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 Reliability Checks on the Indo-US Stellar Spectral Library Using Artificial Neural Networks and Principal Component AnalysisThe Indo-US coudé feed stellar spectral library (CFLIB) madeavailable to the astronomical community recently by Valdes et al. (2004,ApJS, 152, 251) contains spectra of 1273 stars in the spectral region3460 to 9464Å at a high resolution of 1Å (FWHM) and a widerange of spectral types. Cross-checking the reliability of this databaseis an important and desirable exercise since a number of stars in thisdatabase have no known spectral types and a considerable fraction ofstars has not so complete coverage in the full wavelength region of3460-9464Å resulting in gaps ranging from a few Å to severaltens of Å. We use an automated classification scheme based onArtificial Neural Networks (ANN) to classify all 1273 stars in thedatabase. In addition, principal component analysis (PCA) is carried outto reduce the dimensionality of the data set before the spectra areclassified by the ANN. Most importantly, we have successfullydemonstrated employment of a variation of the PCA technique to restorethe missing data in a sample of 300 stars out of the CFLIB. Spectroscopic binary orbits from photoelectric radial velocities. Paper 180: zeta AurigaeNot Available Observed Orbital EccentricitiesFor 391 spectroscopic and visual binaries with known orbital elementsand having B0-F0 IV or V primaries, we collected the derivedeccentricities. As has been found by others, those binaries with periodsof a few days have been circularized. However, those with periods up toabout 1000 or more days show reduced eccentricities that asymptoticallyapproach a mean value of 0.5 for the longest periods. For those binarieswith periods greater than 1000 days their distribution of eccentricitiesis flat from 0 to nearly 1, indicating that in the formation of binariesthere is no preferential eccentricity. The binaries with intermediateperiods (10-100 days) lack highly eccentric orbits. L and T brown dwarfs in the Ursa Major moving groupWe have applied the moving cluster'' method to an archive of L and Tbrown dwarf stars to identify those stars which are members of the UrsaMajor moving group. We show that five stars have proper motiondirections which agree with the direction of motion expected for acluster member, and which have proper motion distances in agreement withdistances determined by trigonometrical parallax observations. We thenuse 2MASS data to produce an M_K versus J-K_S colour magnitude diagram.The group members define an empirical 400 Myr isochrone, which iscompared to theoretical models. This is the first cluster/group to havea known T dwarf member. Abundances of a sample of A and F-type dwarf members of the Ursa Major GroupAbundances of 11 chemical elements have been determined for 10 F and 12A dwarfs ("normal" and chemically peculiar) bona-fide and probablemembers of the Ursa Major Group (age about 500 Myr). The abundances weredetermined in a uniform manner using a model atmosphere analysis byminimising the chi-square of grids of synthetic spectra to observed highresolution high S/N (R ≃ 25 000 and R ≃ 70 000 ) spectraobtained in three narrow spectral regions centered around 5075 Å,5525 Å and 6160 Å. Specifically, Takeda's (1995)semi-automated procedure was used to derive the abundances of C, O, Na,Mg, Si, Ca, Sc, Fe, Ni, Y, and Ba, the projected rotational velocityve sin i and the microturbulent velocity for each staranalysed. In graphs [X/H] versus T_eff, the A stars exhibit largerstar-to-star variations in [Fe/H], [Ni/H], and [Si/H] than the F dwarfsdo. The abundance of nickel is the only one that appears to becorrelated with that of iron. 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 Statistics of multiple starsThe statistics of stellar systems of multiplicity three and higher isreviewed. They are frequent, 0.15-0.25 of all stellar systems. Some 700multiples are expected among the 3383 stars of spectral type F, G, and Kwithin 50 pc, while only 76 of them are actually known. Many (if notall) close binaries have distant tertiary components, indicating thatangular momentum exchange within multiple systems was probably criticalin forming short-period binaries. The ratio of outer to inner periods inthe best-studied nearby multiples and in low-mass pre-main sequencemultiples does not exceed 104 at the formation epoch; largerratios are produced by subsequent orbital evolution. All multiples withwell-defined orbits are dynamically stable, the eccentricities of outerorbits obey the empirical stability limit P[out](1 - e[out])3/P[in] >5 that is more strict than current theoretical limits. Relativeorientation of orbits in triple stars shows some degree of alignment,especially in weakly-hierarchical systems. The statistics support theidea that most multiple stars originated from dynamical interactions insmall clusters. 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 Study of the Weakly Magnetic Star HD 116656We studied the spectroscopic binary HD 116656 (zeta^11 UMa) that haspreviously been suspected to be a Si-type chemically peculiar star. Themagnetic field of each individual component was measured with a highaccuracy, but none were found. The upper limit for each field wasestimated as 20 G. The abundances of the chemical elements studied inboth components proved to be the same. The pattern of their chemicalanomalies suggests that they are more likely chemically peculiar Amstars than magnetic CP stars. The rotational velocities of thecomponents slightly differ, 31.7 km/s for component A and 37.0 km/s forcomponent B. Low rotational velocities are characteristic of bothnonmagnetic metallic-line and magnetic chemically peculiar stars. 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. Tidal Effects in Binaries of Various PeriodsWe found in the published literature the rotational velocities for 162B0-B9.5, 152 A0-A5, and 86 A6-F0 stars, all of luminosity classes V orIV, that are in spectroscopic or visual binaries with known orbitalelements. The data show that stars in binaries with periods of less thanabout 4 days have synchronized rotational and orbital motions. Stars inbinaries with periods of more than about 500 days have the samerotational velocities as single stars. However, the primaries inbinaries with periods of between 4 and 500 days have substantiallysmaller rotational velocities than single stars, implying that they havelost one-third to two-thirds of their angular momentum, presumablybecause of tidal interactions. The angular momentum losses increase withdecreasing binary separations or periods and increase with increasingage or decreasing mass. Nearby stars of the Galactic disk and halo. III.High-resolution spectroscopic observations of about 150 nearby stars orstar systems are presented and discussed. The study of these and another100 objects of the previous papers of this series implies that theGalaxy became reality 13 or 14 Gyr ago with the implementation of amassive, rotationally-supported population of thick-disk stars. The veryhigh star formation rate in that phase gave rise to a rapid metalenrichment and an expulsion of gas in supernovae-driven Galactic winds,but was followed by a star formation gap for no less than three billionyears at the Sun's galactocentric distance. In a second phase, then, thethin disk - our familiar Milky Way'' - came on stage. Nowadays ittraces the bright side of the Galaxy, but it is also embedded in a hugecoffin of dead thick-disk stars that account for a large amount ofbaryonic dark matter. As opposed to this, cold-dark-matter-dominatedcosmologies that suggest a more gradual hierarchical buildup throughmergers of minor structures, though popular, are a poor description forthe Milky Way Galaxy - and by inference many other spirals as well - if,as the sample implies, the fossil records of its long-lived stars do notstick to this paradigm. Apart from this general picture that emergeswith reference to the entire sample stars, a good deal of the presentwork is however also concerned with detailed discussions of manyindividual objects. Among the most interesting we mention the bluestraggler or merger candidates HD 165401 and HD 137763/HD 137778, thelikely accretion of a giant planet or brown dwarf on 59 Vir in itsrecent history, and HD 63433 that proves to be a young solar analog at\tau200 Myr. Likewise, the secondary to HR 4867, formerly suspectednon-single from the Hipparcos astrometry, is directly detectable in thehigh-resolution spectroscopic tracings, whereas the visual binary \chiCet is instead at least triple, and presumably even quadruple. Withrespect to the nearby young stars a complete account of the Ursa MajorAssociation is presented, and we provide as well plain evidence foranother, the Hercules-Lyra Association'', the likely existence ofwhich was only realized in recent years. On account of its rotation,chemistry, and age we do confirm that the Sun is very typical among itsG-type neighbors; as to its kinematics, it appears however not unlikelythat the Sun's known low peculiar space velocity could indeed be thecause for the weak paleontological record of mass extinctions and majorimpact events on our parent planet during the most recent Galactic planepassage of the solar system. Although the significance of thiscorrelation certainly remains a matter of debate for years to come, wepoint in this context to the principal importance of the thick disk fora complete census with respect to the local surface and volumedensities. Other important effects that can be ascribed to this darkstellar population comprise (i) the observed plateau in the shape of theluminosity function of the local FGK stars, (ii) a small thoughsystematic effect on the basic solar motion, (iii) a reassessment of theterm asymmetrical drift velocity'' for the remainder (i.e. the thindisk) of the stellar objects, (iv) its ability to account for the bulkof the recently discovered high-velocity blue white dwarfs, (v) itsmajor contribution to the Sun's 220 km s-1 rotationalvelocity around the Galactic center, and (vi) the significant flatteningthat it imposes on the Milky Way's rotation curve. Finally we note ahigh multiplicity fraction in the small but volume-complete local sampleof stars of this ancient population. This in turn is highly suggestivefor a star formation scenario wherein the few existing single stellarobjects might only arise from either late mergers or the dynamicalejection of former triple or higher level star systems. Optical interferometry in astronomyHere I review the current state of the field of optical stellarinterferometry, concentrating on ground-based work although a briefreport of space interferometry missions is included. We pause both toreflect on decades of immense progress in the field as well as toprepare for a new generation of large interferometers just now beingcommissioned (most notably, the CHARA, Keck and VLT Interferometers).First, this review summarizes the basic principles behind stellarinterferometry needed by the lay-physicist and general astronomer tounderstand the scientific potential as well as technical challenges ofinterferometry. Next, the basic design principles of practicalinterferometers are discussed, using the experience of past and existingfacilities to illustrate important points. Here there is significantdiscussion of current trends in the field, including the new facilitiesunder construction and advanced technologies being debuted. This decadehas seen the influence of stellar interferometry extend beyond classicalregimes of stellar diameters and binary orbits to new areas such asmapping the accretion discs around young stars, novel calibration of thecepheid period-luminosity relation, and imaging of stellar surfaces. Thethird section is devoted to the major scientific results frominterferometry, grouped into natural categories reflecting these currentdevelopments. Lastly, I consider the future of interferometry,highlighting the kinds of new science promised by the interferometerscoming on-line in the next few years. I also discuss the longer-termfuture of optical interferometry, including the prospects for spaceinterferometry and the possibilities of large-scale ground-basedprojects. Critical technological developments are still needed to makethese projects attractive and affordable. Optical-Turbulence and Wind Profiles at San Pedro MártirResults of monitoring optical-turbulence profiles and velocity of theturbulence layers at San Pedro Mártir, Mexico, are presented. Thedata were collected during 11 nights in April-May 1997 and 16 nights inMay 2000 using the Generalized Scidar of Nice University installed onthe 1.5-m and 2.1-m telescopes. The statistical analysis of the 6414turbulence profiles obtained shows that the seeing produced by theturbulence in the first 1.2 km, not including dome seeing, at the 1.5-mand the 2.1-m telescopes have median values of 0 to z 0. hss'' 63 and0 to z 0. hss'' 44, respectively. The dome seeing at those telescopeshave median values of 0 to z 0. hss'' 64 and 0 to z 0. hss'' 31. Theturbulence above 1.2 km and in the whole atmosphere produces seeing withmedian values of 0 to z 0. hss'' 38 and 0 to z 0. hss'' 71. Thetemporal correlation of the turbulence strength drops to 50% in timelags of 2 and 0.5 hours, approximately, for altitudes below and above 16km above sea level, respectively. The turbulence above  9 kmremained notably calm during 9 consecutive nights, which is encouragingfor adaptive optics observations at the site. The 3016 profiles of theturbulent-layer velocity that are analyzed show that the fastest layersare found between 10 and 17 km, where the tropopause and the jet streamare located, with median speed of 24.4 m s-1. In the first 2.2 km andabove 17 km, the turbulent layers move relatively slowly, with medianspeeds of 2.3 and 9.2 m s-1. The median of the wavefront coherence-timeis 6.5 ms, in the visible. The results obtained here places San PedroMártir among the best suited sites for installing next generationoptical telescopes. Some anomalies in the occurrence of debris discs around main-sequence A and G starsDebris discs consist of large dust grains that are generated bycollisions of comets or asteroids around main-sequence stars, and thequantity and distribution of debris may be used to detect the presenceof perturbing planets akin to Neptune. We use stellar and disc surveysto compare the material seen around A- and G-type main-sequence stars.Debris is detected much more commonly towards A stars, even when acomparison is made only with G stars of comparable age. Detection ratesare consistent with disc durations of ~0.5 Gyr, which may occur at anytime during the main sequence. The higher detection rate for A stars canresult from this duration being a larger fraction of the main-sequencelifetime, possibly boosted by a globally slightly larger disc mass thanfor the G-type counterparts. The disc mass range at any given age is afactor of at least ~100 and any systematic decline with time is slow,with a power law estimated to not be steeper than t-1/2.Comparison with models shows that dust can be expected as late as a fewGyr when perturbing planetesimals form slowly at large orbital radii.Currently, the Solar system has little dust because the radius of theKuiper Belt is small and hence the time-scale to produce planetesimalswas less than 1 Gyr. However, the apparently constant duration of ~0.5Gyr when dust is visible is not predicted by the models. Contributions to the Nearby Stars (NStars) Project: Spectroscopy of Stars Earlier than M0 within 40 Parsecs: The Northern Sample. I.We have embarked on a project, under the aegis of the Nearby Stars(NStars)/Space Interferometry Mission Preparatory Science Program, toobtain spectra, spectral types, and, where feasible, basic physicalparameters for the 3600 dwarf and giant stars earlier than M0 within 40pc of the Sun. In this paper, we report on the results of this projectfor the first 664 stars in the northern hemisphere. These resultsinclude precise, homogeneous spectral types, basic physical parameters(including the effective temperature, surface gravity, and overallmetallicity [M/H]), and measures of the chromospheric activity of ourprogram stars. Observed and derived data presented in this paper arealso available on the project's Web site. Stellar Kinematic Groups. II. A Reexamination of the Membership, Activity, and Age of the Ursa Major GroupUtilizing Hipparcos parallaxes, original radial velocities and recentliterature values, new Ca II H and K emission measurements,literature-based abundance estimates, and updated photometry (includingrecent resolved measurements of close doubles), we revisit the UrsaMajor moving group membership status of some 220 stars to produce afinal clean list of nearly 60 assured members, based on kinematic andphotometric criteria. Scatter in the velocity dispersions and H-Rdiagram is correlated with trial activity-based membership assignments,indicating the usefulness of criteria based on photometric andchromospheric emission to examine membership. Closer inspection,however, shows that activity is considerably more robust at excludingmembership, failing to do so only for <=15% of objects, perhapsconsiderably less. Our UMa members demonstrate nonzero vertex deviationin the Bottlinger diagram, behavior seen in older and recent studies ofnearby young disk stars and perhaps related to Galactic spiralstructure. Comparison of isochrones and our final UMa group membersindicates an age of 500+/-100 Myr, some 200 Myr older than thecanonically quoted UMa age. Our UMa kinematic/photometric members' meanchromospheric emission levels, rotational velocities, and scattertherein are indistinguishable from values in the Hyades and smaller thanthose evinced by members of the younger Pleiades and M34 clusters,suggesting these characteristics decline rapidly with age over 200-500Myr. None of our UMa members demonstrate inordinately low absolutevalues of chromospheric emission, but several may show residual fluxes afactor of >=2 below a Hyades-defined lower envelope. If one defines aMaunder-like minimum in a relative sense, then the UMa results maysuggest that solar-type stars spend 10% of their entire main-sequencelives in periods of precipitously low activity, which is consistent withestimates from older field stars. As related asides, we note six evolvedstars (among our UMa nonmembers) with distinctive kinematics that liealong a 2 Gyr isochrone and appear to be late-type counterparts to diskF stars defining intermediate-age star streams in previous studies,identify a small number of potentially very young but isolated fieldstars, note that active stars (whether UMa members or not) in our samplelie very close to the solar composition zero-age main sequence, unlikeHipparcos-based positions in the H-R diagram of Pleiades dwarfs, andargue that some extant transformations of activity indices are notadequate for cool dwarfs, for which Ca II infrared triplet emissionseems to be a better proxy than Hα-based values for Ca II H and Kindices. Catalogue of averaged stellar effective magnetic fields. I. Chemically peculiar A and B type starsThis paper presents the catalogue and the method of determination ofaveraged quadratic effective magnetic fields < B_e > for 596 mainsequence and giant stars. The catalogue is based on measurements of thestellar effective (or mean longitudinal) magnetic field strengths B_e,which were compiled from the existing literature.We analysed the properties of 352 chemically peculiar A and B stars inthe catalogue, including Am, ApSi, He-weak, He-rich, HgMn, ApSrCrEu, andall ApSr type stars. We have found that the number distribution of allchemically peculiar (CP) stars vs. averaged magnetic field strength isdescribed by a decreasing exponential function. Relations of this typehold also for stars of all the analysed subclasses of chemicalpeculiarity. The exponential form of the above distribution function canbreak down below about 100 G, the latter value representingapproximately the resolution of our analysis for A type stars.Table A.1 and its references are only 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/407/631 and Tables 3 to 9are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Astrophysics in 2001During the year, astronomers provided explanations for solar topicsranging from the multiple personality disorder of neutrinos tocannibalism of CMEs (coronal mass ejections) and extra-solar topicsincluding quivering stars, out-of-phase gaseous media, black holes ofall sizes (too large, too small, and too medium), and the existence ofthe universe. Some of these explanations are probably possibly true,though the authors are not betting large sums on any one. The data oughtto remain true forever, though this requires a careful definition ofdata'' (think of the Martian canals). Investigation of Weakly Magnetic CP Stars. IThe magnetic fields of a sample of chemically peculiar stars, in whichthey had not been detected earlier, are reinvestigated on the basis ofour own measurements and literature data. Despite the considerablyhigher measurement accuracy, again no magnetic fields were detected inany of them. An upper limit on the field of HD 10221 of 40 G wasobtained. Despite the weakness of the fields, the parameterscharacterizing an anomaly in chemical composition correspond to thosefor strong fields. The same parameters in stars with strong fieldsgenerally correspond in value, although they are lower than expected inthe case of HD 47152. Doing Research on Eclipsing Binary Stars with Small Telescopes and PC computersAstronomical research with a small telescope (20 cm - 40 cm) has alwaysbeen a challenging problem. The invention of CCD cameras and personalcomputers has now put this question to past as small telescopes can dogood and practicle science. This paper describes the use of smalltelescope in the study of eclipsing binary stars. Binary stars play animportant role as astrophysical laboratories in our quest to understandthe evolution and structure of stars. The most useful aspects ofresearch with a small telescope in binary star research is; 1) as aviable teaching laboratory for begining students 2) to teach and learnthe fundamental observational techniques that are common to many typesof astronomical research areas 3) as a starting point to initiateresearch programs in observational astronomy, optics, instrumentation,computational astrophysics and 4) as a foundation to develop aninfrastructure and technical know how for larger telescope facility. Magnetic survey of bright northern main sequence starsThe first results of a systematic search for magnetic fields in thebrightest upper main sequence (MS) stars are presented. The main goal isto survey the stars with about the same detection limit and to improveexisting statistics of their magnetism. The target list contains 57upper MS stars and represents well B0.5-F9 stars. High-resolution Zeemanspectra were obtained for 30 stars of the list. The accuracy of themagnetic field measurements ranges from 20 to 300 G depending mainly onspectral class. In the majority of studied stars we did not detectmagnetic fields. In some stars we suspect the presence of a weakmagnetic field. These are the best candidates for more extensivestudies. A particular case is the star chi Dra where we probablydetected the global magnetic field. The longitudinal field strength isB_l= -54+/-12 G. Further observations of this star are needed to confirmthe detection and to ascertain if the magnetic field is variable withthe period of rotation. Based on observations collected at the 1 mtelescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory (Nizhnij Arkhyz,Russia). 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 A highly sensitive search for magnetic fields in B, A and F starsCircular spectropolarimetric observations of 74 stars were obtained inan attempt to detect magnetic fields via the longitudinal Zeeman effectin their spectral lines. The sample observed includes 22 normal B, A andF stars, four emission-line B and A stars, 25 Am stars, 10 HgMn stars,two lambda Boo stars and 11 magnetic Ap stars. Using the Least-SquaresDeconvolution multi-line analysis approach (Donati et al.\cite{donati97etal}), high precision Stokes I and V mean signatures wereextracted from each spectrum. We find absolutely no evidence formagnetic fields in the normal, Am and HgMn stars, with upper limits onlongitudinal field measurements usually considerably smaller than anypreviously obtained for these objects. We conclude that if any magneticfields exist in the photospheres of these stars, these fields are notordered as in the magnetic Ap stars, nor do they resemble the fields ofactive late-type stars. We also detect for the first time a field in theA2pSr star HD 108945 and make new precise measurements of longitudinalfields in five previously known magnetic Ap stars, but do not detectfields in five other stars classified as Ap SrCrEu. We also report newresults for several binary systems, including a new vsin i for therapidly rotating secondary of the Am-delta Del SB2 HD 110951. Based onobservations obtained using the MuSiCoS spectropolarimeter on theBernard Lyot telescope, l'Observatoire du Pic du Midi, France. 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. First evidence of the finite horizontal extent of the optical turbulence layers. Implications for new adaptive optics techniquesIt was recently shown (Masciadri et al. \cite{mas00}; Masciadri\cite{mas01a}), using a numerical simulation (Meso-Nh model), thatconsidering horizontally uniform CN2 can havesevere consequences. For example, the integration of theCN2 along lines of sight different from the zenithgives variations that can be larger than 0.50arcsec . In this paper wetry to validate this result following two approaches. (a) numericalapproach: we compare measured and simulated CN2profiles. The first ones were obtained with a Generalized Scidar (GS)and the latter are simulated with the Meso-Nh model at the same azimuthand elevation as those of the observations. Further measurements (DIMM,mast and balloons) are considered in order to support the comparison.(b) experimental approach: we compare CN2 profilesmeasured (almost simultaneously) by a GS along different lines of sight.The results of this study show that (1) the horizontal size of theturbulent layers can be finite, (2) the simulations and the measurementsare well correlated and (3) for the first time, we show that the modelcan reproduce observed seeing values that vary as much as 0.50arcsecduring the same night. This definitely shows that the numericalsimulations are a useful tool in the context of the turbulencecharacterization for astronomical applications. Finally, we discuss theimplications that a finite horizontal size of the turbulent layers couldhave on new adaptive optics techniques, particularly in applications tothe extremely large size telescopes. Astrometric radial velocities. III. Hipparcos measurements of nearby star clusters and associationsRadial motions of stars in nearby moving clusters are determined fromaccurate proper motions and trigonometric parallaxes, without any use ofspectroscopy. Assuming that cluster members share the same velocityvector (apart from a random dispersion), we apply a maximum-likelihoodmethod on astrometric data from Hipparcos to compute radial and spacevelocities (and their dispersions) in the Ursa Major, Hyades, ComaBerenices, Pleiades, and Praesepe clusters, and for theScorpius-Centaurus, alpha Persei, and HIP 98321'' associations. Theradial motion of the Hyades cluster is determined to within 0.4 kms-1 (standard error), and that of its individual stars towithin 0.6 km s-1. For other clusters, Hipparcos data yieldastrometric radial velocities with typical accuracies of a few kms-1. A comparison of these astrometric values withspectroscopic radial velocities in the literature shows a good generalagreement and, in the case of the best-determined Hyades cluster, alsopermits searches for subtle astrophysical differences, such as evidencefor enhanced convective blueshifts of F-dwarf spectra, and decreasedgravitational redshifts in giants. Similar comparisons for the ScorpiusOB2 complex indicate some expansion of its associations, albeit slowerthan expected from their ages. As a by-product from the radial-velocitysolutions, kinematically improved parallaxes for individual stars areobtained, enabling Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams with unprecedentedaccuracy in luminosity. For the Hyades (parallax accuracy 0.3 mas), itsmain sequence resembles a thin line, possibly with wiggles in it.Although this main sequence has underpopulated regions at certaincolours (previously suggested to be Böhm-Vitense gaps''), suchare not visible for other clusters, and are probably spurious. Futurespace astrometry missions carry a great potential for absoluteradial-velocity determinations, insensitive to the complexities ofstellar spectra. Based on observations by the ESA Hipparcos satellite.Extended versions of Tables \ref{tab1} and \ref{tab2} are available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr(130.79.125.8) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/381/446 A Short History and Other Stories of Binary StarsA short history of binary stars from the first discoveries is presented.Examples of currently known binary systems with components of highesttemperature and mass are discussed. Optical InterferometryThe field of optical and infrared (IR) interferometry has seen rapidtechnical and scientific progress over the past few years. A number ofinstruments capable of precise visibility measurements have been built,and closure-phase imaging with multitelescope arrays has beendemonstrated. Astronomical results from these instruments includemeasurements of stellar diameters and their wavelength dependence, limbdarkening, stellar surface structure, and distances of Cepheids and ofNova Cygni 1992. Precise stellar masses have been obtained frominterferometric observations of spectroscopic binaries, andcircumstellar disks and shells have been resolved. Searches forsubstellar companions and extrasolar planets with interferometricastrometry will begin soon. Nulling interferometry will enable studiesof exozodiacal disks from the ground and the detection andcharacterization of terrestrial extrasolar planets from space. Thesedevelopments are reviewed, as well as progress in some key technologicalareas. The geometry of stellar motions in the nucleus region of the Ursa Major kinematic groupThe structure of the central part of the UMa stellar kinematic group wasconsidered according to the data from Hipparcos, Tycho and ACTcatalogues. We have shown that in the space occupied by the nucleusthere are several populations of stars. The first includes ten starswhich are very compactly located in the proper motion diagram and have anormal proper motion distribution. The second group includes six starswith large kinematic difference and there are six field stars placedhere too. The question about their coexistence in a common region ofspace remains open. The well-known stars Mizar and Alcor appear tobelong to the different subsystems and do not belong to a unique stellarsystem. The published radial velocities, as a rule, are determined withinsufficient accuracy compared to the errors of the currently availableproper motions. A high precision in the radial velocities measurementsis necessary for a thorough study of the kinematics of stars inside UMastar system.
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