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|Reliability Checks on the Indo-US Stellar Spectral Library Using Artificial Neural Networks and Principal Component Analysis|
The 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.
|Frequency of Debris Disks around Solar-Type Stars: First Results from a Spitzer MIPS Survey|
We have searched for infrared excesses around a well-defined sample of69 FGK main-sequence field stars. These stars were selected withoutregard to their age, metallicity, or any previous detection of IRexcess; they have a median age of ~4 Gyr. We have detected 70 μmexcesses around seven stars at the 3 σ confidence level. Thisextra emission is produced by cool material (<100 K) located beyond10 AU, well outside the ``habitable zones'' of these systems andconsistent with the presence of Kuiper Belt analogs with ~100 times moreemitting surface area than in our own planetary system. Only one star,HD 69830, shows excess emission at 24 μm, corresponding to dust withtemperatures >~300 K located inside of 1 AU. While debris disks withLdust/L*>=10-3 are rare around oldFGK stars, we find that the disk frequency increases from 2%+/-2% forLdust/L*>=10-4 to 12%+/-5% forLdust/L*>=10-5. This trend in thedisk luminosity distribution is consistent with the estimated dust inour solar system being within an order of magnitude greater or less thanthe typical level around similar nearby stars. Although there is nocorrelation of IR excess with metallicity or spectral type, there is aweak correlation with stellar age, with stars younger than a gigayearmore likely to have excess emission.
|Detection Limits from the McDonald Observatory Planet Search Program|
Based on the long-term radial velocity surveys carried out with theMcDonald Observatory 2.7 m Harlan J. Smith Telescope from 1988 to thepresent, we derive upper limits to long-period giant planet companionsfor 31 nearby stars. Data from three phases of the McDonald Observatory2.7 m planet-search program have been merged together, and for 17objects data from the pioneering Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope radialvelocity program have also been included in the companion-limitsdetermination. For those 17 objects, the baseline of observations is inexcess of 23 yr, enabling the detection or exclusion of giant planets inorbits beyond 8 AU. We also consider the possibility of eccentric orbitsin our computations. At an orbital separation of 5.2 AU, we can excludeon average planets of Msini>~(2.0+/-1.1)MJ (e=0) andMsini>~(4.0+/-2.8)MJ (e=0.6) for 25 of the 31 stars inthis survey. However, we are not yet able to rule out ``true Jupiters,''i.e., planets of Msini~1MJ in 5.2 AU orbits. These limits areof interest for the Space Interferometry Mission, Terrestrial PlanetFinder, and Darwin missions, which will search for terrestrial planetsorbiting nearby stars, many of which are included in this work.
|Dwarfs in the Local Region|
We present lithium, carbon, and oxygen abundance data for a sample ofnearby dwarfs-a total of 216 stars-including samples within 15 pc of theSun, as well as a sample of local close giant planet (CGP) hosts (55stars) and comparison stars. The spectroscopic data for this work have aresolution of R~60,000, a signal-to-noise ratio >150, and spectralcoverage from 475 to 685 nm. We have redetermined parameters and derivedadditional abundances (Z>10) for the CGP host and comparison samples.From our abundances for elements with Z>6 we determine the meanabundance of all elements in the CGP hosts to range from 0.1 to 0.2 dexhigher than nonhosts. However, when relative abundances ([x/Fe]) areconsidered we detect no differences in the samples. We find nodifference in the lithium contents of the hosts versus the nonhosts. Theplanet hosts appear to be the metal-rich extension of local regionabundances, and overall trends in the abundances are dominated byGalactic chemical evolution. A consideration of the kinematics of thesample shows that the planet hosts are spread through velocity space;they are not exclusively stars of the thin disk.
|Spectroscopic characterization of a sample of southern visual binaries|
Aims.We present the spectroscopic characterization of 56 pairs of visualbinaries with similar components, based on high resolution spectraacquired with FEROS at ESO La Silla. Methods: .For all stars, wemeasured radial and rotational velocities and CaII H&K emission. Results: .Five previously unknown double lined spectroscopic binarieswere found. Six other pairs show velocity differences that are notcompatible with the orbital motion of the wide pair, indicating thepresence of further companion(s) in the system. The fraction of visualbinaries that contain additional spectroscopic components is27±10%, compatible with other literature estimates. The ages ofthe components of the pairs derived from chromospheric activitytypically show apparent differences of about 0.2 dex. A few pairs show arather large difference in activity level, but in most cases this isconsistent with the variability of chromospheric emission observed forthe Sun along its magnetic cycle.
|Abundances of refractory elements in the atmospheres of stars with extrasolar planets|
Aims.This work presents a uniform and homogeneous study of chemicalabundances of refractory elements in 101 stars with and 93 without knownplanetary companions. We carry out an in-depth investigation of theabundances of Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Na, Mg and Al. The newcomparison sample, spanning the metallicity range -0.70< [Fe/H]<0.50, fills the gap that previously existed, mainly at highmetallicities, in the number of stars without known planets.Methods.Weused an enlarged set of data including new observations, especially forthe field "single" comparison stars . The line list previously studiedby other authors was improved: on average we analysed 90 spectral linesin every spectrum and carefully measured more than 16 600 equivalentwidths (EW) to calculate the abundances.Results.We investigate possibledifferences between the chemical abundances of the two groups of stars,both with and without planets. The results are globally comparable tothose obtained by other authors, and in most cases the abundance trendsof planet-host stars are very similar to those of the comparison sample.Conclusions.This work represents a step towards the comprehension ofrecently discovered planetary systems. These results could also beuseful for verifying galactic models at high metallicities andconsequently improve our knowledge of stellar nucleosynthesis andgalactic chemical evolution.
|Oxygen abundances in planet-harbouring stars. Comparison of different abundance indicators|
We present a detailed and uniform study of oxygen abundances in 155solar type stars, 96 of which are planet hosts and 59 of which form partof a volume-limited comparison sample with no known planets. EWmeasurements were carried out for the [O I] 6300 Å line and the OI triplet, and spectral synthesis was performed for several OH lines.NLTE corrections were calculated and applied to the LTE abundanceresults derived from the O I 7771-5 Å triplet. Abundances from [OI], the O I triplet and near-UV OH were obtained in 103, 87 and 77dwarfs, respectively. We present the first detailed and uniformcomparison of these three oxygen indicators in a large sample ofsolar-type stars. There is good agreement between the [O/H] ratios fromforbidden and OH lines, while the NLTE triplet shows a systematicallylower abundance. We found that discrepancies between OH, [O I] and the OI triplet do not exceed 0.2 dex in most cases. We have studied abundancetrends in planet host and comparison sample stars, and no obviousanomalies related to the presence of planets have been detected. Allthree indicators show that, on average, [O/Fe] decreases with [Fe/H] inthe metallicity range -0.8< [Fe/H] < 0.5. The planet host starspresent an average oxygen overabundance of 0.1-0.2 dex with respect tothe comparison sample.
|Lithium Abundances of F-, G-, and K-Type Stars: Profile-Fitting Analysis of the Li I 6708 Doublet|
An extensive profile-fitting analysis was performed for the Li(+Fe)6707-6708Å feature of nearby 160 F-K dwarfs/subgiants (including27 planet-host stars) in the Galactic disk ( 7000 K ≳Teff ≳ 5000 K, -1 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ +0.4), in orderto establish the photospheric lithium abundances of these stars. Thenon-LTE effect (though quantitatively insignificant) was taken intoaccount based on our statistical equilibrium calculations, which werecarried out on an adequate grid of models. Our results confirmed most ofthe interesting observational characteristics revealed by recentlypublished studies, such as the bimodal distribution of the Li abundancesfor stars at Teff ≳ 6000 K, the satisfactory agreementof the upper envelope of the A(Li) vs. [Fe/H] distribution with thetheoretical models, the existence of a positive correlation betweenA(Li) and the stellar mass, and the tendency of lower lithium abundancesof planet-host stars (as compared to stars without planets) at thenarrow ``transition'' region of 5900 K ≳ Teff ≳5800 K. The solar Li abundance derived from this analysis is 0.92 (H =12.00), which is by 0.24dex lower than the widely referenced standardvalue of 1.16.
|Spectroscopic Study on the Atmospheric Parameters of Nearby F--K Dwarfs and Subgiants|
Based on a collection of high-dispersion spectra obtained at OkayamaAstrophysical Observatory, the atmospheric parameters (Teff,log g, vt, and [Fe/H]) of 160 mid-F through early-K starswere extensively determined by the spectroscopic method using theequivalent widths of Fe I and Fe II lines along with the numericaltechnique of Takeda et al. (2002, PASJ, 54, 451). The results arecomprehensively discussed and compared with the parameter values derivedby different approaches (e.g., photometric colors, theoreticalevolutionary tracks, Hipparcos parallaxes, etc.) as well as with thepublished values found in various literature. It has been confirmed thatour purely spectroscopic approach yields fairly reliable and consistentresults.
|Visual Star Colours from Instrumental Photometry|
In order to display graphically the visual colours of stars and otherastronomical objects, photometric broadband R, V, B colours are used toproxy for the r, g, b colours of the three visual sensors of the eye.From photometric Johnson B-V and V-R colour indices, R, V, and Bmagnitudes (V = 0) are calculated, and from these the respectivebrightnesses (r, v = 1 = g, and b) are calculated. After suitablenormalization these are then placed in a ternary diagram having r, g,and b as the vertices. All B-V and V-R are adjusted so that the Sunfalls in the same place as a blackbody at 5800 K. The resulting ternaryplot shows all of its objects (stars, planets) in their visual coloursat their relative positions in the ternary diagram. The star coloursdisplayed on a computer monitor screen or as a print with a colourprinter are more vivid than the usual visual impressions of isolatedstars, undoubtedly because of properties of the dark-adapted eye, butdouble-star pairs with contrasting colours correspond nicely totelescopic visual impressions.
|Spectroscopic Properties of Cool Stars (SPOCS). I. 1040 F, G, and K Dwarfs from Keck, Lick, and AAT Planet Search Programs|
We present a uniform catalog of stellar properties for 1040 nearby F, G,and K stars that have been observed by the Keck, Lick, and AAT planetsearch programs. Fitting observed echelle spectra with synthetic spectrayielded effective temperature, surface gravity, metallicity, projectedrotational velocity, and abundances of the elements Na, Si, Ti, Fe, andNi, for every star in the catalog. Combining V-band photometry andHipparcos parallaxes with a bolometric correction based on thespectroscopic results yielded stellar luminosity, radius, and mass.Interpolating Yonsei-Yale isochrones to the luminosity, effectivetemperature, metallicity, and α-element enhancement of each staryielded a theoretical mass, radius, gravity, and age range for moststars in the catalog. Automated tools provide uniform results and makeanalysis of such a large sample practical. Our analysis method differsfrom traditional abundance analyses in that we fit the observed spectrumdirectly, rather than trying to match equivalent widths, and wedetermine effective temperature and surface gravity from the spectrumitself, rather than adopting values based on measured photometry orparallax. As part of our analysis, we determined a new relationshipbetween macroturbulence and effective temperature on the main sequence.Detailed error analysis revealed small systematic offsets with respectto the Sun and spurious abundance trends as a function of effectivetemperature that would be inobvious in smaller samples. We attempted toremove these errors by applying empirical corrections, achieving aprecision per spectrum of 44 K in effective temperature, 0.03 dex inmetallicity, 0.06 dex in the logarithm of gravity, and 0.5 kms-1 in projected rotational velocity. Comparisons withprevious studies show only small discrepancies. Our spectroscopicallydetermined masses have a median fractional precision of 15%, but theyare systematically 10% higher than masses obtained by interpolatingisochrones. Our spectroscopic radii have a median fractional precisionof 3%. Our ages from isochrones have a precision that variesdramatically with location in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. We planto extend the catalog by applying our automated analysis technique toother large stellar samples.
|Stellar Lyα Emission Lines in the Hubble Space Telescope Archive: Intrinsic Line Fluxes and Absorption from the Heliosphere and Astrospheres|
We search the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archive for previouslyunanalyzed observations of stellar H I Lyα emission lines, ourprimary purpose being to look for new detections of Lyα absorptionfrom the outer heliosphere and to also search for analogous absorptionfrom the astrospheres surrounding the observed stars. The astrosphericabsorption is of particular interest because it can be used to studysolar-like stellar winds that are otherwise undetectable. We find andanalyze 33 HST Lyα spectra in the archive. All the spectra weretaken with the E140M grating of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph(STIS) instrument on board HST. The HST STIS spectra yield four newdetections of heliospheric absorption (70 Oph, ξ Boo, 61 Vir, and HD165185) and seven new detections of astrospheric absorption (EV Lac, 70Oph, ξ Boo, 61 Vir, δ Eri, HD 128987, and DK UMa), doubling theprevious number of heliospheric and astrospheric detections. Whencombined with previous results, 10 of 17 lines of sight within 10 pcyield detections of astrospheric absorption. This high detectionfraction implies that most of the ISM within 10 pc must be at leastpartially neutral, since the presence of H I within the ISM surroundingthe observed star is necessary for an astrospheric detection. Incontrast, the detection percentage is only 9.7% (3 out of 31) for starsbeyond 10 pc. Our Lyα analyses provide measurements of ISM H I andD I column densities for all 33 lines of sight, and we discuss someimplications of these results. Finally, we measure chromosphericLyα fluxes from the observed stars. We use these fluxes todetermine how Lyα flux correlates with coronal X-ray andchromospheric Mg II emission, and we also study how Lyα emissiondepends on stellar rotation.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS5-26555.
|Coronagraphic Imaging of Pre-Main-Sequence Stars with the Hubble Space Telescope Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. I. The Herbig Ae Stars|
STIS white-light coronagraphic imaging has been carried out for 14nearby, lightly reddened Herbig Ae stars, providing data on theenvironments and disks associated with these stars. No disks aredetected in our data when the Herbig Ae star is accompanied by a stellarcompanion at r<=2''. We find that the optical visibilityof protoplanetary disks associated with Herbig Ae stars at r>=50-70AU from the star is correlated with the strength of the mid-IR PAHfeatures, particularly 6.2 μm. These features, like the FUVfluorescent H2 emission, trace the presence of materialsufficiently far above the disk midplane that it is directly illuminatedby the star's FUV radiation. In contrast, measures of the bulkproperties of the disk, including ongoing accretion activity, mass, andthe submillimeter slope of the SED, do not correlate with the surfacebrightness of the optical nebulosity. Modelers have interpreted theappearance of the IR SED and the presence of emission from warm silicategrains at 10 μm as a measure of geometrical shadowing by material inthe disk near the dust sublimation radius of 0.5 AU. Geometricalshadowing sufficient to render a disk dark to distances as large as 500AU from a star would require that the star be optically visible only ifviewed essentially pole-on, in disagreement with our program star systeminclinations. Rather than invoking shadowing to account for theoptically dark disks, the correlation of the STIS detections with PAHemission features suggests a correlation with disk flaring and ananticorrelation with the degree of dust settling toward the midplane. Ifthis correlation continues to lower levels, the STIS data suggest thatimprovements in coronagraph performance that suppress the residualscattered and diffracted stellar light by an additional factor of>=10 should render the majority of disks associated with nearbyHerbig Ae stars detectable.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research inAstronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.Based on observations made with the NASA-CNES-CSA Far UltravioletSpectroscopic Explorer. FUSE is operated for NASA by The Johns HopkinsUniversity under NASA contract NAS5-32985.
|The Vertical Stellar Kinematics in Face-On Barred Galaxies: Estimating the Ages of Bars|
In order to perform a detailed study of the stellar kinematics in thevertical axis of bars, we obtained high signal-to-noise spectra alongthe major and minor axes of the bars in a sample of 14 face-on galaxiesand used them to determine the line-of-sight stellar velocitydistribution, parameterized as a Gauss-Hermite series. With these data,we developed a diagnostic tool that allows one to distinguish betweenrecently formed and evolved bars, as well as to estimate their ages,assuming that bars form in vertically thin disks that are recognizableby low values for the vertical velocity dispersion σz.Through N-body realizations of bar unstable disk galaxies we were alsoable to check the timescales involved in the processes that give bars animportant vertical structure. We show that σz inevolved bars is roughly 100 km s-1, which translates to aheight scale of about 1.4 kpc, giving support to scenarios in whichbulges form through disk material. Furthermore, the bars in ournumerical simulations have values for σz generallysmaller than 50 km s-1, even after evolving for 2 Gyr,suggesting that a slow process is responsible for making bars asvertically thick as we observe. We verify theoretically that theSpitzer-Schwarzschild mechanism is quantitatively able to explain theseobservations if we assume that giant molecular clouds are twice asconcentrated along the bar as in the rest of the disk.
|New Mass-Loss Measurements from Astrospheric Lyα Absorption|
Measurements of stellar mass-loss rates are used to assess how windstrength varies with coronal activity and age for solar-like stars. Massloss generally increases with activity, but we find evidence that windssuddenly weaken at a certain activity threshold. Very active stars areoften observed to have polar starspots, and we speculate that themagnetic field geometry associated with these spots may be inhibitingthe winds. Our inferred mass-loss/age relation represents an empiricalestimate of the history of the solar wind. This result is important forplanetary studies as well as solar/stellar astronomy, since solar winderosion may have played an important role in the evolution of planetaryatmospheres.
|The Low End of the Supermassive Black Hole Mass Function: Constraining the Mass of a Nuclear Black Hole in NGC 205 via Stellar Kinematics|
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images and spectra of the nucleated dwarfelliptical galaxy NGC 205 are combined with three-integral axisymmetricdynamical models to constrain the mass MBH of a putativenuclear black hole. This is only the second attempt, after M33, to useresolved stellar kinematics to search for a nuclear black hole with massbelow 106 solar masses. We are unable to identify a best-fitvalue of MBH in NGC 205; however, the data impose a upperlimit of 2.2×104 Msolar (1 σconfidence) and an upper limit of 3.8×104Msolar (3 σ confidence). This upper limit is consistentwith the extrapolation of the MBH-σ relation to theMBH<106 Msolar regime. If we assumethat NGC 205 and M33 both contain nuclear black holes, the upper limitson MBH in the two galaxies imply a slope of ~5.5 or greaterfor the MBH-σ relation. We use our three-integralmodels to evaluate the relaxation time and stellar collision time in NGC205; Tr is ~108 yr or less in the nucleus, andTcoll~1011 yr. The low value of Tr isconsistent with core collapse having already occurred, but we are unableto draw conclusions from nuclear morphology about the presence orabsence of a massive black hole.
|UVBLUE: A New High-Resolution Theoretical Library of Ultraviolet Stellar Spectra|
We present an extended ultraviolet-blue (850-4700 Å) library oftheoretical stellar spectral energy distributions computed at highresolution, λ/Δλ=50,000. The UVBLUE grid, as wenamed the library, is based on LTE calculations carried out with ATLAS9and SYNTHE codes developed by R. L. Kurucz and consists of nearly 1800entries that cover a large volume of the parameter space. It spans arange in Teff from 3000 to 50,000 K, the surface gravityranges from logg=0.0 to 5.0 with Δlogg=0.5 dex, while sevenchemical compositions are considered:[M/H]=-2.0,-1.5,-1.0,-0.5,+0.0,+0.3, and +0.5 dex. For its coverageacross the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, this library is the mostcomprehensive one ever computed at high resolution in theshort-wavelength spectral range, and useful application can be foreseenfor both the study of single stars and in population synthesis models ofgalaxies and other stellar systems. We briefly discuss some relevantissues for a safe application of the theoretical output to ultravioletobservations, and a comparison of our LTE models with the non-LTE (NLTE)ones from the TLUSTY code is also carried out. NLTE spectra are found,on average, to be slightly ``redder'' compared to the LTE ones for thesame value of Teff, while a larger difference could bedetected for weak lines, which are nearly wiped out by the enhanced coreemission component in case of NLTE atmospheres. These effects seem to bemagnified at low metallicity (typically [M/H]<~-1). A match with aworking sample of 111 stars from the IUE atlas, with availableatmosphere parameters from the literature, shows that UVBLUE modelsprovide an accurate description of the main mid- and low-resolutionspectral features for stars along the whole sequence from the B to ~G5type. The comparison sensibly degrades for later spectral types, withsupergiant stars that are in general more poorly reproduced than dwarfs.As a possible explanation of this overall trend, we partly invoke theuncertainty in the input atmosphere parameters to compute thetheoretical spectra. In addition, one should also consider the importantcontamination of the IUE stellar sample, where the presence of binaryand variable stars certainly works in the sense of artificiallyworsening the match between theory and observations.
|Single-Visit Photometric and Obscurational Completeness|
We report a method that uses ``completeness'' to estimate the number ofextrasolar planets discovered by an observing program with adirect-imaging instrument. We develop a completeness function forEarth-like planets on ``habitable'' orbits for an instrument with acentral field obscuration, uniform sensitivity in an annular detectionzone, and limiting sensitivity that is expressed as a ``deltamagnitude'' with respect to the star, determined by systematic effects(given adequate exposure time). We demonstrate our method of estimationby applying it to our understanding of the coronagraphic version of theTerrestrial Planet Finder (TPF-C) mission as of 2004 October. Weestablish an initial relationship between the size, quality, andstability of the instrument's optics and its ability to meet missionscience requirements. We provide options for increasing the fidelity andversatility of the models on which our method is based, and we discusshow the method could be extended to model the TPF-C mission as a wholeto verify that its design can meet the science requirements.
|The Planet-Metallicity Correlation|
We have recently carried out spectral synthesis modeling to determineTeff, logg, vsini, and [Fe/H] for 1040 FGK-type stars on theKeck, Lick, and Anglo-Australian Telescope planet search programs. Thisis the first time that a single, uniform spectroscopic analysis has beenmade for every star on a large Doppler planet search survey. We identifya subset of 850 stars that have Doppler observations sufficient todetect uniformly all planets with radial velocity semiamplitudes K>30m s-1 and orbital periods shorter than 4 yr. From this subsetof stars, we determine that fewer than 3% of stars with-0.5<[Fe/H]<0.0 have Doppler-detected planets. Above solarmetallicity, there is a smooth and rapid rise in the fraction of starswith planets. At [Fe/H]>+0.3 dex, 25% of observed stars have detectedgas giant planets. A power-law fit to these data relates the formationprobability for gas giant planets to the square of the number of metalatoms. High stellar metallicity also appears to be correlated with thepresence of multiple-planet systems and with the total detected planetmass. This data set was examined to better understand the origin of highmetallicity in stars with planets. None of the expected fossilsignatures of accretion are observed in stars with planets relative tothe general sample: (1) metallicity does not appear to increase as themass of the convective envelopes decreases, (2) subgiants with planetsdo not show dilution of metallicity, (3) no abundance variations for Na,Si, Ti, or Ni are found as a function of condensation temperature, and(4) no correlations between metallicity and orbital period oreccentricity could be identified. We conclude that stars with extrasolarplanets do not have an accretion signature that distinguishes them fromother stars; more likely, they are simply born in higher metallicitymolecular clouds.Based on observations obtained at Lick and Keck Observatories, operatedby the University of California, and the Anglo-Australian Observatories.
|Stars within 15 Parsecs: Abundances for a Northern Sample|
We present an abundance analysis for stars within 15 pc of the Sunlocated north of -30° declination. We have limited our abundancesample to absolute magnitudes brighter than +7.5 and have eliminatedseveral A stars in the local vicinity. Our final analysis list numbers114 stars. Unlike Allende Prieto et al. in their consideration of a verysimilar sample, we have enforced strict spectroscopic criteria in thedetermination of atmospheric parameters. Nevertheless, our results arevery similar to theirs. We determine the mean metallicity of the localregion to be <[Fe/H]>=-0.07 using all stars and -0.04 when interlopersfrom the thick disk are eliminated.
|HD 166181 = V815 Herculis, a Single-lined Spectroscopic Multiple System|
We have obtained extensive spectroscopic and velocity spectrometerobservations of HD 166181, a previously known single-lined spectroscopicbinary. Our improved orbit for the G6 V primary has a period of1.8098343 days and is circular. Although the lines of additionalcomponents have not been detected, radial velocity measurements confirmthat the system has additional velocity variations with a period of 2092days, or 5.73 yr. This long-period orbit has an eccentricity of 0.76. Ananalysis of the Hipparcos observations produces a well-determinedastrometric orbit for the long-period system that has an inclination of78°. Mass estimates of the components in this zero-age main-sequencemultiple system indicate that the unseen secondary in the 5.73 yr orbitmay also be a binary. Thus, HD 166181 is at least a triple system andpossibly quadruple.
|Abundance trends in kinematical groups of the Milky Way's disk|
We have compiled a large catalogue of metallicities and abundance ratiosfrom the literature in order to investigate abundance trends of severalalpha and iron peak elements in the thin disk and the thick disk of theGalaxy. The catalogue includes 743 stars with abundances of Fe, O, Mg,Ca, Ti, Si, Na, Ni and Al in the metallicity range -1.30 < [Fe/H]< +0.50. We have checked that systematic differences betweenabundances measured in the different studies were lower than randomerrors before combining them. Accurate distances and proper motions fromHipparcos and radial velocities from several sources have been retreivedfor 639 stars and their velocities (U, V, W) and galactic orbits havebeen computed. Ages of 322 stars have been estimated with a Bayesianmethod of isochrone fitting. Two samples kinematically representative ofthe thin and thick disks have been selected, taking into account theHercules stream which is intermediate in kinematics, but with a probabledynamical origin. Our results show that the two disks are chemicallywell separated, they overlap greatly in metallicity and both showparallel decreasing alpha elements with increasing metallicity, in theinterval -0.80 < [Fe/H] < -0.30. The Mg enhancement with respectto Fe of the thick disk is measured to be 0.14 dex. An even largerenhancement is observed for Al. The thick disk is clearly older than thethin disk with tentative evidence of an AMR over 2-3 Gyr and a hiatus instar formation before the formation of the thin disk. We do not observea vertical gradient in the metallicity of the thick disk. The Herculesstream has properties similar to that of the thin disk, with a widerrange of metallicity. Metal-rich stars assigned to the thick disk andsuper-metal-rich stars assigned to the thin disk appear as outliers inall their properties.
|Spectroscopic metallicities for planet-host stars: Extending the samples|
We present stellar parameters and metallicities for 29 planet-hoststars, as well as for a large volume-limited sample of 53 stars notknown to be orbited by any planetary-mass companion. These stars add tothe results presented in our previous series of papers, providing twolarge and uniform samples of 119 planet-hosts and 94“single” stars with accurate stellar parameters and [Fe/H]estimates. The analysis of the results further confirms that stars withplanets are metal-rich when compared with average field dwarfs.Important biases that may compromise future studies are also discussed.Finally, we compare the metallicity distributions for singleplanet-hosts and planet-hosts in multiple stellar systems. The resultsshow that a small difference cannot be excluded, in the sense that thelatter sample is slighly overmetallic. However, more data are needed toconfirm this correlation.
|Isochrone ages for field dwarfs: method and application to the age-metallicity relation|
A new method is presented to compute age estimates from theoreticalisochrones using temperature, luminosity and metallicity data forindividual stars. Based on Bayesian probability theory, this methodavoids the systematic biases affecting simpler strategies and providesreliable estimates of the age probability distribution function forlate-type dwarfs. Basic assumptions concerning the a priori parameterdistribution suitable for the solar neighbourhood are combined with thelikelihood assigned to the observed data to yield the complete posteriorage probability. This method is especially relevant for G dwarfs in the3-15 Gyr range of ages, crucial to the study of the chemical anddynamical history of the Galaxy. In many cases, it yields markedlydifferent results from the traditional approach of reading the derivedage from the isochrone nearest to the data point. We show that thestrongest process affecting the traditional approach is that of stronglyfavouring computed ages near the end-of-main-sequence lifetime. TheBayesian method compensates for this potential bias and generallyassigns much higher probabilities to lower main-sequence ages, comparedwith short-lived evolved stages. This has a strong influence on anyapplication to galactic studies, especially given the presentuncertainties on the absolute temperature scale of the stellar evolutionmodels. In particular, the known mismatch between the model predictionsand the observations for moderately metal-poor dwarfs (-1 < [Fe/H]< -0.3) has a dramatic effect on the traditional age determination.We apply our method to the classic sample of Edvardsson et al., whoderived the age-metallicity relation (AMR) of 189 field dwarfs withprecisely determined abundances. We show how much of the observedscatter in the AMR is caused by the interplay between the systematicbiases affecting the traditional age determination, the colour mismatchwith the evolution models and the presence of undetected binaries. Usingnew parallax, temperature and metallicity data, our age determinationfor the same sample indicates that the intrinsic dispersion in the AMRis at most 0.15 dex and probably lower. In particular, we show that old,metal-rich objects ([Fe/H]~ 0.0 dex, age > 5 Gyr) and young,metal-poor objects ([Fe/H] < -0.5 dex, age < 6 Gyr) in manyobserved AMR plots are artefacts caused by too simple a treatment of theage determination. The incompatibility of those AMR plots with awell-mixed interstellar medium may therefore only be apparent.Incidentally, our results tend to restore confidence in the method ofage determination from the chromospheric activity for field dwarfs.
|Modelling galactic spectra - II. Simultaneous study of stellar dynamics and stellar mix in NGC 3258|
In this paper we adopt a method to analyse absorption-line spectra fromelliptical galaxies that determines the dynamics of the galaxy and atthe same time offers a way to study the stellar populations in thatgalaxy by a direct fit to the spectra. The result of the modelling is adistribution function for each stellar population that is considered inthe fit. The method is described in detail in the accompanying paper.This paper reports on a dynamical stellar population study in NGC 3258,based on spectra in two different wavelength regions, the near-infraredCa II triplet around 8600 Å and the Ca H and K lines around 3900Å. These absorption lines have discriminating power towardsvarious stellar types. The dynamical model shows an increase in dwarfs(represented by G2V stars) towards the centre. Most of the rotation inthe model is delivered by the giants (represented by M1III stars).Moreover, the different models that were considered indicate thatestablishing a potential for a galaxy is dependent on the wavelengthrange used for the modelling.
|Modelling galactic spectra - I. A dynamical model for NGC 3258|
We present a method to analyse absorption-line spectra of a galaxydesigned to determine the stellar dynamics and the stellar populationsby a direct fit to the spectra. This paper is the first to report on theapplication of the method to data. The modelling results in theknowledge of distribution functions that are sums of basis functions.The practical implementation of the method is discussed and a new typeof basis function is introduced.With this method, a dynamical model for NGC 3258 is constructed. Thisgalaxy can be modelled successfully with a potential containing 30 percent dark matter within 1re with a mass of 1.6 ×1011 Msolar. The total mass within 2reis estimated as 5 × 1011 Msolar, containing63 per cent dark matter. The model is isotropic in the centre, isradially anisotropic between 0.2 and 2 kpc (0.88re), andbecomes tangentially anisotropic further on. The photometry reveals thepresence of a dust disc near the centre.
|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.
|The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar Spectra|
We 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.
|The Rise of the s-Process in the Galaxy|
From newly obtained high-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio spectrathe abundances of the elements La and Eu have been determined over thestellar metallicity range -3<[Fe/H]<+0.3 in 159 giant and dwarfstars. Lanthanum is predominantly made by the s-process in the solarsystem, while Eu owes most of its solar system abundance to ther-process. The changing ratio of these elements in stars over a widemetallicity range traces the changing contributions of these twoprocesses to the Galactic abundance mix. Large s-process abundances canbe the result of mass transfer from very evolved stars, so to identifythese cases we also report carbon abundances in our metal-poor stars.Results indicate that the s-process may be active as early as[Fe/H]=-2.6, although we also find that some stars as metal-rich as[Fe/H]=-1 show no strong indication of s-process enrichment. There is asignificant spread in the level of s-process enrichment even at solarmetallicity.
|Synthetic Lick Indices and Detection of α-enhanced Stars. II. F, G, and K Stars in the -1.0 < [Fe/H] < +0.50 Range|
We present an analysis of 402 F, G, and K solar neighborhood stars, withaccurate estimates of [Fe/H] in the range -1.0 to +0.5 dex, aimed at thedetection of α-enhanced stars and at the investigation of theirkinematical properties. The analysis is based on the comparison of 571sets of spectral indices in the Lick/IDS system, coming from fourdifferent observational data sets, with synthetic indices computed withsolar-scaled abundances and with α-element enhancement. We useselected combinations of indices to single out α-enhanced starswithout requiring previous knowledge of their main atmosphericparameters. By applying this approach to the total data set, we obtain alist of 60 bona fide α-enhanced stars and of 146 stars withsolar-scaled abundances. The properties of the detected α-enhancedand solar-scaled abundance stars with respect to their [Fe/H] values andkinematics are presented. A clear kinematic distinction betweensolar-scaled and α-enhanced stars was found, although a one-to-onecorrespondence to ``thin disk'' and ``thick disk'' components cannot besupported with the present data.
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