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Predicting accurate stellar angular diameters by the near-infrared surface brightness technique
I report on the capabilities of the near-infrared (near-IR) surfacebrightness technique to predict reliable stellar angular diameters asaccurate as <~2 per cent using standard broad-band Johnson photometryin the colour range -0.1 <= (V-K)O<= 3.7 includingstars of A, F, G, K spectral type. This empirical approach is fast toapply and leads to estimated photometric diameters in very goodagreement with recent high-precision interferometric diametermeasurements available for non-variable dwarfs and giants, as well asfor Cepheid variables. Then I compare semi-empirical diameters predictedby model-dependent photometric and spectrophotometric (SP) methods withnear-IR surface brightness diameters adopted as empirical referencecalibrators. The overall agreement between all these methods is withinapproximately +/-5 per cent, confirming previous works. However, on thesame scale of accuracy, there is also evidence for systematic shiftspresumably as a result of an incorrect representation of the stellareffective temperature in the model-dependent results. I also comparemeasurements of spectroscopic radii with near-IR surface brightnessradii of Cepheids with known distances. Spectroscopic radii are found tobe affected by a scatter as significant as >~9 per cent, which is atleast three times greater than the formal error currently claimed by thespectroscopic technique. In contrast, pulsation radii predicted by theperiod-radius (PR) relation according to the Cepheid period result aresignificantly less dispersed, indicating a quite small scatter as aresult of the finite width of the Cepheid instability strip, as expectedfrom pulsation theory. The resulting low level of noise stronglyconfirms our previous claims that the pulsation parallaxes are the mostaccurate empirical distances presently available for Galactic andextragalactic Cepheids.

Radial Velocities of Late-Type Field Subgiant Stars
High-dispersion coudé spectra were observed and measured for 43field subgiants of the G and K spectral types, with the intent ofsearching for hitherto undiscovered spectroscopic binaries. Statisticalanalysis of the measurements revealed no definite but two possible newbinaries. We present the data and discuss the statistical analysis usedto test for new binaries. Additionally, we discuss the techniques forhigh precision of radial-velocity measurement, and the systematic errorsthat interfere with that goal.

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.

Statistical Constraints for Astrometric Binaries with Nonlinear Motion
Useful constraints on the orbits and mass ratios of astrometric binariesin the Hipparcos catalog are derived from the measured proper motiondifferences of Hipparcos and Tycho-2 (Δμ), accelerations ofproper motions (μ˙), and second derivatives of proper motions(μ̈). It is shown how, in some cases, statistical bounds can beestimated for the masses of the secondary components. Two catalogs ofastrometric binaries are generated, one of binaries with significantproper motion differences and the other of binaries with significantaccelerations of their proper motions. Mathematical relations betweenthe astrometric observables Δμ, μ˙, and μ̈ andthe orbital elements are derived in the appendices. We find a remarkabledifference between the distribution of spectral types of stars withlarge accelerations but small proper motion differences and that ofstars with large proper motion differences but insignificantaccelerations. The spectral type distribution for the former sample ofbinaries is the same as the general distribution of all stars in theHipparcos catalog, whereas the latter sample is clearly dominated bysolar-type stars, with an obvious dearth of blue stars. We point outthat the latter set includes mostly binaries with long periods (longerthan about 6 yr).

First results from the ESO VLTI calibrators program
The ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) is one of the leadinginterferometric facilities. It is equipped with several 8.2 and 1.8 mtelescopes, a large number of baselines up to 200 m, and with severalsubsystems designed to enable high quality measurements and to improvesignificantly the limits of sensitivities currently available tolong-baseline interferometry. The full scientific potential of the VLTIcan be exploited only if a consistent set of good quality calibrators isavailable. For this, a large number of observations of potentialcalibrators have been obtained during the commissioning phase of theVLTI. These data are publicly available. We briefly describe theinterferometer, the VINCI instrument used for the observations, the dataflow from acquisition to processed results, and we present and commenton the volume of observations gathered and scrutinized. The result is alist of 191 calibrator candidates, for which a total of 12 066observations can be deemed of satisfactory quality. We present a generalstatistical analysis of this sample, using as a starting point theangular diameters previously available in the literature. We derive thegeneral characteristics of the VLTI transfer function, and its trendwith time in the period 2001 through mid-2004. A second paper will bedevoted to a detailed investigation of a selected sample, aimed atestablishing a VLTI-based homogeneous system of calibrators.

Measuring starspot temperature from line-depth ratios. II. Simultaneous modeling of light and temperature curves
We present and apply to VY Ari, IM Peg and HK Lac a new method todetermine spot temperatures (Tsp) and areas (Arel)from the analysis of simultaneous light curves and temperaturemodulations deduced from line-depth ratios. A spot model, developed byus, has been applied to light and temperature curves. Grids of solutionswith comparable χ-square have been found for a wide range of spottemperatures. The behavior of the solution grids for temperature andlight curves in the Tsp-Arel plane is verydifferent and a rather small and unique intersection area can be found.In our spot-model we used spectral energy distributions (SEDs) based onthe Planck law and on model atmospheres to evaluate the flux ratiobetween spots and unspotted photosphere and we found higher spottemperatures with SEDs based on model atmospheres than on the Plancklaw.Based on observations collected at Catania Astrophysical Observatory,Italy. Appendix A is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

CHARM2: An updated Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements
We present an update of the Catalog of High Angular ResolutionMeasurements (CHARM, Richichi & Percheron \cite{CHARM}, A&A,386, 492), which includes results available until July 2004. CHARM2 is acompilation of direct measurements by high angular resolution methods,as well as indirect estimates of stellar diameters. Its main goal is toprovide a reference list of sources which can be used for calibrationand verification observations with long-baseline optical and near-IRinterferometers. Single and binary stars are included, as are complexobjects from circumstellar shells to extragalactic sources. The presentupdate provides an increase of almost a factor of two over the previousedition. Additionally, it includes several corrections and improvements,as well as a cross-check with the valuable public release observationsof the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). A total of 8231entries for 3238 unique sources are now present in CHARM2. Thisrepresents an increase of a factor of 3.4 and 2.0, respectively, overthe contents of the previous version of CHARM.The catalog is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/431/773

Mg II chromospheric radiative loss rates in cool active and quiet stars
The Mg II k emission line is a good indicator of the level ofchromospheric activity in late-type stars. We investigate the dependenceof this activity indicator on fundamental stellar parameters. To thispurpose we use IUE observations of the Mg II k line in 225 late-typestars of luminosity classes I-V, with different levels of chromosphericactivity. We first re-analyse the relation between Mg II k lineluminosity and stellar absolute magnitude, performing linear fits to thepoints. The ratio of Mg II surface flux to total surface flux is foundto be independent of stellar luminosity for evolved stars and toincrease with decreasing luminosity for dwarfs. We also analyse the MgII k line surface flux-metallicity connection. The Mg II k emissionlevel turns out to be not dependent on metallicity. Finally, the Mg II kline surface flux-temperature relation is investigated by treatingseparately, for the first time, a large sample of very active and normalstars. The stellar surface fluxes in the k line of normal stars arefound to be strongly dependent on the temperature and slightly dependenton the gravity, thus confirming the validity of recently proposedmodels. In contrast, data relative to RS CVn binaries and BY Dra stars,which show very strong chromospheric activity, are not justified in theframework of a description based only on acoustic waves and uniformlydistributed magnetic flux tubes so that they require more detailedmodels.

Local kinematics of K and M giants from CORAVEL/Hipparcos/Tycho-2 data. Revisiting the concept of superclusters
The availability of the Hipparcos Catalogue has triggered many kinematicand dynamical studies of the solar neighbourhood. Nevertheless, thosestudies generally lacked the third component of the space velocities,i.e., the radial velocities. This work presents the kinematic analysisof 5952 K and 739 M giants in the solar neighbourhood which includes forthe first time radial velocity data from a large survey performed withthe CORAVEL spectrovelocimeter. It also uses proper motions from theTycho-2 catalogue, which are expected to be more accurate than theHipparcos ones. An important by-product of this study is the observedfraction of only 5.7% of spectroscopic binaries among M giants ascompared to 13.7% for K giants. After excluding the binaries for whichno center-of-mass velocity could be estimated, 5311 K and 719 M giantsremain in the final sample. The UV-plane constructed from these datafor the stars with precise parallaxes (σπ/π≤20%) reveals a rich small-scale structure, with several clumpscorresponding to the Hercules stream, the Sirius moving group, and theHyades and Pleiades superclusters. A maximum-likelihood method, based ona Bayesian approach, has been applied to the data, in order to make fulluse of all the available stars (not only those with precise parallaxes)and to derive the kinematic properties of these subgroups. Isochrones inthe Hertzsprung-Russell diagram reveal a very wide range of ages forstars belonging to these groups. These groups are most probably relatedto the dynamical perturbation by transient spiral waves (as recentlymodelled by De Simone et al. \cite{Simone2004}) rather than to clusterremnants. A possible explanation for the presence of younggroup/clusters in the same area of the UV-plane is that they have beenput there by the spiral wave associated with their formation, while thekinematics of the older stars of our sample has also been disturbed bythe same wave. The emerging picture is thus one of dynamical streamspervading the solar neighbourhood and travelling in the Galaxy withsimilar space velocities. The term dynamical stream is more appropriatethan the traditional term supercluster since it involves stars ofdifferent ages, not born at the same place nor at the same time. Theposition of those streams in the UV-plane is responsible for the vertexdeviation of 16.2o ± 5.6o for the wholesample. Our study suggests that the vertex deviation for youngerpopulations could have the same dynamical origin. The underlyingvelocity ellipsoid, extracted by the maximum-likelihood method afterremoval of the streams, is not centered on the value commonly acceptedfor the radial antisolar motion: it is centered on < U > =-2.78±1.07 km s-1. However, the full data set(including the various streams) does yield the usual value for theradial solar motion, when properly accounting for the biases inherent tothis kind of analysis (namely, < U > = -10.25±0.15 kms-1). This discrepancy clearly raises the essential questionof how to derive the solar motion in the presence of dynamicalperturbations altering the kinematics of the solar neighbourhood: doesthere exist in the solar neighbourhood a subset of stars having no netradial motion which can be used as a reference against which to measurethe solar motion?Based on observations performed at the Swiss 1m-telescope at OHP,France, and on data from the ESA Hipparcos astrometry satellite.Full Table \ref{taba1} is only available in electronic form at the CDSvia anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/430/165}

Improved Baade-Wesselink surface brightness relations
Recent, and older accurate, data on (limb-darkened) angular diameters iscompiled for 221 stars, as well as BVRIJK[12][25] magnitudes for thoseobjects, when available. Nine stars (all M-giants or supergiants)showing excess in the [12-25] colour are excluded from the analysis asthis may indicate the presence of dust influencing the optical andnear-infrared colours as well. Based on this large sample,Baade-Wesselink surface brightness (SB) relations are presented fordwarfs, giants, supergiants and dwarfs in the optical and near-infrared.M-giants are found to follow different SB relations from non-M-giants,in particular in V versus V-R. The preferred relation for non-M-giantsis compared to the earlier relation by Fouqué and Gieren (basedon 10 stars) and Nordgren et al. (based on 57 stars). Increasing thesample size does not lead to a lower rms value. It is shown that theresiduals do not correlate with metallicity at a significant level. Thefinally adopted observed angular diameters are compared to thosepredicted by Cohen et al. for 45 stars in common, and there isreasonable overall, and good agreement when θ < 6 mas.Finally, I comment on the common practice in the literature to average,and then fix, the zero-point of the V versus V-K, V versus V-R and Kversus J-K relations, and then rederive the slopes. Such a commonzero-point at zero colour is not expected from model atmospheres for theV-R colour and depends on gravity. Relations derived in this way may bebiased.

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.

Synthetic Lick Indices and Detection of α-Enhanced Stars
Synthetic Lick indices computed with solar scaled abundances and withα-element enhancement are presented and compared with predictionsfrom both theoretical computations (Tripicco & Bell; Thomas,Maraston, & Bender; Barbuy et al.) and empirical fitting functions(de Freitas Pacheco). We propose selected combinations of indicescapable of singling out α-enhanced stars without requiringprevious knowledge of their main atmospheric parameters. By applyingthis approach to the 460 stars in the Worthey et al. catalog, wedetected a list of 82 candidate α-enhanced stars. The confirmationof α-enhancement was obtained by searching the literature forindividual element abundance determinations from high-resolutionspectroscopy for a subsample of 34 stars. Preliminary discussion of theproperties of the detected α-enhanced stars with respect to their[Fe/H] values and kinematics is presented.

Further Results of TiO-Band Observations of Starspots
We present measurements of starspot parameters (temperature and fillingfactor) on five highly active stars, using absorption bands of TiO, fromobservations made between 1998 March and 2001 December. We determinedstarspot parameters by fitting TiO bands using spectra of inactive G andK stars as proxies for the unspotted photospheres of the active starsand spectra of M stars as proxies for the spots. For three evolved RSCVn systems, we find spot filling factors between 0.28 and 0.42 for DMUMa, 0.22 and 0.40 for IN Vir, and 0.31 and 0.35 for XX Tri; thesevalues are similar to those found by other investigators usingphotometry and Doppler imaging. Among active dwarfs, we measured a lowerspot temperature (3350 K) for EQ Vir than found in a previous study ofTiO bands, and for EK Dra a lower spot temperature (~3800 K) than foundthrough photometry. For all active stars but XX Tri, we achieved goodphase coverage through a stellar rotational period. We also present ourfinal, extensive grid of spot and nonspot proxy stars.This paper includes data taken at McDonald Observatory of the Universityof Texas at Austin.

Empirically Constrained Color-Temperature Relations. II. uvby
A new grid of theoretical color indices for the Strömgren uvbyphotometric system has been derived from MARCS model atmospheres and SSGsynthetic spectra for cool dwarf and giant stars having-3.0<=[Fe/H]<=+0.5 and 3000<=Teff<=8000 K. Atwarmer temperatures (i.e., 8000-2.0. To overcome thisproblem, the theoretical indices at intermediate and high metallicitieshave been corrected using a set of color calibrations based on fieldstars having well-determined distances from Hipparcos, accurateTeff estimates from the infrared flux method, andspectroscopic [Fe/H] values. In contrast with Paper I, star clustersplayed only a minor role in this analysis in that they provided asupplementary constraint on the color corrections for cool dwarf starswith Teff<=5500 K. They were mainly used to test thecolor-Teff relations and, encouragingly, isochrones thatemploy the transformations derived in this study are able to reproducethe observed CMDs (involving u-v, v-b, and b-y colors) for a number ofopen and globular clusters (including M67, the Hyades, and 47 Tuc)rather well. Moreover, our interpretations of such data are verysimilar, if not identical, with those given in Paper I from aconsideration of BV(RI)C observations for the sameclusters-which provides a compelling argument in support of thecolor-Teff relations that are reported in both studies. Inthe present investigation, we have also analyzed the observedStrömgren photometry for the classic Population II subdwarfs,compared our ``final'' (b-y)-Teff relationship with thosederived empirically in a number of recent studies and examined in somedetail the dependence of the m1 index on [Fe/H].Based, in part, on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope,operated jointly on the island of La Palma by Denmark, Finland, Iceland,Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de losMuchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.Based, in part, on observations obtained with the Danish 1.54 mtelescope at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.

Angular Diameters of Stars from the Mark III Optical Interferometer
Observations of 85 stars were obtained at wavelengths between 451 and800 nm with the Mark III Stellar Interferometer on Mount Wilson, nearPasadena, California. Angular diameters were determined by fitting auniform-disk model to the visibility amplitude versus projected baselinelength. Half the angular diameters determined at 800 nm have formalerrors smaller than 1%. Limb-darkened angular diameters, effectivetemperatures, and surface brightnesses were determined for these stars,and relationships between these parameters are presented. Scatter inthese relationships is larger than would be expected from themeasurement uncertainties. We argue that this scatter is not due to anunderestimate of the angular diameter errors; whether it is due tophotometric errors or is intrinsic to the relationship is unresolved.The agreement with other observations of the same stars at the samewavelengths is good; the width of the difference distribution iscomparable to that estimated from the error bars, but the wings of thedistribution are larger than Gaussian. Comparison with infraredmeasurements is more problematic; in disagreement with models, coolerstars appear systematically smaller in the near-infrared than expected,warmer stars larger.

Catalogue of averaged stellar effective magnetic fields. I. Chemically peculiar A and B type stars
This paper presents the catalogue and the method of determination ofaveraged quadratic effective magnetic fields < B_e > for 596 mainsequence and giant stars. The catalogue is based on measurements of thestellar effective (or mean longitudinal) magnetic field strengths B_e,which were compiled from the existing literature.We analysed the properties of 352 chemically peculiar A and B stars inthe catalogue, including Am, ApSi, He-weak, He-rich, HgMn, ApSrCrEu, andall ApSr type stars. We have found that the number distribution of allchemically peculiar (CP) stars vs. averaged magnetic field strength isdescribed by a decreasing exponential function. Relations of this typehold also for stars of all the analysed subclasses of chemicalpeculiarity. The exponential form of the above distribution function canbreak down below about 100 G, the latter value representingapproximately the resolution of our analysis for A type stars.Table A.1 and its references are only available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/407/631 and Tables 3 to 9are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org

New periodic variables from the Hipparcos epoch photometry
Two selection statistics are used to extract new candidate periodicvariables from the epoch photometry of the Hipparcos catalogue. Theprimary selection criterion is a signal-to-noise ratio. The dependenceof this statistic on the number of observations is calibrated usingabout 30000 randomly permuted Hipparcos data sets. A significance levelof 0.1 per cent is used to extract a first batch of candidate variables.The second criterion requires that the optimal frequency be unaffectedif the data are de-trended by low-order polynomials. We find 2675 newcandidate periodic variables, of which the majority (2082) are from theHipparcos`unsolved' variables. Potential problems with theinterpretation of the data (e.g. aliasing) are discussed.

JHK Standards for Small Telescopes
The AAVSO Futures meeting, held in Madison, WI, in May 2001, proposedthat the AAVSO support near-infrared research with small telescopes. Aphotometer, the SSP-4, has been developed to provide J- and H-bandcapability for a reasonable cost. However, proper calibrated photometryrequires a set of standard stars. This paper describes such a set ofstars, suitable for small telescopes, and with accurate coordinates,proper motions, and high-quality magnitudes.

Search for the General Magnetic Fields in Late-Type Giants
Surface-averaged longitudinal magnetic-field components (by analogy withthe Sun called the general magnetic field) have been measured for 15late-type giants with an accuracy of several Gauss. Statisticallysignificant fields were detected for nine of these stars. Themagnetic-field values obtained suggest the existence of general magneticfields in these giants.

A Study of the Direct Fitting Method for Measurement of Galaxy Velocity Dispersions
We have measured the central stellar velocity dispersions of 33 nearbyspiral and elliptical galaxies, using a straightforward template-fittingalgorithm operating in the pixel domain. The spectra, obtained with theDouble Spectrograph at Palomar Observatory, cover both the Ca tripletand the Mg I b region, and we present a comparison of the velocitydispersion measurements from these two spectral regions. Model fits tothe Ca triplet region generally yield good results, with littlesensitivity to the choice of template star. In contrast, the Mg I bregion is more sensitive to template mismatch and to details of thefitting procedure, such as the order of a polynomial used to match thecontinuum shape of the template to the object. As a consequence of thecorrelation of the [Mg/Fe] ratio with velocity dispersion, it isdifficult to obtain a satisfactory model fit to the Mg I b lines and thesurrounding Fe blends simultaneously, particularly for giant ellipticalgalaxies with large velocity dispersions. We demonstrate that if themetallicities of the galaxy and template star are not well matched, thendirect template-fitting results are improved if the Mg I b linesthemselves are excluded from the fit and the velocity dispersion isdetermined from the surrounding weaker lines.

Measuring starspot temperature from line depth ratios. I. The method
Gray and collaborators have recently demonstrated that line-depth ratiosare a powerful tool for temperature discrimination, able to resolvedifferences <=10 K. The method has been applied to detect temperaturevariations in the 5-15 K range due to activity cycles (e.g. Gray et al.\cite{Gray96a}, \cite{Gray96b}) or to rotation modulation produced bylarge surface features, called ``star-patches", like that detected in xiBoo A by Toner & Gray (\cite{Toner88}). Cool starspots of a fewtenths of the stellar surface produce bumps in a line profile, whichmigrate through the line profile allowing Doppler-imaging in fastrotating stars. In the hypothesis that in slowly-rotating stars thepassage of dark spots produces modulation of the center line depth ofdifferent amount in lines of different sensitivity to temperature, wehave made test observations on three active binaries of the RS CVn type.Based on observations made at the Catania Astrophysical Observatory at aresolution R = 14 000, we show that line-depth ratios can be effectivelyused to determine spot temperatures of active binary systems. Using, onaverage, ten line pairs, selected in the 6100-6300 Å wavelengthrange, with the help of observations of 30 main sequence and giantstars, we have derived a calibration relation of line-depth ratios (LDR)in an absolute temperature scale, taking into account the gravity effectin the calibration relation. Single LDRs converted to temperaturethrough the calibration relations have led to clear rotationalmodulation of the average surface temperature with amplitudes of 177 K,119 K, and 127 K for VY Ari, IM Peg and HK Lac, with average estimatederrors of about 10 K. We show that the observed temperature variationamplitude allows us to define a minimum fractional spotted area coverageas a function of spot-photosphere temperature ratio. Adopting themaximum value of average temperature, determined from the LDRs, as thatof the unspotted photosphere, we computed the average spot temperaturecorresponding to the minimum spot coverage. Although not univocallyconstrained, the temperature difference (Delta T =Tph-Tsp) obtained for the three systems, Delta T =890 K for VY Ari, Delta T = 750 K for IM Peg, and Delta T = 810 K for HKLac, are in good agreement with values derived with other methods. Basedon observations collected at Catania Astrophysical Observatory, Italy.}

Bispectrum speckle interferometry of IRC +10216: The dynamic evolution of the innermost circumstellar environment from 1995 to 2001
We present new near-infrared (JHK) bispectrum speckle-interferometrymonitoring of the carbon star IRC+10216 obtainedbetween 1999 and 2001 with the SAO 6 m telescope. The J-, H-, and K-bandresolutions are 50 mas, 56 mas, and 73 mas, respectively. The totalsequence of K-band observations covers now 8 epochs from 1995 to 2001and shows the dynamic evolution of the inner dust shell. The presentobservations show that the appearance of the dust shell has considerablychanged compared to the epochs of 1995 to 1998. Four main componentswithin a 0\farcs2 radius can be identified in the K-band images. Theapparent separation of the two initially brightest components A and Bincreased from ~ 191 mas in 1995 to ~ 351 mas in 2001. Simultaneously,component B has been fading and almost disappeared in 2000 whereas theinitially faint components C and D became brighter (relative to peakintensity). The changes of the images can be related to changes of theoptical depth caused, for instance, by mass-loss variations or new dustcondensation in the wind. Our recent two-dimensional radiative transfermodel of IRC +10216 suggests that the observedrelative motion of components A and B is not consistent with the outflowof gas and dust at the well-known terminal wind velocity of 15 kms-1. The apparent motion with a deprojected velocity of 19 kms-1 on average and of recently 27 km s-1 appearsto be caused by a displacement of the dust density peak due to dustevaporation in the optically thicker and hotter environment. The presentmonitoring, covering more than 3 pulsation periods, shows that thestructural variations are not related to the stellar pulsation cycle ina simple way. This is consistent with the predictions of hydrodynamicalmodels that enhanced dust formation takes place on a timescale ofseveral pulsation periods. The timescale of the fading of component Bcan well be explained by the formation of new dust in the circumstellarenvelope.

CHARM: A Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements
The Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements (CHARM) includesmost of the measurements obtained by the techniques of lunaroccultations and long-baseline interferometry at visual and infraredwavelengths, which have appeared in the literature or have otherwisebeen made public until mid-2001. A total of 2432 measurements of 1625sources are included, along with extensive auxiliary information. Inparticular, visual and infrared photometry is included for almost allthe sources. This has been partly extracted from currently availablecatalogs, and partly obtained specifically for CHARM. The main aim is toprovide a compilation of sources which could be used as calibrators orfor science verification purposes by the new generation of largeground-based facilities such as the ESO Very Large Interferometer andthe Keck Interferometer. The Catalog is available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/386/492, and from theauthors on CD-Rom.

Comparison of Stellar Angular Diameters from the NPOI, the Mark III Optical Interferometer, and the Infrared Flux Method
The Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) has been used tomeasure the angular diameters of 41 late-type giant and supergiant starspreviously observed with the Mark III optical interferometer. Sixteen ofthese stars have published angular diameters based on model atmospheres(infrared flux method, IRFM). Comparison of these angular diametersshows that there are no systematic offsets between any pair of datasets. Furthermore, the reported uncertainties in the angular diametersmeasured using both interferometers are consistent with the distributionof the differences in the diameters. The distribution of diameterdifferences between the interferometric and model atmosphere angulardiameters are consistent with uncertainties in the IRFM diameters of1.4%. Although large differences in angular diameter measurements areseen for three stars, the data are insufficient to determine whetherthese differences are due to problems with the observations or are dueto temporal changes in the stellar diameters themselves.

On the Wilson-Bappu relationship in the Mg II k line
An investigation is carried out on the Wilson-Bappu effect in the Mg Iik line at 2796.34 Å. The work is based on a selection of 230 starsobserved by both the IUE and HIPPARCOS satellites, covering a wide rangeof spectral types (F to M) and absolute visual magnitudes (-5.4<=MV <=9.0). A semi-automatic procedure is used to measurethe line widths, which applies also in the presence of strong centralabsorption reversal. The Wilson-Bappu relationship here provided isconsidered to represent an improvement over previous recent results forthe considerably larger data sample used, as well as for a properconsideration of the measurement errors. No evidence has been found fora possible dependence of the WB effect on stellar metallicity andeffective temperature.

Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statistics
The Catalogue, available at the Centre de Données Stellaires deStrasbourg, consists of 13 573 records concerning the results obtainedfrom different methods for 7778 stars, reported in the literature. Thefollowing data are listed for each star: identifications, apparentmagnitude, spectral type, apparent diameter in arcsec, absolute radiusin solar units, method of determination, reference, remarks. Commentsand statistics obtained from CADARS are given. The Catalogue isavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcar?J/A+A/367/521

The proper motions of fundamental stars. I. 1535 stars from the Basic FK5
A direct combination of the positions given in the HIPPARCOS cataloguewith astrometric ground-based catalogues having epochs later than 1939allows us to obtain new proper motions for the 1535 stars of the BasicFK5. The results are presented as the catalogue Proper Motions ofFundamental Stars (PMFS), Part I. The median precision of the propermotions is 0.5 mas/year for mu alpha cos delta and 0.7mas/year for mu delta . The non-linear motions of thephotocentres of a few hundred astrometric binaries are separated intotheir linear and elliptic motions. Since the PMFS proper motions do notinclude the information given by the proper motions from othercatalogues (HIPPARCOS, FK5, FK6, etc.) this catalogue can be used as anindependent source of the proper motions of the fundamental stars.Catalogue (Table 3) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strastg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/365/222

Dating Ptolemy's star catalogue through proper motions : the Hipparchan epoch.
Not Available

Rotation and lithium in single giant stars
In the present work, we study the link between rotation and lithiumabundance in giant stars of luminosity class III, on the basis of alarge sample of 309 single stars of spectral type F, G and K. We havefound a trend for a link between the discontinuity in rotation at thespectral type G0III and the behavior of lithium abundances around thesame spectral type. The present work also shows that giant starspresenting the highest lithium contents, typically stars earlier thanG0III, are those with the highest rotation rates, pointing for adependence of lithium content on rotation, as observed for otherluminosity classes. Giant stars later than G0III present, as a rule, thelowest rotation rates and lithium contents. A large spread of about fivemagnitudes in lithium abundance is observed for the slow rotators.Finally, single giant stars with masses 1.5 < M/Msun<=2.5 show a clearest trend for a correlation between rotational velocityand lithium abundance. Based on observations collected at theObservatoire de Haute -- Provence (France) and at the European SouthernObservatory, La Silla (Chile). Table 2 is only available electronicallywith the On-Line publication athttp://link.springer.de/link/service/00230/

The dynamical evolution of the fragmented, bipolar dust shell around the carbon star IRC +10 216 . Rapid changes of a PPN-like structure?
We present high-resolution J-, H-, and K-band observations and the firstH-K color image of the carbon star IRC +10 216. Theimages were reconstructed from 6 m telescope speckle interferogramsusing the bispectrum speckle interferometry method. The H and K imageswith resolutions between 70 mas and 92 mas consist of several compactcomponents within a 0\farcs2 radius and a fainter asymmetric nebula. Thebrightest four components are denoted with A to D in the order ofdecreasing brightness in the 1996 image. A comparison of our images from1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998 gives -- almost like a movie of five frames-- insight into the dynamical evolution of the inner nebula. Forinstance, the separation of the two brightest components A and Bincreased from 191 mas in 1995 to 265 mas in 1998. At the same time,component B is fading and the components C and D become brighter. TheX-shaped bipolar structure of the nebula, most prominently present inthe J-band image, implies an asymmetric mass-loss. Such asymmetries areoften present in protoplanetary nebulae but are unexpected for AGBstars. IRC +10 216 is thus likely to be very advancedin its AGB evolution, shortly before turning into a protoplanetarynebula. The cometary shapes of A in the H and J images and in the 0.79mu m and 1.06 mu m HST images suggest that the core of A is not thecentral star, but the southern lobe of a bipolar structure. The positionof the central star is probably at or near the position of component B,where the H-K color has a value of 4.2. If the star is at or near B,then the components A, C, and D are likely to be located at the innerboundary of the dust shell. Based on observations performed with the 6~mtelecope at the Special Astrophysical Observatory, Russia.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:08h16m30.90s
Apparent magnitude:3.52
Distance:89.047 parsecs
Proper motion RA:-46.8
Proper motion Dec:-49.3
B-T magnitude:5.475
V-T magnitude:3.684

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesTarf
Beta Cancri   (Edit)
Bayerβ Cnc
Flamsteed17 Cnc
HD 1989HD 69267
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 794-1622-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0975-05810848
BSC 1991HR 3249
HIPHIP 40526

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