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Planets around evolved intermediate-mass stars. I. Two substellar companions in the open clusters NGC 2423 and NGC 4349
Context: Many efforts are being made to characterize extrasolarplanetary systems and unveil the fundamental mechanisms of planetformation. An important aspect of the problem, which remains largelyunknown, is to understand how the planet formation process depends onthe mass of the parent star. In particular, as most planets discoveredto date orbit a solar-mass primary, little is known about planetformation around more massive stars. Aims: To investigate this point,we present first results from a radial velocity planet search around redgiants in the clump of intermediate-age open clusters. We chooseclusters harbouring red giants with masses between 1.5 and 4Mȯ, using the well-known cluster parameters toaccurately determine the stellar masses. We are therefore exploring apoorly-known domain of primary masses, which will bring new insightsinto the properties of extrasolar planetary systems. Methods: We followa sample of about 115 red giants with the Coralie and HARPSspectrographs to obtain high-precision radial velocity (RV) measurementsand detect giant planets around these stars. We use bisector andactivity index diagnostics to distinguish between planetary-induced RVvariations and stellar photospheric jitter. Results: We present thediscoveries of a giant planet and a brown dwarf in the open clusters NGC2423 and NGC 4349, orbiting the 2.4 Mȯ-star NGC 2423 No.3 (TYC 5409-2156-1) and the 3.9 Mȯ-star NGC 4349 No. 127(TYC 8975-2606-1). These low-mass companions have orbital periods of 714and 678 days and minimum masses of 10.6 and 19.8 M_Jup, respectively.Combined with the other known planetary systems, these detectionsindicate that the frequency of massive planets is higher aroundintermediate-mass stars, and therefore probably scales with the mass ofthe protoplanetary disk.Based on observations made with the ESO 3.6 m-telescope at La SillaObservatory under program IDs 075.C-0140, 076.C-0429, 077.C-0088 and078.C-0133. Tables 2-5 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.aanda.org

New catalogue of blue stragglers in open clusters
We present a catalogue of blue-straggler candidates in galactic openclusters. It is based on the inspection of the colour-magnitude diagramsof the clusters, and it updates and supersedesthe first version(Ahumada & Lapasset 1995). A new bibliographical search was made foreach cluster, and the resulting information is organised into twotables. Some methodological aspects have been revised, in particularthose concerning the delimitation of the area in the diagrams where thestragglers are selected.A total of 1887 blue-straggler candidates have been found in 427 openclusters of all ages, doubling the original number. The catalogued starsare classified into two categories mainly according to membershipinformation.The whole catalogue (Tables 8, 9, notes, and references) is onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/463/789

Kinematics of the Open Cluster System in the Galaxy
Absolute proper motions and radial velocities of 202 open clusters inthe solar neighborhood, which can be used as tracers of the Galacticdisk, are used to investigate the kinematics of the Galaxy in the solarvicinity, including the mean heliocentric velocity components(u1,u2,u3) of the open cluster system,the characteristic velocity dispersions(σ1,σ2,σ3), Oortconstants (A,B) and the large-scale radial motion parameters (C,D) ofthe Galaxy. The results derived from the observational data of propermotions and radial velocities of a subgroup of 117 thin disk young openclusters by means of a maximum likelihood algorithm are:(u1,u2,u3) =(-16.1+/-1.0,-7.9+/-1.4,-10.4+/-1.5) km s-1,(σ1,σ2,σ3) =(17.0+/-0.7,12.2+/-0.9,8.0+/-1.3) km s-1,(A,B) =(14.8+/-1.0,-13.0+/-2.7) km s-1 kpc-1, and (C,D) =(1.5+/-0.7,-1.2+/-1.5) km s-1 k pc-1. A discussionon the results and comparisons with what was obtained by other authorsis given.

Astrophysical parameters of Galactic open clusters
We present a catalogue of astrophysical data for 520 Galactic openclusters. These are the clusters for which at least three most probablemembers (18 on average) could be identified in the ASCC-2.5, a catalogueof stars based on the Tycho-2 observations from the Hipparcos mission.We applied homogeneous methods and algorithms to determine angular sizesof cluster cores and coronae, heliocentric distances, mean propermotions, mean radial velocities, and ages. For the first time we derivedistances for 200 clusters, radial velocities for 94 clusters, and agesof 196 clusters. This homogeneous new parameter set is compared withearlier determinations, where we find, in particular, that the angularsizes were systematically underestimated in the literature.

Searching for Planetary Transits in Galactic Open Clusters: EXPLORE/OC
Open clusters potentially provide an ideal environment for the searchfor transiting extrasolar planets, since they feature a relatively largenumber of stars of the same known age and metallicity at the samedistance. With this motivation, over a dozen open clusters are now beingmonitored by four different groups. We review the motivations andchallenges for open cluster transit surveys for short-period giantplanets. Our photometric monitoring survey of Galactic southern openclusters, the Extrasolar Planet Occultation Research/Open Clusters(EXPLORE/OC) project, was designed with the goals of maximizing thechance of finding and characterizing planets and of providing astatistically valuable astrophysical result in the case of nodetections. We use the EXPLORE/OC data from two open clusters, NGC 2660and NGC 6208, to illustrate some of the largely unrecognized issuesfacing open cluster surveys, including severe contamination by Galacticfield stars (>80%) and the relatively low number of cluster membersfor which high-precision photometry can be obtained. We discuss how acareful selection of open cluster targets under a wide range of criteriasuch as cluster richness, observability, distance, and age can meet thechallenges, maximizing chances to detect planet transits. In addition,we present the EXPLORE/OC observing strategy to optimize planetdetection, which includes high-cadence observing and continuouslyobserving individual clusters rather than alternating between targets.

Astrophysical supplements to the ASCC-2.5. II. Membership probabilities in 520 Galactic open cluster sky areas
We present a catalogue (CSOCA ) of stars residing in 520 Galactic opencluster sky areas which is the result of the kinematic (proper motion)and photometric member selection of stars listed in the homogeneousAll-sky Compiled Catalogue of 2.5 Million Stars (ASCC-2.5). We describethe structure and contents of the catalogue, the selection procedureapplied, and the proper motion and photometric membership constraintsadopted. In every cluster area the CSOCA contains the complete list ofthe ASCC-2.5 stars regardless of their membership probability. Forevery star the CSOCA includes accurate J2000 equatorial coordinates,proper motions in the Hipparcos system, BV photometric data in theJohnson system, proper motion and photometric membership probabilities,as well as angular distances from the cluster centers for about 166 000ASCC-2.5 stars. If available, trigonometric parallaxes, spectral types,multiplicity and variability flags from the ASCC-2.5, and radialvelocities with their errors from the Catalogue of Radial Velocities ofGalactic Stars with high precision Astrometric Data (CRVAD) are alsogiven.

Intermediate-age Galactic open clusters: fundamental parameters of NGC 2627
Charge-coupled device (CCD) photometry in the Johnson V, Kron-Cousins Iand Washington CMT1 systems is presented in the field of thepoorly known open cluster NGC 2627. Four independent Washingtonabundance indices yield a mean cluster metallicity of [Fe/H]=-0.12 +/-0.08, which is compatible with the existence of a radial gradient in theGalactic disc. The resultant colour-magnitude diagrams indicate that thecluster is an intermediate-age object of 1.4 Gyr. Based on the best fitsof the Geneva group's isochrones to the (V, V-I) and (T1,C-T1) diagrams, we estimate E(V-I) = 0.25 +/- 0.05 andV-MV= 11.80 +/- 0.25 for logt= 9.15, and E(C-T1) =0.23 +/- 0.07 and T1-MT1= 11.85 +/-0.25 for logt= 9.10, respectively, assuming solar metal content. Thederived reddening value E(C-T1) implies E(B-V) = 0.12 +/-0.07 and a distance from the Sun of 2.0 +/- 0.4 kpc. Using the WEBDAdata base and the available literature, we re-examined the overallproperties of all the open clusters with ages between 0.6 and 2.5 Gyr.We identified peaks of cluster formation at 0.7-0.8, 1.0-1.1, 1.6-1.7and 2.0-2.1 Gyr, separated by relative quiescent epochs of ~0.2-0.3 Gyr.We also estimated a radial abundance gradient of -0.08 +/- 0.02, whichis consistent with the most recent determinations for the Galactic disc,but no clear evidence for a gradient perpendicular to the Galactic planeis found.

On the Galactic Disk Metallicity Distribution from Open Clusters. I. New Catalogs and Abundance Gradient
We have compiled two new open cluster catalogs. In the first one, thereare 119 objects with ages, distances, and metallicities available, whilein the second one, 144 objects have both absolute proper motion andradial velocity data, of which 45 clusters also have metallicity dataavailable. Taking advantage of the large number of objects included inour sample, we present an iron radial gradient of about -0.063+/-0.008dex kpc-1 from the first sample, which is quite consistentwith the most recent determination of the oxygen gradient from nebulaeand young stars, about -0.07 dex kpc-1. By dividing clustersinto age groups, we show that the iron gradient was steeper in the past,which is consistent with the recent result from Galactic planetarynebulae data, and also consistent with inside-out galactic diskformation scenarios. Based on the cluster sample, we also discuss themetallicity distribution, cluster kinematics, and space distribution. Adisk age-metallicity relation could be implied by those properties,although we cannot give conclusive result from the age- metallicitydiagram based on the current sample. More observations are needed formetal-poor clusters. From the second catalog, we have calculated thevelocity components in cylindrical coordinates with respect to theGalactic standard of rest for 144 open clusters. The velocitydispersions of the older clusters are larger than those of youngclusters, but they are all much smaller than that of the Galactic thickdisk stars.

Proper Motions of Open Star Clusters and the Rotation Rate of the Galaxy
The mean proper motions of 167 Galactic open clusters withradial-velocity measurements are computed from the data of the Tycho-2catalog using kinematic and photometric cluster membership criteria. Theresulting catalog is compared to the results of other studies. The newproper motions are used to infer the Galactic rotation rate at the solarcircle, which is found to be ω0=+24.6±0.8 km s-1 kpc-1.Analysis of the dependence of the dispersion of ω0 estimates onheliocentric velocity showed that even the proper motions of clusterswith distances r>3 kpc contain enough useful information to be usedin kinematic studies demonstrating that the determination of propermotions is quite justified even for very distant clusters.

Abundance Gradient from Open Clusters and Implications for the Galactic Disk Evolution
We compile a new sample of 89 open clusters with ages, distances andmetallicities available. We derive a radial iron gradient of about-0.099±0.008 dexkpc (unweighted) for the whole sample, which issomewhat greater than the most recent determination of oxygen gradientfrom nebulae and young stars. By dividing the clusters into age groups,we show that the iron gradient was steeper in the past and has evolvedslowly in time. Current data show a substantial scatter of the clustermetallicities indicating that the Galactic disk has undergone a veryrapid, inhomogeneous enrichment.Also, based on a simple, but quitesuccessful model of chemical evolution of the Milky Way disk, we make adetailed calculation of the iron abundance gradient and its timeevolution. The predicted current iron gradient is about -0.072 dexkpc.The model also predicts a steady flattening of the iron gradient withtime, which agrees with the result from our open cluster sample.

Proper motions of open clusters within 1 kpc based on the TYCHO2 Catalogue
We present mean absolute proper motions of 112 open clusters, determinedusing the data from the Tycho2 Catalogue. For 28 clusters, this is thefirst determination of proper motion. The measurements made use of alarge number of stars (usually several tens) for each cluster. The totalnumber of stars studied in the fields of the 164 open clusters is 5016,of which 4006 were considered members. The mean proper motions of theclusters and membership probability of individual stars were obtainedfrom the proper motion data by applying the statistical method proposedby Sanders (\cite{Sanders71}). Based on observations of the ESAHipparcos satellite. Tables 1, 2 and 5 to 117 are only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/376/441

Absolute proper motions of open clusters. I. Observational data
Mean proper motions and parallaxes of 205 open clusters were determinedfrom their member stars found in the Hipparcos Catalogue. 360 clusterswere searched for possible members, excluding nearby clusters withdistances D < 200 pc. Members were selected using ground basedinformation (photometry, radial velocity, proper motion, distance fromthe cluster centre) and information provided by Hipparcos (propermotion, parallax). Altogether 630 certain and 100 possible members werefound. A comparison of the Hipparcos parallaxes with photometricdistances of open clusters shows good agreement. The Hipparcos dataconfirm or reject the membership of several Cepheids in the studiedclusters. Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at theCDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

Foreground and background dust in star cluster directions
This paper compares reddening values E(B-V) derived from the stellarcontent of 103 old open clusters and 147 globular clusters of the MilkyWay with those derived from DIRBE/IRAS 100 mu m dust emission in thesame directions. Star clusters at |b|> 20deg showcomparable reddening values between the two methods, in agreement withthe fact that most of them are located beyond the disk dust layer. Forvery low galactic latitude lines of sight, differences occur in thesense that DIRBE/IRAS reddening values can be substantially larger,suggesting effects due to the depth distribution of the dust. Thedifferences appear to arise from dust in the background of the clustersconsistent with a dust layer where important extinction occurs up todistances from the Plane of ~ 300 pc. For 3 % of the sample asignificant background dust contribution might be explained by higherdust clouds. We find evidence that the Milky Way dust lane and higherdust clouds are similar to those of several edge-on spiral galaxiesrecently studied in detail by means of CCD imaging.

HIPPARCOS absolute magnitudes for metal-rich K giants and the calibration of DDO photometry
Parallaxes for 581 bright K giants have been determined using theHipparcos satellite. We combine the trigonometric parallaxes withground-based photometric data to determine the K giant absolutemagnitudes. For all these giants, absolute magnitude estimates can alsobe made using the intermediate-band photometric David Dunlop Observatory(DDO) system. We compare the DDO absolute magnitudes with the veryaccurate Hipparcos absolute magnitudes, finding various systematicoffsets in the DDO system. These systematic effects can be corrected,and we provide a new calibration of the DDO system allowing absolutemagnitude to be determined with an accuracy of 0.35 mag in the Mv rangebetween 2 and -1. The new calibration performs well when tested on Kgiants with DDO photometry in a selection of low-reddening open clusterswith well-measured distance moduli.

Some Revised Observational Constraints on the Formation and Evolution of the Galactic Disk
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1997AJ....114.2556T&db_key=AST

Parameters of open star clusters from uvby-beta photometry.
Not Available

Red giants in open clusters. V. NGC 2099
474 radial-velocity observations and new UBV photoelectric data for 55and 20 red giants respectively, in the field of the intermediate-ageopen cluster NGC 2099 are presented and analysed for membership andduplicity. The membership of 35 red giants has been confirmed, 16spectroscopic binaries have been discovered and 11 orbits have beendetermined. The cluster binary-frequency lower limit is slightly abovethe average (9/35=26%). The radial distribution of the red giants showsa sharp limit between members and non-members. No mass segregation isobserved between the binary and single red giants. The latest isochronesfrom the Geneva and Padova groups reproduce very well the observedmorphology in the colour-magnitude diagram for log t=8.65 and z=0.02,with (m-M)=11.50 and E(B-V)=0.29.

Chemical Evolution of the Galactic Disk: Evidence for a Gradient Perpendicular to the Galactic Plane
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1995AJ....110.2813P&db_key=AST

Catalogue of blue stragglers in open clusters.
An extensive survey of blue straggler candidates in galactic openclusters of both hemispheres is presented. The blue stragglers wereselected considering their positions in the cluster colour-magnitudediagrams.They were categorized according to the accuracy of thephotometric measurements and membership probabilities. An amount of 959blue straggler candidates in 390 open clusters of all ages wereidentified and classified. A set of basic data is given for everycluster and blue straggler. The information is arranged in the form of acatalogue. Blue stragglers are found in clusters of all ages. Thepercentage of clusters with blue stragglers generally grows with age andrichness of the clusters. The mean ratio of the number of bluestragglers to the number of cluster main sequence stars is approximatelyconstant up to a cluster age of about 10^8.6^ yr and rises for olderclusters. In general, the blue stragglers show a remarkable degree ofcentral concentration.

The Old Open Clusters Of The Milky Way
The Galactic open clusters, in particular the oldest members, serve asexcellent probes of the structure and evolution of the Galactic disk.Individual clusters provide excellent tests of stellar and dynamicalevolution. Cluster spatial and age distributions provide insight intothe processes of cluster formation and destruction that have allowedsubstantial numbers of old open clusters to survive.Spectroscopic andphotometric data for the old clusters yield kinematic, abundance, andage information that clarifies the relationship between the old opencluster population and other Galactic populations. New samples of oldopen clusters, which span a large range in distance and age, are used todefine disk abundance gradients and the cluster age-metallicityrelationship, and they point to a complex history of chemical enrichmentand mixing in the disk.

The galactic system of old star clusters: The development of the galactic disk
The vast majority of open clusters persist as clusters for no more thana few hundred million years, but the few which survive for much longerperiods constitute a unique sample for probing the evolution of thegalactic disk. In a charge coupled device (CCD) photometric survey forpossible old open clusters combined with previously publishedphotometry, we have developed a list of 72 clusters of the age of theHyades or older (Phelps (1994). Using our version of parameters based onthe luminosity difference between the main sequence turnoff and thehorizontal branch and on the color difference between the turnoff andthe giant branch, we have calculated a 'Morphological Age Index' (MAI)for the clusters in our list and for a sample of globular clusters. Wefind that the MAI is well correlated with the logarithm of cluster ages,as determined by fitting to theoretical isochrones. We conclude that theindex is a good measure of the relative ages of both globular and openclusters, although uncertainties in the models and residual metallicityeffects prevent the use of the MAI as a definitive calibration of actualcluster ages. The age distribution of the open clusters overlaps that ofthe globular clusters, indicating that the galactic disk began todevelop toward the end of the period of star formation in the galactichalo. The open cluster age distribution can be fit approximately with atwo-component exponential decay function; one component can beidentified as the tail of the dominant population of thin disk openclusters with an age scale factor of 200 Myr, and the other consists oflonger-lived clusters with an age scale of 4 Gyr. The young openclusters are distributed on the galactic plane almost symmetricallyabout the Sun with a scale height perpendicular to the galactic plane of55 pc. The old population consists of rich clusters found only in theouter disk, nore than RGC = 7.5 kpc from the galactic center;this population has a scale height of 375 pc. After accounting for thetwo exponential distributions of cluster ages, there are indications ofan excess of clusters in the age range of 5-7 Gyr; there may have beenlarge bursts of star formation in that period, or perhaps a largerproportion of the clusters forming at that time had advantageous orbitsfor survival. Either circumstance is consistent with the idea that thegalactic disk has been repeatedly disturbed, possibly in collisions orother interactions with external systems, resulting in the occasionalformation of clusters with relatively large velocities perpendicular tothe plane; these are the clusters that have survived until the present.Finally, the repeated accretion of low angular momentum material ontothe disk from the halo or beyond would also explain the observed radialcomposition gradient and the lack of a correlation between open clustermetallicity and age found by Friel & Janes (1993).

A revised effective-temperature calibration for the DDO photometric system
A revised effective-temperature calibration for the David DunlapObservatory (DDO) photometric system is presented. Recently publishedphotometric and spectroscopic observations of field and open-cluster Gand K stars allow a better definition of the solar-abundance fiducialrelation in the DDO C0(45-48) vs. C0(42-45)diagram. The ability of the DDO system to predict MK spectral types of Gand K giants is demonstrated. The new DDO effective temperaturecalibration reproduces satisfactorily the infrared temperature scale ofBell and Gustafsson (1989). It is shown that Osborn's (1979) calibrationunderestimates the effective temperatures of K giants by approximately170 K and those of late-type dwarfs by approximately 150 K.

Development of the Galactic disk: A search for the oldest open clusters
In an extensive charge coupled devices (CCD) photometric survey ofpotential old open clusters, we have identified a number of systems thatare indeed old; some of them are among the oldest of the open clusters.Using our versions of two well-known morphological age indices, onebased on the luminosity difference between the main sequence turnoff andthe horizontal branch and the other on the color difference between theturnoff and the giant branch, we have ranked the open clusters inapproximate order of age. Our data together with previously publishedphotometry of other old open clusters, yields a catalogue of 72 clustersof the age of Hyades or older with 19 of the clusters as old or olderthan M67 (about 5 Gyr). Among the oldest open clusters are Be 17, Cr261, NGC 6791, Be 54, and AM 2. Be 17 and another old cluster, Lynga 7,are possibly as old as the youngest globulars. The data also suggestthat the formation rate of open clusters may have been higher early inthe history of the disk than at intermediate times since numerousclusters have survived from that time.

Evolved GK stars near the Sun. 2: The young disk population
From a sample of nearly 2000 GK giants a group of young disk stars withwell determined space motions has been selected. The zero point of theluminosity calibrations, both from the ultraviolet flux (modifiedStroemgren system) and that in the region of 4200 to 4900 A (DDOsystem), show a discontinuity of about a half magnitude at the border ofthe young disk and old disk domains. The population separation is basedon the space velocity components, which are also an age discriminant,with the population interface near 2 x 109 yr, based onmodels with convective overshoot at the core. This age corresponds togiant masses near 1.7 solar mass, near the critical mass separating theyoung stars that do not burn helium in degenerate cores from older starsthat do. Ten percent of both populations show CN anomalies in that thederived value of P(Fe/H) from CN (Cm) and fromFe(M1) differ by more than 0.1 dex and the weak and strong CNstars occur equally in the old disk but the weak CN stars predominate inthe young disk. Peculiar stars, where flux distortions affect theluminosity calibrations, are of the CH+(Ba II) and CH-(weak G band)variety and represent less than 1% of the stars in both populations. Theyoung disk giants are restricted to ages greater than about109 yr, because younger stars are bright giants orsupergiants (luminosity class 2 or 1), and younger than about 2 x109 yr, because the old disk-young disk boundary occurs near1.7 solar mass. The distribution of heavy element abundances, P(Fe/H),for young disk giants is both more limited in range (+/- 0.4 dex) and isskewed toward higher abundances, compared with the nearly normaldistribution for old disk giants. The distribution of (U,V) velocityvectors gives (U,V,W) and their dispersions = (+17.6 +/- 18.4, -14.8 +/-8.4, -6.9 +/- 13.0) and (+3.6 +/- 38.4, -20.7 +/- 27.5, -6.7 +/-17.3)km/s for young and old disk giants, respectively.

Photoelectric Search for Peculiar Stars in Open Clusters - Part Fourteen - NGC1901 NGC2169 NGC2343 CR:132 NGC2423 and NGC2447
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1993A&AS..102....1M&db_key=AST

The Hyades supercluster in the FK5
The members of the Hyades supercluster brighter than about M(V) = + 4mag and contained in the FK5, or having nearly FK5 quality propermotions, show a convergent point of (A,D) = (6h, + 6.5 deg). The Hyadescluster stars in the FK5 have a mean distance of 46.7 pc. Thesupercluster, as well as the Hyades and Praesepe cluster, populationsrepresent at least three age groups. Standard models indicate ages of 3to 4, 6, and 8 x 10 exp 8 yr, whereas model ages with convectiveovershoot are nearly twice this. Most of the Am and USPC stars in thesupercluster are of the same age. The Ap stars mark the onset of shellhydrogen burning. The photometry of the red giants confirms the agespread and indicates a weakening of CN strength with age. Attention iscalled to the need for further study of NGC 2423 as an effectiveprolusion to understanding the evolution of the supercluster.

CCD BVR photometry of the open cluster IC 1311
Six CCD frames for two fields in the area of the rich, presumably old,and unstudied open cluster IC 1311 have been obtained in the BVR bands.The photometric analysis leads to an estimated age of between 1 Gyr(standard models) and 2 Gyr (overshooting models), placing the clusterat a distance of about 4.8 kpc from the sun. Comparison of theobservational color-magnitude diagram (CMD) with model isochronesproduces a good fit for a metallicity of Z = 0.006-0.008. Somemorphological features displayed by the CMD of this cluster are betterunderstood in terms of convective overshooting rather than by classicaltheories. The location of IC 1311 on the age-metallicity diagramsuggests an ecological environment for its formation more similar tothat found in the LMC than in the solar vicinity.

An improved metal abundance calibration for the Washington system
The determination of metal abundances for individual giants fromWashington photometry is revised, with several significant improvementsincorporated. The solar-abundance two-color relations are revamped withthe inclusion of new observations of a large sample of solar-abundancegiants with small reddenings, especially those with late-K spectraltypes. The new relations are very similar to the original ones derivedin C76 except for a zero-point offset. A new temperature index, M-T2, isinvestigated, as well as a new abundance index, C-T1, in addition to thestandard indices. The M-T2 index has a much broader baseline and thus amuch larger range than T1-T2, and is therefore less susceptible tophotometric errors. The significant decrease in abundance sensitivityfor cooler stars, suspected by previous investigations, is confirmed byincluding observations of a number of giants with a range in temperaturein each of a large sample of open and globular clusters. A procedure forcorrecting the abundance indices for cool stars is derived whichsignificantly improves the metallicity determination.

On the DDO absolute magnitudes of K giants
DDO and BV photometry from the open cluster data base of Mermilliod(1988) and recent main sequence based estimates of cluster distances areused in order to check the absolute magnitudes of K giants derived fromDDO photometry. The DDO system is shown to have no zero point error andit is shown that the absolute magnitudes of a sample of K giants byEgret et al. (1985) are systematically too bright by approximately 1magnitude. The results of Robin (1989) for a mean absolute magnitude ofK giants of M(v) = 1.0 rather than that of Egret et al. (1985), whofound M(v) = 0.0, are therefore supported.

An observational age-metallicity relation for the Galaxy
An observational Age-Metallicity Diagram for the Galaxy has beenconstructed on the base of star cluster data available in theliterature. This diagram exhibits two independent and simultaneousmetallicity enhancement processes identified with two dynamical galacticsubstructures: the thin and the thick disks. Within the observationaluncertainties both these processes can be satisfactory approximated byInfall-Inflow models of the chemical evolution with different high,although rapidly decaying with time, Star Formation and Infall Rates.The comparison of the galactic age-metallicity relations with that forthe Large Magellanic Cloud shows some similarities between processes ofthe chemical enhancement in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Thin Disksubsystem in the Galaxy.

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Right ascension:07h37m06.00s
Apparent magnitude:6.7

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NGC 2000.0NGC 2423

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