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On the current status of open-cluster parameters
We aim to characterize the current status of knowledge on the accuracyof open-cluster parameters such as the age, reddening and distance.These astrophysical quantities are often used to study the globalcharacteristics of the Milky Way down to the very local stellarphenomena. In general, the errors of these quantities are neglected orset to some kind of heuristic standard value. We attempt to give somerealistic estimates for the accuracy of available cluster parameters byusing the independently derived values published in the literature. Intotal, 6437 individual estimates for 395 open clusters were used in ourstatistical analysis. We discuss the error sources depending ontheoretical as well as observational methods and compare our resultswith those parameters listed in the widely used catalogue by Dias et al.In addition, we establish a list of 72 open clusters with the mostaccurate known parameters which should serve as a standard table in thefuture for testing isochrones and stellar models.

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.

Proper motion determination of open clusters based on the UCAC2 catalogue
We present the kinematics of hundreds of open clusters, based on theUCAC2 Catalogue positions and proper motions. Membership probabilitieswere obtained for the stars in the cluster fields by applying astatistical method uses stellar proper motions. All open clusters withknown distance were investigated, and for 75 clusters this is the firstdetermination of the mean proper motion. The results, including the DSSimages of the cluster's fields with the kinematic members marked, areincorporated in the Open Clusters Catalogue supported on line by ourgroup.

The Evolutionary Status of Be Stars: Results from a Photometric Study of Southern Open Clusters
Be stars are a class of rapidly rotating B stars with circumstellardisks that cause Balmer and other line emission. There are threepossible reasons for the rapid rotation of Be stars: they may have beenborn as rapid rotators, spun up by binary mass transfer, or spun upduring the main-sequence (MS) evolution of B stars. To test the variousformation scenarios, we have conducted a photometric survey of 55 openclusters in the southern sky. Of these, five clusters are probably notphysically associated groups and our results for two other clusters arenot reliable, but we identify 52 definite Be stars and an additional 129Be candidates in the remaining clusters. We use our results to examinethe age and evolutionary dependence of the Be phenomenon. We find anoverall increase in the fraction of Be stars with age until 100 Myr, andBe stars are most common among the brightest, most massive B-type starsabove the zero-age main sequence (ZAMS). We show that a spin-up phase atthe terminal-age main sequence (TAMS) cannot produce the observeddistribution of Be stars, but up to 73% of the Be stars detected mayhave been spun-up by binary mass transfer. Most of the remaining Bestars were likely rapid rotators at birth. Previous studies havesuggested that low metallicity and high cluster density may also favorBe star formation. Our results indicate a possible increase in thefraction of Be stars with increasing cluster distance from the Galacticcenter (in environments of decreasing metallicity). However, the trendis not significant and could be ruled out due to the intrinsic scatterin our data. We also find no relationship between the fraction of Bestars and cluster density.

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.

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.

Proper motions of open clusters based on the TYCHO2 Catalogue. II. Clusters farther than 1 kpc
We determined the mean absolute proper motion of 94 open clusterssituated farther than 1 kpc from the Sun. The results are derived fromthe stellar proper motion data given in the Tycho2 Catalogue. The meanproper motion of the clusters and membership probability of individualstars were obtained from the proper motion data by applying thestatistical method proposed by Sanders (\cite{Sanders1971}). Themeasurements made use of a large number of stars, usually several tens,for each cluster. The total number of stars investigated in the fieldsof the clusters is 4864 of which 2021 were considered members. For 55clusters, this is the first determination of the proper motion. Based onobservations of the ESA Hipparcos satellite. Tables 1 to 95 are 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/388/168

The blue to red supergiant ratio in young clusters at various metallicities
We present new determinations of the blue to red supergiant ratio (B/R)in young open clusters at various metallicities. For this purpose, weexamine the HR diagrams of 45 clusters in the Galaxy and of 4 clustersin the Magellanic Clouds. The identification of supergiants is based onspectroscopic measurements (with photometric counts to check theresults). The new counts confirm the increase of the B/R ratio when themetallicity increases with the following normalized relation:(B/R)/((B/R)sun) =~ 0.05* e3(Z)/(Zsun)}, where Zsun=0.02 and(B/R)sun is the value of B/R at Zsun which dependson the definition of B and R and on the age interval considered (e.g.for spectroscopic counts including clusters with log age between 6.8 and7.5, (B/R)sun =~ 3 when B includes O, B and A supergiants).

CO (J=4-->3) and [C I] Observations of the Carina Molecular Cloud Complex
We present large-area, fully sampled maps of the Carina molecular cloudcomplex in the CO (J=4-->3) and neutral carbon [C I]3P1-->3P0 transitions.These data were obtained using the 1.7 m Antarctic SubmillimeterTelescope and Remote Observatory (AST/RO). The maps cover an area ofapproximately 3 deg2 with a uniform 1' spatial sampling.Analysis of these data, in conjunction with CO (J=1-->0) data fromthe Columbia CO survey and the IRAS HIRES continuum maps for the sameregion, suggests that the spiral density wave shock associated with theCarina spiral arm may be playing an important role in the formation anddissociation of the cloud complex, as well as in maintaining theinternal energy balance of the clouds in this region. Massive stars format the densest regions of the molecular cloud complex. The winds andoutflows associated with these stars have a disrupting effect on thecomplex and inject mechanical energy into the parent clouds, while theUV radiation from the young stars also heats the parent clouds. Thepresent set of data suggests, however, that massive stars alone may notaccount for the energetics of the clouds in the Carina region. Thedetails of the data and the correlation among the various data sets hintat the possible role that the spiral density wave shock plays in feedinginterstellar turbulence and heating molecular clouds.

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

Observational investigation of mass loss of M supergiants
We present the analysis of infrared photometry and millimeterspectroscopy of a sample of 74 late-type supergiants. These observationsare particularly suitable to study the mass loss and the circumstellarenvelopes of evolved massive stars. In particular, we quantify thecircumstellar infrared excess, the relation of mass loss with stellarproperties, using the K-[12] colour index as mass-loss indicator. We donot find any clear correlation between mass loss rate and luminosity. Wealso show that the K-band magnitude is a simple luminosity indicator,because of the relative constancy of the K-band bolometric correction.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla, Chile within program ESO 54.E-0914, and on observations collectedwith the IRAM 30m telescope. Tables A1 to A3 are only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

Statistical parallaxes and kinematical parameters of classical Cepheids and young star clusters
The statistical-parallax method is applied for the first time to spacevelocities of 270 classical Cepheids with proper motions adopted fromHIPPARCOS (1997) and TRC (Hog et al. 1998) catalogs and distances basedon the period-luminosity relation by Berdnikov et al. (1996). Thedistance scale of short-period Cepheids (with periods less than 9 days)is shown to require an average correction of 15-20%, whereas statisticalparallaxes of Cepheids with periods > 9 days are found to agree wellwith photometric distances. It is shown that the luminosities ofshort-period Cepheids must have been underestimated partly due to thecontamination of this subsample by a substantial (20 to 40%) fraction offirst-overtone pulsators. The statistical-parallax technique is alsoapplied for the first time to 117 open clusters younger than 100 millionyears and with proper motions reduced to the HIPPARCOS reference system.It is concluded that a 0.12-0.15 mag increase of the distance scales ofopen clusters and Cepheids would be sufficient to reconcile thestatistical-parallax results inferred for these two types of objects.Such approach leads to an LMC distance modulus of less than 18.40 mag,which agrees, within the errors, with the short distance scale for RRLyrae variables and is at variance with the conclusions by Feast andCatchpole (1998) and Feast et al. (1998), who argue that the LMCdistance modulus should be increased to 18.70 mag. The distance scalebased on the Cepheid period-luminosity relation by Berdnikov and Efremov(1985) seems to be a good compromise. Extragalactic distances, whichrely on long-period Cepheids, seem to require no substantial correction.In addition to statistical parallaxes, kinematical parameters have beeninferred for the combined sample consisting of Cepheids andopen-clusters: solar-motion components (U0 ,V0,W0) = (9, 12, 7) km/s (+/- 1 km/s); velocity-ellipsoid axes(σU; σV; σW) = (15.0,10.3, 8.5) km/s (+/- 1 km/s); the angular velocity of rotation of thesubsystem, ω0 = 28.7 +/- 1 km/s/kpc, the Oort constantA = 17.4 +/- 1.5 km/s, and the second derivative of angular velocity,⋰ω0= 1.15 +/- 0.2 km/s/kpc3.

Photoelectric VIc and New Elements for V399 Carinae = HR 4110
Not Available

Absolute proper motions of 181 young open clusters.
Not Available

Eta Carinae and Its Environment
Eta Carinae (Eta) is one of the most remarkable of all well-studiedstars and perhaps the most poorly understood. Observations with theHubble Space Telescope and other modern instruments have solved a few ofthe mysteries concerning this object while opening a comparable numberof new ones. In this review we first recount some essential backgroundinformation concerning Eta, then we sketch most of the observationaldevelopments of the past few years, related to the star itself and toits ejecta. Throughout, we propose a series of specific unsolvedobservational and theoretical problems that seem especially interestingor important at this time.

The LS stars at 25 years
Since its publication in 1971, Stephenson and Sanduleak's Luminous Starsin the Southern Milky Way has served as a starting point for a wholegeneration of investigations of galactic structure and thecharacteristics of massive, early-type stars. This paper presents asilver-anniversary review of the Stephenson-Sanduleak "LS" stars: theirdistribution on the sky, observed magnitudes, colors and spectral types,their distribution in space, and the characteristics of some of the moreunique individual objects. While much has been learned of and from theseobjects, much fundamental data remain to be acquired.

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

Probable binary open star clusters in the Galaxy.
The existence of double/binary clusters in the Magellanic Clouds isfairly well established, whereas only one such pair, h + χ Persei,is known in the Galaxy. From the catalogues of open clusters of theGalaxy, we have identified 18 probable pairs of clusters (with knowndistances), with spatial separations less than 20pc. The tidaldisruption timescales for these pairs, due to Galactic differentialrotation are calculated, using cluster data where available or byassuming typical values. In some cases, these timescales are larger thanthe average open cluster lifetime, =~10^8^yr. About 8% of open clustersappear to be members of binary systems, and hence binary cluster systemsmay not be very uncommon in the Galaxy.

Absolute Magnitudes and Colors of A-F Supergiants from Near-Infrared Features. II. The Galactic Sample
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1995AJ....109.2193S&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.

Ubvy-Beta Photometry of 100 Stars in the Region of Eta-Carinae
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1994MNRAS.269..857S&db_key=AST

Integrated photometric properties of open clusters
Galactic open clusters provide an abundant sample of stellar aggregatesof various sizes, ages and metal abundances, apt to constitute atemplate for comparison with star systems in other galaxies. In thispaper we present and discuss a standard methodology to synthesize U,B,Vfluxes and colours, and apply it to a set of 138 open clusters. Resultsare compared with previous ones available in the literature. We wereable to calibrate a mass-luminosity relation by which we evaluated themass of ~400 open clusters, leading to a well defined present-day massfunction. The number-complete sample of galactic open clusters presentedin Battinelli & Capuzzo-Dolcetta (1991) is enlarged of a 15%.

Open cluster chemical composition. 1: Later type stars in eight clusters
Abundance analyses of 36 stars associated with eight open clusters (IC2581, NGC 3532, NGC 5822, NGC 6067, NGC 6087, IC 4725 (M25), IC 4756,and NGC 6882/6885) are presented. The stars are primarily evolved G andK giants and supergiants. Cepheids in NGC 6067, NGC 6087, and IC 4725are included as are non-cluster Cepheids near the clusters NGC 3532, NGC6067, and IC 4725. With the addition of a background K giant in IC 4725,the total number of stars is 40. Elemental abundances derived includeLi, C, N, O, the alpha-elements, the Fe peak, and limited data on theheavy elements. The Na abundances of the sample show a gravitydependence in the sense of an increase in the abundance as the gravitydecreases. The CNO abundances indicate that these objects are processed(on the whole), and that they show the O deficiency previously noted inintermediate mass stars by Luck & Lambert (1981, 1985). There arefour stars in the sample which appear to be unprocessed: two giants andtwo supergiants. There are also two super-Li stars in the sample, one ofwhich is most likely a weak G-band star. It is suggested that thesuper-Li F supergiants could be evolved blue stragglers. The moststriking result of the study is the finding that the (O/Na) ratiocorrelates strongly with the gravity and the stellar mass, thus implyingthat there is a nonstandard additional mixing process affecting thesurface abundances of these stars. A promising candidate for the mixingprocess is the turbulent diffusive mixing process proposed byDenissenkov (1993) which brings Na to the surface and which could alsolead to a modification of the oxygen content.

Distribution of hot stars and interstellar dust in Carina.
Not Available

Observational tests of convective core overshooting in stars of intermediate to high mass in the Galaxy
This study presents the results of 14 tests for the presence ofconvective overshooting in large convecting stellar cores for stars withmasses of 4-17 solar masses which are members of detached close binarysystems and of open clusters in the Galaxy. A large body of theoreticaland observational data is scrutinized and subjected to averaging inorder to minimize accidental and systematic errors. A conservative upperlimit of d/HP less than 0.4 is found from at least four tests, as wellas a tighter upper limit of d/HP less than 0.2 from one good test thatis subject to only mild restrictions and is based on the maximumobserved effective temperature of evolved blue supergiants. It isconcluded that any current uncertainty about the distance scale forthese stars is unimportant in conducting the present tests forconvective core overshooting. The correct effective temperature scalefor the B0.5-B2 stars is almost certainly close to one of the proposedhot scales.

Topography of the Galactic disk - Z-structure and large-scale star formation
A 3D morphological description of the Galactic disk defined by the youngstellar population is delineated using a sample of young open clusterswith cataloged distances and treated with Kriging techniques. The valuesof the positional variable Z for the cluster sample are considered asprospectings of the displacement of the Galactic disk in respect to theequator in the plane. The Kriging technique is described with emphasison its application to the automatic cartography problem. A view of theGalactic disk in a region of about 3 kpc around the sun emerges fromthis treatment and shows a trough-peak structure with four maindepressions as the more striking features. The most prominentdepression, named Big Dent, is apparent at about 1.8 kpc in anapproximately 240-deg direction. It has an elliptical shape with axissizes of 1.5 and 3 kpc, reaching a Z value of 200 pc below the formalGalactic plane. Two-dimensional sections across some selected directionsof the topography show profiles in good agreement with previousobservational studies based on different object samples.

Metallicities of open clusters
An examination is conducted of available metallicity data on openclusters, gathering the largest possible set of homogeneous estimationsof this parameter and determining whether open cluster metallicities arerelated to the spatial and age distributions of such objects. The'composite' C-M diagrams for the two metallicity groups discussedexhibit interesting morphological differences which may be characterizedas the presence of numbered blue stragglers at the two metal-richclusters and a lack of such members in two metal-poor ones.

Formation and evolutionary properties of the Galactic open cluster system
Results are reported from a statistical analysis of observational dataon 100 open clusters within 2 kpc of the sun, selected from the catalogof Lynga (1987). The selection criteria and the completeness of thesample are discussed; the data are compiled in a table; and the analysisresults are presented in a series of graphs and characterized in detail.A cluster formation rate of 0.45 clusters/kpc Myr is found,significantly lower than the rates determined previously (using clusterswithin 1 kpc of the sun) and corresponding to a cluster star-formationefficiency of 0.0063. The low average cluster lifetime (about 10 Myr)suggests that clusters are formed as unstable systems.

The Gould plates
Most of the 1200 photographs of southern galactic star clusters anddouble stars taken by Benjamin A. Gould at Cordoba, Argentina, in1872-1882 are in the Harvard College Observatory plate collection. Arecent evaluation of these plates shows many to be in usable condition.Details of the characteristics of Gould's plates of galactic clusters,including limiting magnitudes, are presented.

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Right ascension:10h27m30.00s
Apparent magnitude:4.3

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ICIC 2581

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