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TYC 4553-192-1 (Proxima Camelopardalis)



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The effect of activity on stellar temperatures and radii
Context: Recent analyses of low-mass eclipsing binary stars haveunveiled a significant disagreement between the observations andpredictions of stellar structure models. Results show that theoreticalmodels underestimate the radii and overestimate the effectivetemperatures of low-mass stars but yield luminosities that accord withobservations. A hypothesis based upon the effects of stellar activitywas put forward to explain the discrepancies. Aims: In this paper westudy the existence of the same trend in single active stars and providea consistent scenario to explain systematic differences between activeand inactive stars in the H-R diagram reported earlier. Methods: Theanalysis is done using single field stars of spectral types late-K and Mand computing their bolometric magnitudes and temperatures throughinfrared colours and spectral indices. The properties of the stars insamples of active and inactive stars are compared statistically toreveal systematic differences. Results: After accounting for a numberof possible bias effects, active stars are shown to be cooler thaninactive stars of similar luminosity therefore implying a larger radiusas well, in proportions that are in excellent agreement with those foundfrom eclipsing binaries. Conclusions: The present results generalisethe existence of strong radius and temperature dependences on stellaractivity to the entire population of low-mass stars, regardless of theirmembership in close binary systems.Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/478/507

Ca II H and K Chromospheric Emission Lines in Late-K and M Dwarfs
We have measured the profiles of the Ca II H and K chromosphericemission lines in 147 main-sequence stars of spectral type M5-K7 (masses0.30-0.55 Msolar) using multiple high-resolution spectraobtained during 6 years with the HIRES spectrometer on the Keck Itelescope. Remarkably, the average FWHM, equivalent widths, and lineluminosities of Ca II H and K increase by a factor of 3 with increasingstellar mass over this small range of stellar masses. We fit the Ca II Hand K lines with a double-Gaussian model to represent both thechromospheric emission and the non-LTE central absorption. Most of thesample stars display a central absorption that is typically redshiftedby ~0.1 km s-1 relative to the emission. This implies thatthe higher level, lower density chromospheric material has a smalleroutward velocity (or higher inward velocity) by 0.1 km s-1than the lower level material in the chromosphere, but the nature ofthis velocity gradient remains unknown. The FWHM of the Ca II H and Kemission lines increase with stellar luminosity, reminiscent of theWilson-Bappu effect in FGK-type stars. Both the equivalent widths andFWHM exhibit modest temporal variability in individual stars. At a givenvalue of MV, stars exhibit a spread in both the equivalentwidth and FWHM of Ca II H and K, due both to a spread in fundamentalstellar parameters, including rotation rate, age, and possiblymetallicity, and to the spread in stellar mass at a given MV.The K line is consistently wider than the H line, as expected, and itscentral absorption is more redshifted, indicating that the H and K linesform at slightly different heights in the chromosphere where thevelocities are slightly different. The equivalent width of Hαcorrelates with Ca II H and K only for stars having Ca II equivalentwidths above ~2 Å, suggesting the existence of a magneticthreshold above which the lower and upper chromospheres become thermallycoupled.Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which isoperated jointly by the University of California and the CaliforniaInstitute of Technology. Keck time has been granted by both NASA and theUniversity of California.

Simulating observable comets. III. Real stellar perturbers of the Oort cloud and their output
Context: .This is the third of a series of papers on simulating themechanisms acting currently on the Oort cloud and producing the observedlong-period comets.Aims.In this paper we investigate the influence ofcurrent stellar perturbers on the Oort cloud of comets under thesimultaneous galactic disk tide. We also analyse the past motion of theobserved long-period comets under the same dynamical model to verify thewidely used definition of dynamically new comets. Methods.The action ofnearby stars and the galactic disk tide on the Oort cloud was simulated.The original orbital elements of all 386 long-period comets of qualityclasses 1 and 2 were calculated, and their motion was followednumerically for one orbital revolution into the past, down to theprevious perihelion. We also simulated the output of the close futurepass of GJ 710 through the Oort cloud. Results.The simulated flux of theobservable comets resulting from the current stellar and galacticperturbations, as well as the distribution of perihelion direction, wasobtained. The same data are presented for the future passage of GJ 710.A detailed description is given of the past evolution of aphelion andperihelion distances of the observed long-period comets. Conclusions. Weobtained no fingerprints of the stellar perturbations in the simulatedflux and its directional structure. The mechanisms producing observablecomets are highly dominated by galactic disk tide because all currentstellar perturbers are too weak. Also the effect of the close passage ofthe star GJ 710 is very difficult to recognise on the background of theGalactic-driven observable comets. For the observed comets we found only45 to be really dynamically "new" according to our definition based onthe previous perihelion distance value.

Pulkovo compilation of radial velocities for 35495 stars in a common system.
Not Available

Metallicity of M dwarfs. I. A photometric calibration and the impact on the mass-luminosity relation at the bottom of the main sequence
We obtained high resolution ELODIE and CORALIE spectra for bothcomponents of 20 wide visual binaries composed of an F-, G- or K-dwarfprimary and an M-dwarf secondary. We analyse the well-understood spectraof the primaries to determine metallicities ([Fe/H]) for these 20systems, and hence for their M dwarf components. We pool thesemetallicities with determinations from the literature to obtain aprecise (±0.2 dex) photometric calibration of M dwarfmetallicities. This calibration represents a breakthrough in a fieldwhere discussions have had to remain largely qualitative, and it helpsus demonstrate that metallicity explains most of the large dispersion inthe empirical V-band mass-luminosity relation. We examine themetallicity of the two known M-dwarf planet-host stars, Gl876 (+0.02 dex) and Gl 436 (-0.03 dex), inthe context of preferential planet formation around metal-rich stars. Wefinally determine the metallicity of the 47 brightest single M dwarfs ina volume-limited sample, and compare the metallicity distributions ofsolar-type and M-dwarf stars in the solar neighbourhood.

A Catalog of Northern Stars with Annual Proper Motions Larger than 0.15" (LSPM-NORTH Catalog)
The LSPM catalog is a comprehensive list of 61,977 stars north of theJ2000 celestial equator that have proper motions larger than 0.15"yr-1 (local-background-stars frame). The catalog has beengenerated primarily as a result of our systematic search for high propermotion stars in the Digitized Sky Surveys using our SUPERBLINK software.At brighter magnitudes, the catalog incorporates stars and data from theTycho-2 Catalogue and also, to a lesser extent, from the All-SkyCompiled Catalogue of 2.5 million stars. The LSPM catalog considerablyexpands over the old Luyten (Luyten Half-Second [LHS] and New LuytenTwo-Tenths [NLTT]) catalogs, superseding them for northern declinations.Positions are given with an accuracy of <~100 mas at the 2000.0epoch, and absolute proper motions are given with an accuracy of ~8 masyr-1. Corrections to the local-background-stars propermotions have been calculated, and absolute proper motions in theextragalactic frame are given. Whenever available, we also give opticalBT and VT magnitudes (from Tycho-2, ASCC-2.5),photographic BJ, RF, and IN magnitudes(from USNO-B1 catalog), and infrared J, H, and Ks magnitudes(from 2MASS). We also provide an estimated V magnitude and V-J color fornearly all catalog entries, useful for initial classification of thestars. The catalog is estimated to be over 99% complete at high Galacticlatitudes (|b|>15deg) and over 90% complete at lowGalactic latitudes (|b|>15deg), down to a magnitudeV=19.0, and has a limiting magnitude V=21.0. All the northern starslisted in the LHS and NLTT catalogs have been reidentified, and theirpositions, proper motions, and magnitudes reevaluated. The catalog alsolists a large number of completely new objects, which promise to expandvery significantly the census of red dwarfs, subdwarfs, and white dwarfsin the vicinity of the Sun.Based on data mining of the Digitized Sky Surveys (DSSs), developed andoperated by the Catalogs and Surveys Branch of the Space TelescopeScience Institute (STScI), Baltimore.Developed with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), aspart of the NASA/NSF NStars program.

The χ Factor: Determining the Strength of Activity in Low-Mass Dwarfs
We describe a new, distance-independent method for calculating themagnetic activity strength in low-mass dwarfs,LHα/Lbol. Using a well-observed sample ofnearby stars and cool standards spanning spectral type M0.5 to L0, wecompute χ, the ratio between the continuum flux near Hα andthe bolometric flux, fλ6560/fbol. Thisratio can be multiplied by the measured equivalent width of the Hαemission line to yield LHα/Lbol. We provideχ values for all objects in our sample, and also fits to χ as afunction of color and average values by spectral type. This method wasused by West et al. to examine trends in magnetic activity strength inlow-mass stars.

Chromospheric Ca II Emission in Nearby F, G, K, and M Stars
We present chromospheric Ca II H and K activity measurements, rotationperiods, and ages for ~1200 F, G, K, and M type main-sequence stars from~18,000 archival spectra taken at Keck and Lick Observatories as a partof the California and Carnegie Planet Search Project. We have calibratedour chromospheric S-values against the Mount Wilson chromosphericactivity data. From these measurements we have calculated medianactivity levels and derived R'HK, stellar ages,and rotation periods from general parameterizations for 1228 stars,~1000 of which have no previously published S-values. We also presentprecise time series of activity measurements for these stars.Based on observations obtained at Lick Observatory, which is operated bythe University of California, and on observations obtained at the W. M.Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University ofCalifornia and the California Institute of Technology. The KeckObservatory was made possible by the generous financial support of theW. M. Keck Foundation.

NEXXUS: A comprehensive ROSAT survey of coronal X-ray emission among nearby solar-like stars
We present a final summary of all ROSAT X-ray observations of nearbystars. All available ROSAT observations with the ROSAT PSPC, HRI and WFChave been matched with the CNS4 catalog of nearby stars and the resultsgathered in the Nearby X-ray and XUV-emitting Stars data base, availablevia www from the Home Page of the Hamburger Sternwarte at the URLhttp://www.hs.uni-hamburg.de/DE/For/Gal/Xgroup/nexxus. Newvolume-limited samples of F/G-stars (dlim = 14 pc), K-stars(dlim = 12 pc), and M-stars (dlim = 6 pc) areconstructed within which detection rates of more than 90% are obtained;only one star (GJ 1002) remains undetected in a pointed follow-upobservation. F/G-stars, K-stars and M-stars have indistinguishablesurface X-ray flux distributions, and the lower envelope of the observeddistribution at FX ≈ 104 erg/cm2/sis the X-ray flux level observed in solar coronal holes. Large amplitudevariations in X-ray flux are uncommon for solar-like stars, but maybemore common for stars near the bottom of the main sequence; a largeamplitude flare is reported for the M star LHS 288. Long term X-raylight curves are presented for α Cen A/B and Gl 86, showingvariations on time scales of weeks and demonstrating that α Cen Bis a flare star.Tables 1-3 are also available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/417/651

Target Selection for SETI. II. Tycho-2 Dwarfs, Old Open Clusters, and the Nearest 100 Stars
We present the full target list and prioritization algorithm developedfor use by the microwave search for technological signals at the SETIInstitute. We have included the Catalog of Nearby Habitable StellarSystems (HabCat, described in Paper I), all of the nearest 100 stars and14 old open clusters. This is further augmented by a subset of theTycho-2 catalog based on reduced proper motions, and this larger catalogshould routinely provide at least three target stars within the largeprimary field of view of the Allen Telescope Array. The algorithm forprioritizing objects in the full target list includes scoring based onthe subset category of each target (i.e., HabCat, cluster, Tycho-2, ornearest 100), its distance (if known), and its proximity to the Sun onthe color-magnitude diagram.

Improved Astrometry and Photometry for the Luyten Catalog. II. Faint Stars and the Revised Catalog
We complete construction of a catalog containing improved astrometry andnew optical/infrared photometry for the vast majority of NLTT starslying in the overlap of regions covered by POSS I and by the secondincremental Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) release, approximately 44%of the sky. The epoch 2000 positions are typically accurate to 130 mas,the proper motions to 5.5 mas yr-1, and the V-J colors to0.25 mag. Relative proper motions of binary components are measured to 3mas yr-1. The false-identification rate is ~1% for11<~V<~18 and substantially less at brighter magnitudes. Theseimprovements permit the construction of a reduced proper-motion diagramthat, for the first time, allows one to classify NLTT stars intomain-sequence (MS) stars, subdwarfs (SDs), and white dwarfs (WDs). We inturn use this diagram to analyze the properties of both our catalog andthe NLTT catalog on which it is based. In sharp contrast to popularbelief, we find that NLTT incompleteness in the plane is almostcompletely concentrated in MS stars, and that SDs and WDs are detectedalmost uniformly over the sky δ>-33deg. Our catalogwill therefore provide a powerful tool to probe these populationsstatistically, as well as to reliably identify individual SDs and WDs.

Hipparcos red stars in the HpV_T2 and V I_C systems
For Hipparcos M, S, and C spectral type stars, we provide calibratedinstantaneous (epoch) Cousins V - I color indices using newly derivedHpV_T2 photometry. Three new sets of ground-based Cousins V I data havebeen obtained for more than 170 carbon and red M giants. These datasetsin combination with the published sources of V I photometry served toobtain the calibration curves linking Hipparcos/Tycho Hp-V_T2 with theCousins V - I index. In total, 321 carbon stars and 4464 M- and S-typestars have new V - I indices. The standard error of the mean V - I isabout 0.1 mag or better down to Hp~9 although it deteriorates rapidly atfainter magnitudes. These V - I indices can be used to verify thepublished Hipparcos V - I color indices. Thus, we have identified ahandful of new cases where, instead of the real target, a random fieldstar has been observed. A considerable fraction of the DMSA/C and DMSA/Vsolutions for red stars appear not to be warranted. Most likely suchspurious solutions may originate from usage of a heavily biased color inthe astrometric processing.Based on observations from the Hipparcos astrometric satellite operatedby the European Space Agency (ESA 1997).}\fnmsep\thanks{Table 7 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/397/997

The radii and spectra of the nearest stars
We discuss direct measurements of the radii of 36 stars located closerthan 25 parsecs to the Sun. We present the data on 307 radii and 326spectral types and luminosity classes for the nearest stars locatedinside the sphere with a radius of 10 parsecs.

Radial Velocities for 889 Late-Type Stars
We report radial velocities for 844 FGKM-type main-sequence and subgiantstars and 45 K giants, most of which had either low-precision velocitymeasurements or none at all. These velocities differ from the standardstars of Udry et al. by 0.035 km s-1 (rms) for the 26 FGKstandard stars in common. The zero point of our velocities differs fromthat of Udry et al.: =+0.053km s-1. Thus, these new velocities agree with the best knownstandard stars both in precision and zero point, to well within 0.1 kms-1. Nonetheless, both these velocities and the standardssuffer from three sources of systematic error, namely, convectiveblueshift, gravitational redshift, and spectral type mismatch of thereference spectrum. These systematic errors are here forced to be zerofor G2 V stars by using the Sun as reference, with Vesta and day sky asproxies. But for spectral types departing from solar, the systematicerrors reach 0.3 km s-1 in the F and K stars and 0.4 kms-1 in M dwarfs. Multiple spectra were obtained for all 889stars during 4 years, and 782 of them exhibit velocity scatter less than0.1 km s-1. These stars may serve as radial velocitystandards if they remain constant in velocity. We found 11 newspectroscopic binaries and report orbital parameters for them. Based onobservations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operatedjointly by the University of California and the California Institute ofTechnology, and on observations obtained at the Lick Observatory, whichis operated by the University of California.

Revised Coordinates and Proper Motions of the Stars in the Luyten Half-Second Catalog
We present refined coordinates and proper-motion data for the highproper-motion (HPM) stars in the Luyten Half-Second (LHS) catalog. Thepositional uncertainty in the original Luyten catalog is typicallygreater than 10" and is often greater than 30". We have used the digitalscans of the POSS I and POSS II plates to derive more accurate positionsand proper motions of the objects. Out of the 4470 candidates in the LHScatalog, 4323 objects were manually reidentified in the POSS I and POSSII scans. A small fraction of the stars were not found because of thelack of finder charts and digitized POSS II scans. The uncertainties inthe revised positions are typically ~2" but can be as high as ~8" in afew cases, which is a large improvement over the original data.Cross-correlation with the Tycho-2 and Hipparcos catalogs yielded 819candidates (with mR<~12). For these brighter sources, theposition and proper-motion data were replaced with the more accurateTycho-2/Hipparcos data. In total, we have revised proper-motionmeasurements and coordinates for 4040 stars and revised coordinates for4330 stars. The electronic version of the paper5 contains the updated information on all 4470stars in the LHS catalog.

The Palomar/MSU Nearby Star Spectroscopic Survey. III. Chromospheric Activity, M Dwarf Ages, and the Local Star Formation History
We present high-resolution echelle spectroscopy of 676 nearby M dwarfs.Our measurements include radial velocities, equivalent widths ofimportant chromospheric emission lines, and rotational velocities forrapidly rotating stars. We identify several distinct groups by theirHα properties and investigate variations in chromospheric activityamong early (M0-M2.5) and mid (M3-M6) dwarfs. Using a volume-limitedsample together with a relationship between age and chromosphericactivity, we show that the rate of star formation in the immediate solarneighborhood has been relatively constant over the last 4 Gyr. Inparticular, our results are inconsistent with recent large bursts ofstar formation. We use the correlation between Hα activity and ageas a function of color to set constraints on the properties of L and Tdwarf secondary components in binary systems. We also identify a numberof interesting stars, including rapid rotators, radial velocityvariables, and spectroscopic binaries. Observations were made at the 60inch telescope at Palomar Mountain, which is jointly owned by theCalifornia Institute of Technology and the Carnegie Institution ofWashington.

A Near-Infrared, Wide-Field, Proper-Motion Search for Brown Dwarfs
A common proper-motion survey of M dwarf stars within 8 pc of the Sunreveals no new stellar or brown dwarf companions at wide separations(~100-1400 AU). This survey tests whether the brown dwarf ``desert''extends to large separations around M dwarf stars and further exploresthe census of the solar neighborhood. The sample includes 66 stars northof -30° and within 8 pc of the Sun. Existing first-epoch images arecompared with new J-band images of the same fields an average of 7 yrlater to reveal proper-motion companions within a ~4' radius of theprimary star. No new companions are detected to a J-band limitingmagnitude of ~16.5, corresponding to a companion mass of ~40 Jupitermasses for an assumed age of 5 Gyr at the mean distance of the objectsin the survey, 5.8 pc.

The Solar Neighborhood. VI. New Southern Nearby Stars Identified by Optical Spectroscopy
Broadband optical spectra are presented for 34 known and candidatenearby stars in the southern sky. Spectral types are determined using anew method that compares the entire spectrum with spectra of more than100 standard stars. We estimate distances to 13 candidate nearby starsusing our spectra and new or published photometry. Six of these starsare probably within 25 pc, and two are likely to be within the ResearchConsortium on Nearby Stars (RECONS) horizon of 10 pc.

Comparison of Stellar Orbits in Various Models of the Galaxy
Not Available

On stellar encounters and their effect on cometary orbits in the Oort cloud
We systematically investigate the encounters between the Sun andneighbouring stars and their effects on cometary orbits in the Oortcloud, including the intrinsic one with the star Gl 710 (HIP 89 825),with some implications to stellar and cometary dynamics. Our approach isprincipally based on the combination of a Keplerian-rectilinear model ofstellar passages and the Hipparcos Catalogue (ESA 1997). Beyond theparameters of encounter, we pay particular attention to theobservational errors in parallaxes and stellar velocities, and theirpropagation in time. Moreover, as a special case of this problem, weconsider the collision probability of a star passing very closely to theSun, taking also into account the mutual gravitational attractionbetween the stars. In the part dealing with the influence of stellarencounters on the orbital elements of Oort cloud comets, we derive newsimple formulae calculating the changes in the cometary orbitalelements, expressed as functions of the Jeans impulse formula. Theseexpressions are then applied to calculate numerical values of theelement changes caused by close encounters of neighbouring stars withsome model comets in the Oort cloud. Moreover, the general condition foran ejection of comets from the cloud effected by a single encounter isderived and discussed.

Some considerations on Sun gravitational lens missions.
Not Available

Stellar encounters with the solar system
We continue our search, based on Hipparcos data, for stars which haveencountered or will encounter the solar system(García-Sánchez et al. \cite{Garcia}). Hipparcos parallaxand proper motion data are combined with ground-based radial velocitymeasurements to obtain the trajectories of stars relative to the solarsystem. We have integrated all trajectories using three different modelsof the galactic potential: a local potential model, a global potentialmodel, and a perturbative potential model. The agreement between themodels is generally very good. The time period over which our search forclose passages is valid is about +/-10 Myr. Based on the Hipparcos data,we find a frequency of stellar encounters within one parsec of the Sunof 2.3 +/- 0.2 per Myr. However, we also find that the Hipparcos data isobservationally incomplete. By comparing the Hipparcos observations withthe stellar luminosity function for star systems within 50 pc of theSun, we estimate that only about one-fifth of the stars or star systemswere detected by Hipparcos. Correcting for this incompleteness, weobtain a value of 11.7 +/- 1.3 stellar encounters per Myr within one pcof the Sun. We examine the ability of two future missions, FAME andGAIA, to extend the search for past and future stellar encounters withthe Sun.

A Coronagraphic Survey for Companions of Stars within 8 Parsecs
We present the technique and results of a survey of stars within 8 pc ofthe Sun with declinations δ>-35° (J2000.00). The survey,designed to find without color bias faint companions, consists ofoptical coronagraphic images of the 1' field of view centered on eachstar and infrared direct images with a 32" field of view. The imageswere obtained through the optical Gunn r and z filters and the infraredJ and K filters. The survey achieves sensitivities up to 4 absolutemagnitudes fainter than the prototype brown dwarf, Gliese 229B. However,this sensitivity varies with the seeing conditions, the intrinsicbrightness of the star observed, and the angular distance from the star.As a result, we tabulate sensitivity limits for each star in the survey.We used the criterion of common proper motion to distinguish companionsand to determine their luminosities. In addition to the brown dwarf Gl229B, we have identified six new stellar companions of the sample stars.Since the survey began, accurate trigonometric parallax measurements formost of the stars have become available. As a result, some of the starswe originally included should no longer be included in the 8 pc sample.In addition, the 8 pc sample is incomplete at the faint end of the mainsequence, complicating our calculation of the binary fraction of browndwarfs. We assess the sensitivity of the survey to stellar companionsand to brown dwarf companions of different masses and ages.

Low-mass spectroscopic binaries in the Hyades: a candidate brown dwarf companion
We have used the HIRES echelle spectrograph on the Keck I telescope toobtain high-resolution spectroscopy of 51 late-type M dwarfs in theHyades cluster. Cross-correlating the calibrated data against spectra ofwhite dwarfs allows us to determine heliocentric velocities with anaccuracy of +/-0.3kms-1. 27 stars were observed at two epochsin 1997; two stars, RHy 42 and RHy 403, are confirmed spectroscopicbinaries. RHy 42 is a double-lined, equal-mass system; RHy 403 is asingle-lined, short-period binary, P~1.275d. RHy 403A has an absolutemagnitude of MI=10.85, consistent with a mass of0.15Msolar. The systemic mass function has a valueM2sin(i)]3/(M1+M2)2=0.0085, which, combined with the non-detection of a secondary peak inthe cross-correlation function, implies0.095>M2>0.07Msolar, and the strongpossibility that the companion is the first Hyades brown dwarf to beidentified. Unfortunately, the maximum expected angular separation inthe system is only ~0.25mas. Five other low-mass Hyads are identified aspossible spectroscopic binaries, based either on repeat observations oron a comparison between the observed radial velocity and the valueexpected for Hyades cluster members. Combined with HST imaging data, weinfer a binary fraction between 23 and 30per cent. All of the stars arechromospherically active. RHy 281 was caught in mid-flare and, based onthat detection, we estimate a flaring frequency of ~2.5per cent forlow-mass Hyades stars. Nine stars have rotational velocities, vsin(i),exceeding 20kms-1, and most of the sample have detectablerotation. We examine the H&alpha emission characteristics oflow-mass cluster members, and show that there is no evidence for acorrelation with rotation.

Barnes-Evans relations for late-type giants and dwarfs
The visual surface brightness of K/M giants and dwarfs with near-solarmetallicity differ slightly in agreement with the gravity effectspredicted by recent theoretical models. We show that M-dwarfs displayalso a metallicity dependence of the surface brightness in the infraredK-band in agreement with theory. Based on these results, we presentimproved Barnes-Evans type relations and estimate the radii of 60 singleor presumed M and K-dwarfs.

Stellar Encounters with the Oort Cloud Based on HIPPARCOS Data
We have combined Hipparcos proper-motion and parallax data for nearbystars with ground-based radial velocity measurements to find stars thatmay have passed (or will pass) close enough to the Sun to perturb theOort cloud. Close stellar encounters could deflect large numbers ofcomets into the inner solar system, which would increase the impacthazard at Earth. We find that the rate of close approaches by starsystems (single or multiple stars) within a distance D (in parsecs) fromthe Sun is given by N= 3.5D^2.12 Myr^-1, less than the number predictedby a simple stellar dynamics model. However, this value is clearly alower limit because of observational incompleteness in the Hipparcosdata set. One star, Gliese 710, is estimated to have a closest approachof less than 0.4 pc 1.4 Myr in the future, and several stars come within1 pc during a +/-10 Myr interval. We have performed dynamicalsimulations that show that none of the passing stars perturb the Oortcloud sufficiently to create a substantial increase in the long-periodcomet flux at Earth's orbit.

Are the red dwarfs in cataclysmic variables main-sequence stars?
We show that the secondaries in short-period cataclysmic variables withorbital periods P < 3 hr are close to the solar-abundance mainsequence defined by single field stars. In cataclysmic variables with P> 3 hr, the earliest spectral types at a given period correspond tomain sequence stars, while the majority of secondaries have laterspectral types. Possible causes are nuclear evolution prior to masstransfer and lack of thermal equilibrium due to mass transfer. Acomparison with evolutionary sequences obtained with up-to-date stellarmodels implies unusually high transfer rates and a large fraction ofsystems with evolved donors. There is no evidence for a secondary of lowmetallicity in any of the well-studied cataclysmic variables.

Rotation and chromospheric activity in field M dwarfs
We have obtained high resolution spectra for a volume-limited sample of118 field M dwarfs. From these observations we derive projectedrotational velocities and fluxes in the H_alpha and H_beta lines. 8stars are double-lined spectroscopic binaries with measured or probableperiods short enough for rotation to be tidally synchronized with theorbit, and another 11 are visual binaries where we cannot yet separatethe lines of the two stars. Of the remaining 99 stars, 24 haverotational velocities above our detection limit of ~ 2 km.s(-1) , andsome are quite fast rotators, including two with v sin i\ =~ 30 km.s(-1)and one with v sin i\ =~ 50 km.s(-1) . Given the small radii of Mdwarfs, these moderate rotational velocities correspond to rather shortmaximum rotational periods, of only 7-8 hours. These three stars aregood candidates for Doppler imaging. We find that rotation is stronglycorrelated with both spectral type and kinematic population: all starswith measurable rotation are later than M3.5, and all but one havekinematic properties typical of the young disk, or intermediate betweenthe young disk and the the old disk. We interpret this correlation asevidence for a spin-down timescale that increases with decreasing mass.At the age of the old disk or halo, all stars earlier than M5-M6(0.1-0.15Msun) have spun-down to below our detection limit,while at the age of the young disk this has only happened for starsearlier than M3.5. The one star with measurable rotation and akinematics intermediate between old disk and population II has spectraltype M6. It is probably an old star whose mass is low enough that it hasretained significant rotation up to present, still consistently withlonger spin-down times for lower mass stars. We observe, on the otherhand, no conspicuous change in the v sin i\ distribution or activitypattern at the mass (M ~ 0.35 Msun) below which stars remainfully convective down to the main sequence. These new data areconsistent with a saturated correlation between rotation and activity,similar to the one observed for younger or more massive stars:L_X/Lbol and L_{H_alpha }/Lbol both correlate withv sin i\ for v sin i\ -5km.s^{-1} and then saturate at respectively10^{-2.5} and 10^{-3.5}$. Based on observations made at the Observatoirede Haute-Provence (CNRS), France Tables 2 and 4 are also available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html.

Low-Mass Binaries and the Stellar Luminosity Function
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1997AJ....113.2246R

The Palomar/MSU Nearby Star Spectroscopic Survey.II.The Southern M Dwarfs and Investigation of Magnetic Activity
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1996AJ....112.2799H&db_key=AST

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:11h47m41.38s
Apparent magnitude:10.857
Distance:5.391 parsecs
Proper motion RA:743.8
Proper motion Dec:477.5
B-T magnitude:12.733
V-T magnitude:11.012

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesProxima Camelopardalis
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 4553-192-1
HIPHIP 57544

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