUE and HIPPARCOS satellites, covering a wide rangeof spectral types (F to M) and absolute visual magnitudes (-5.4<=MV <=9.0). A semi-automatic procedure is used to measurethe line widths, which applies also in the presence of strong centralabsorption reversal. The Wilson-Bappu relationship here provided isconsidered to represent an improvement over previous recent results forthe considerably larger data sample used, as well as for a properconsideration of the measurement errors. No evidence has been found fora possible dependence of the WB effect on stellar metallicity andeffective temperature. 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 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 The stellar populations of early-type galaxies in the Fornax clusterWe have measured central line strengths for a magnitude-limited sampleof early-type galaxies in the Fornax cluster, comprising 11 elliptical(E) and 11 lenticular (S0) galaxies, more luminous thanMB=-17. When compared with single-burst stellar populationmodels we find that the centres of Fornax ellipticals follow a locus offixed age and have metallicities varying roughly from half solar totwice solar. The centres of (lower luminosity) lenticular galaxies,however, exhibit a substantial spread to younger luminosity-weightedages, indicating a more extended star formation history. Galaxies withold stellar populations show tight scaling relations between metal-lineindices and the central velocity dispersion. Remarkably also, the Felines are well correlated with σ0. Our detailedanalysis of the stellar populations suggests that these scalingrelations are driven mostly by metallicity. Galaxies with a youngstellar component do generally deviate from the main relation. Inparticular, the lower luminosity S0s show a large spread. Ourconclusions are based on several age/metallicity diagnostic diagrams inthe Lick/IDS system comprising established indices such asMg2 and Hβ as well as new and more sensitive indicessuch as HγA and Fe3, a combination of three prominentFe lines. The inferred difference in the age distribution betweenlenticular and elliptical galaxies is a robust conclusion, as the modelsgenerate consistent relative ages using different age and metallicityindicators, even though the absolute ages remain uncertain. The absoluteage uncertainty is mainly caused by the effects of non-solar abundanceratios which are not yet accounted for by the stellar population models.Furthermore, we find that elliptical galaxies and the bulge of onebright S0 are overabundant in magnesium, where the most luminousgalaxies show the strongest overabundances. The stellar populations ofyoung and faint S0s are consistent with solar abundance ratios or a weakMg underabundance. Two of the faintest lenticular galaxies in our samplehave blue continua and extremely strong Balmer-line absorption,suggesting star formation <2Gyr ago. K-Band Calibration of the Red Clump LuminosityThe average near-infrared (K-band) luminosity of 238 Hipparcos red clumpgiants is derived and then used to measure the distance to the Galacticcenter. These Hipparcos red clump giants have been previously employedas I-band standard candles. The advantage of the K-band is a decreasedsensitivity to reddening and perhaps a reduced systematic dependence onmetallicity. In order to investigate the latter, and also to refer ourcalibration to a known metallicity zero point, we restrict our sample ofred clump calibrators to those with abundances derived fromhigh-resolution spectroscopic data. The mean metallicity of the sampleis [Fe/H]=-0.18 dex (σ=0.17 dex). The data are consistent with nocorrelation between MK and [Fe/H] and only weakly constrainthe slope of this relation. The luminosity function of the sample peaksat MK=-1.61+/-0.03 mag. Next, we assemble published opticaland near-infrared photometry for ~20 red clump giants in a Baade'swindow field with a mean metallicity of [Fe/H]=-0.17+/-0.09 dex, whichis nearly identical to that of the Hipparcos red clump. Assuming thatthe average (V-I)0 and (V-K)0 colors of these twored clumps are the same, the extinctions in the Baade's window field arefound to be AV=1.56, AI=0.87, andAK=0.15, in agreement with previous estimates. We derive thedistance to the Galactic center: (m-M)0=14.58+/-0.11 mag, orR=8.24+/-0.42 kpc. The uncertainty in this distance measurement isdominated by the small number of Baade's window red clump giantsexamined here. 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). Spectral Irradiance Calibration in the Infrared. X. A Self-Consistent Radiometric All-Sky Network of Absolutely Calibrated Stellar SpectraWe start from our six absolutely calibrated continuous stellar spectrafrom 1.2 to 35 μm for K0, K1.5, K3, K5, and M0 giants. These wereconstructed as far as possible from actual observed spectral fragmentstaken from the ground, the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, and the IRAS LowResolution Spectrometer, and all have a common calibration pedigree.From these we spawn 422 calibrated spectral templates'' for stars withspectral types in the ranges G9.5-K3.5 III and K4.5-M0.5 III. Wenormalize each template by photometry for the individual stars usingpublished and/or newly secured near- and mid-infrared photometryobtained through fully characterized, absolutely calibrated,combinations of filter passband, detector radiance response, and meanterrestrial atmospheric transmission. These templates continue ourongoing effort to provide an all-sky network of absolutely calibrated,spectrally continuous, stellar standards for general infrared usage, allwith a common, traceable calibration heritage. The wavelength coverageis ideal for calibration of many existing and proposed ground-based,airborne, and satellite sensors, particularly low- tomoderate-resolution spectrometers. We analyze the statistics of probableuncertainties, in the normalization of these templates to actualphotometry, that quantify the confidence with which we can assert thatthese templates truly represent the individual stars. Each calibratedtemplate provides an angular diameter for that star. These radiometricangular diameters compare very favorably with those directly observedacross the range from 1.6 to 21 mas. Empirical calibration of the lambda 4000 Å breakEmpirical fitting functions, describing the behaviour of the lambda 4000Ä break, D4000, in terms of effective temperature,metallicity and surface gravity, are presented. For this purpose, thebreak has been measured in 392 stars from the Lick/IDS Library. We havefollowed a very detailed error treatment in the reduction and fittingprocedures, allowing for a reliable estimation of the breakuncertainties. This calibration can be easily incorporated into stellarpopulation models to provide accurate predictions of the break amplitudefor, relatively old, composite systems. Table 1 is only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr(130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html Catalogs of temperatures and [Fe/H] averages for evolved G and K starsA catalog of mean values of [Fe/H] for evolved G and K stars isdescribed. The zero point for the catalog entries has been establishedby using differential analyses. Literature sources for those entries areincluded in the catalog. The mean values are given with rms errors andnumbers of degrees of freedom, and a simple example of the use of thesestatistical data is given. For a number of the stars with entries in thecatalog, temperatures have been determined. A separate catalogcontaining those data is briefly described. Catalog only available atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html Star formation history of early-type galaxies in low density environments. I. Nuclear line-strength indicesThis paper is the first of a series \cite[(Longhetti et al.1997a,b)]{lon97} dedicated to the study of the star formation history inearly-type galaxies which show fine structures and/or signatures ofinteraction. It presents nuclear line-strength indices for a samplecomposed of 21 shell galaxies, from the \cite[Malin & Carter(1983)]{mal83} southern survey, and 30 members of isolated interactingpairs, from the \cite[Reduzzi & Rampazzo (1995)]{red95} catalogue,located in low density environments. The spectral range covers 3700Angstroms < lambda < 5700 Angstroms at 2.1 Angstroms FWHMresolution. We measure 16 red (lambda > 4200 Angstroms) indicesdefined by the Lick Group. Measures have been transformed into theLick-IDS standard'' system. The procedure has been tested on a set of5 elliptical galaxies selected from the \cite[Gonzalez (1993)]{gon93}sample. We derive also three blue (lambda < 4200) indices, namelyDelta (4000 Angstroms) defined by \cite[Hamilton (1985)]{ham85},H+K(CaII) and Hdelta /FeI defined by \cite[Rose (1984, 1985)]{ros84}.Blue indices are correlated to the age of the last starburst occurred ina galaxy \cite[(Leonardi & Rose 1996)]{leo96}. The determination ofthese indices, the estimate of the measurement errors and the correctionfor the galaxies velocity dispersions are discussed in detail. In theAppendix A we present the indices for a set of hot stars (T> 10000 K)which may be used for extending W92 fitting functions toward hightemperatures. Based on observations obtained at ESO, La Silla, Chile.Tables 1-8 are also available in electronic form at CDS and Tables 9-15are only available in electronic form at CDS: 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. Infrared standards for ISO. I. A new calibration of mid infrared photometryWe present N, 8.7 mu m, 9.8 mu m 12.5 mu m and Q bolometry of 26 starswhich were observed on the IRTF. These are primarily K giants which havebeen well measured at other wavelengths and are chosen to be single andnon-variable. Hence the data presented provides a new homogeneous set ofmid IR standards. As a test of part of the calibration strategy of ISOover this wavelength range, the zero points have been set using theKurucz model grids (1993) to predict the mid IR magnitudes from near IRdata. An analysis of the errors involved is presented and a comparisonwith more direct methods for the determination of the zero pointssuggest an possible error of 0.015 mags, although the source of thiserror is unclear as it is at the level of the uncertainty in the moredirect methods. The effect of the SiO fundamental on the spectral energydistributions of K giants is discussed.
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