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Planets and asteroids in the γ Cephei system
The binary star system γ Cephei is unusual in that it harbours astable giant planet around the larger star at a distance only about atenth of that of the stellar separation. Numerical simulations arecarried out into the stability of test particles in the system. Thisprovides possible locations for additional planets and asteroids. Tothis end, the region interior to the planet is investigated in detailand found to permit structured belts of particles. The region betweenthe planet and the secondary star, however, shows almost no stability.The existence of an Edgeworth-Kuiper belt analogue is found to be apossibility beyond 65 au from the barycentre of the system, although itshows almost no structural features. Finally, the region around thesecondary star is studied for the first time. Here, a zone of stabilityis seen out to 1.5 au for a range of inclinations. In addition, a10-Jupiter-mass planet is shown to remain stable about this smallerstar, with the habitability and observational properties of such anobject being discussed.

Two Suns in The Sky: Stellar Multiplicity in Exoplanet Systems
We present results of a reconnaissance for stellar companions to all 131radial velocity-detected candidate extrasolar planetary systems known asof 2005 July 1. Common proper-motion companions were investigated usingthe multiepoch STScI Digitized Sky Surveys and confirmed by matching thetrigonometric parallax distances of the primaries to companion distancesestimated photometrically. We also attempt to confirm or refutecompanions listed in the Washington Double Star Catalog, in the Catalogsof Nearby Stars Series by Gliese and Jahreiß, in Hipparcosresults, and in Duquennoy & Mayor's radial velocity survey. Ourfindings indicate that a lower limit of 30 (23%) of the 131 exoplanetsystems have stellar companions. We report new stellar companions to HD38529 and HD 188015 and a new candidate companion to HD 169830. Weconfirm many previously reported stellar companions, including six starsin five systems, that are recognized for the first time as companions toexoplanet hosts. We have found evidence that 20 entries in theWashington Double Star Catalog are not gravitationally bound companions.At least three (HD 178911, 16 Cyg B, and HD 219449), and possibly five(including HD 41004 and HD 38529), of the exoplanet systems reside intriple-star systems. Three exoplanet systems (GJ 86, HD 41004, andγ Cep) have potentially close-in stellar companions, with planetsat roughly Mercury-Mars distances from the host star and stellarcompanions at projected separations of ~20 AU, similar to the Sun-Uranusdistance. Finally, two of the exoplanet systems contain white dwarfcompanions. This comprehensive assessment of exoplanet systems indicatesthat solar systems are found in a variety of stellar multiplicityenvironments-singles, binaries, and triples-and that planets survive thepost-main-sequence evolution of companion stars.

Catalog of Nearby Exoplanets
We present a catalog of nearby exoplanets. It contains the 172 knownlow-mass companions with orbits established through radial velocity andtransit measurements around stars within 200 pc. We include fivepreviously unpublished exoplanets orbiting the stars HD 11964, HD 66428,HD 99109, HD 107148, and HD 164922. We update orbits for 83 additionalexoplanets, including many whose orbits have not been revised sincetheir announcement, and include radial velocity time series from theLick, Keck, and Anglo-Australian Observatory planet searches. Both thesenew and previously published velocities are more precise here due toimprovements in our data reduction pipeline, which we applied toarchival spectra. We present a brief summary of the global properties ofthe known exoplanets, including their distributions of orbital semimajoraxis, minimum mass, and orbital eccentricity.Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which isoperated jointly by the University of California and the CaliforniaInstitute of Technology. The Keck Observatory was made possible by thegenerous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

On the Use of Line Depth Ratios to Measure Starspot Properties on Magnetically Active Stars
Photometric and spectroscopic techniques have proven to be effectiveways to measure the properties of dark, cool starspots on magneticallyactive stars. Recently, a technique was introduced using atomic linedepth ratios (LDRs) to measure starspot properties. Carefullyreproducing this technique using a new set of spectroscopic observationsof active stars, we find that the LDR technique encounters difficulties,specifically by overestimating spot temperatures (because the atomiclines blend with titanium oxide absorption in cooler spots) and by nottightly constraining the filling factor of spots. While the use of LDRsfor active star studies has great promise, we believe that theseconcerns need to be addressed before the technique is more widelyapplied.This paper includes data taken at McDonald Observatory of the Universityof Texas at Austin.

Dynamical Stability and Habitability of the γ Cephei Binary-Planetary System
It has been suggested that the long-lived residual radial velocityvariations observed in the precision radial velocity measurements of theprimary of γ Cephei (HR 8974, HD 222404, HIP 116727) are likelydue to a Jupiter-like planet orbiting this star. In this paper, thedynamics of this planet is studied, and the possibility of the existenceof a terrestrial planet around its central star is discussed.Simulations, which have been carried out for different values of theeccentricity and semimajor axis of the binary, as well as the orbitalinclination of its Jupiter-like planet, expand on previous studies ofthis system and indicate that, for the values of the binary eccentricitysmaller than 0.5, and for all values of the orbital inclination of theJupiter-like planet ranging from 0° to 40°, the orbit of thisplanet is stable. For larger values of the binary eccentricity, thesystem becomes gradually unstable. Integrations also indicate that,within this range of orbital parameters, a terrestrial planet, such asan Earth-like object, can have a long-term stable orbit only atdistances of 0.3-0.8 AU from the primary star. The habitable zone of theprimary, at a range of approximately 3.05-3.7 AU, is, however, unstable.

Gas Giant Protoplanets Formed by Disk Instability in Binary Star Systems
Gas giant planets have been discovered in binary or triple star systemswith a range of semimajor axes. We present a new suite ofthree-dimensional radiative gravitational hydrodynamics modelssuggesting that binary stars may be quite capable of forming planetarysystems similar to our own. One difference between the new and previouscalculations is the inclusion of artificial viscosity in the previouswork, leading to significant conversion of disk kinetic energy intothermal energy in shock fronts and elsewhere. New models are presentedshowing how vigorous artificial viscosity can help to suppress clumpformation. The new models with binary companions do not employ anyexplicit artificial viscosity and also include the third (vertical)dimension in the hydrodynamic calculations, allowing for transientphases of convective cooling. The new calculations of the evolution ofinitially marginally gravitationally stable disks show that the presenceof a binary star companion may actually help to trigger the formation ofdense clumps that could become giant planets. Earth-like planets wouldform much later in the inner disk regions by the traditional collisionalaccumulation of progressively larger, solid bodies. We also show that inmodels without binary companions, which begin their evolution asgravitationally stable disks, the disks evolve to form dense rings,which then break up into self-gravitating clumps. The latter modelssuggest that the evolution of any self-gravitating disk with sufficientmass to form gas giant planets is likely to lead to a period of diskinstability, even in the absence of a trigger such as a binary starcompanion.

A search for wide visual companions of exoplanet host stars: The Calar Alto Survey
We have carried out a search for co-moving stellar and substellarcompanions around 18 exoplanet host stars with the infrared camera MAGICat the 2.2 m Calar Alto telescope, by comparing our images with imagesfrom the all sky surveys 2MASS, POSS I and II. Four stars of the samplenamely HD 80606, 55 Cnc, HD 46375 and BD-10°3166, arelisted as binaries in the Washington Visual Double Star Catalogue (WDS).The binary nature of HD 80606, 55 Cnc, and HD 46375 is confirmed withboth astrometry as well as photometry, thereby the proper motion of thecompanion of HD 46375 was determined here for the first time. We derivedthe companion masses as well as the longterm stability regions foradditional companions in these three binary systems. We can rule outfurther stellar companions around all stars in the sample with projectedseparations between 270 AU and 2500 AU, being sensitive to substellarcompanions with masses down to ˜ 60 {MJup} (S/N=3).Furthermore we present evidence that the two components of the WDSbinary BD-10°3166 are unrelated stars, i.e this system isa visual pair. The spectrophotometric distance of the primary (a K0dwarf) is ˜ 67 pc, whereas the presumable secondaryBD-10°3166 B (a M4 to M5 dwarf) is located at a distanceof 13 pc in the foreground.

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.

Chemical Composition of the Planet-harboring Star TrES-1
We present a detailed chemical abundance analysis of the parent star ofthe transiting extrasolar planet TrES-1. Based on high-resolution KeckHIRES and Hobby-Eberly Telescope HRS spectra, we have determinedabundances relative to the Sun for 16 elements (Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc,Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Y, and Ba). The resulting averageabundance of <[X/H]>=-0.02+/-0.06 is in good agreement withinitial estimates of solar metallicity based on iron. We compare theelemental abundances of TrES-1 with those of the sample of stars withplanets, searching for possible chemical abundance anomalies. TrES-1appears not to be chemically peculiar in any measurable way. Weinvestigate possible signs of selective accretion of refractory elementsin TrES-1 and other stars with planets and find no statisticallysignificant trends of metallicity [X/H] with condensation temperatureTc. We use published abundances and kinematic information forthe sample of planet-hosting stars (including TrES-1) and severalstatistical indicators to provide an updated classification in terms oftheir likelihood to belong to either the thin disk or the thick disk ofthe Milky Way. TrES-1 is found to be very likely a member of thethin-disk population. By comparing α-element abundances of planethosts and a large control sample of field stars, we also find thatmetal-rich ([Fe/H]>~0.0) stars with planets appear to besystematically underabundant in [α/Fe] by ~0.1 dex with respect tocomparison field stars. The reason for this signature is unclear, butsystematic differences in the analysis procedures adopted by differentgroups cannot be ruled out.

Newly discovered active binaries in the RasTyc sample of stellar X-ray sources. I. Orbital and physical parameters of six new binaries
We present the first results from follow-up optical observations, bothphotometric and spectroscopic, of stellar X-ray sources, selected fromthe RasTyc sample, resulting from the cross-correlation of ROSAT All-SkySurvey (RASS) and TYCHO catalogues. In particular, we report on thediscovery of six late-type binaries, for which we obtained good radialvelocity curves and solved their orbits. We performed an automaticspectral classification of both single-lined and double-lined binarieswith codes developed by us and found two binaries composed of twomain-sequence stars and four binaries with an evolved (giant orsubgiant) component. Filled-in or pure emission Hα profilesindicative of a moderate or high level of chromospheric activity wereobserved. In nearly all the systems, we also detected a photometricmodulation ascribable to surface inhomogeneities that is correlated withthe orbital period, suggesting a synchronization between rotational andorbital periods. The position on the HR diagram of the components of thefive sources with a known parallax indicates three binaries containingonly main-sequence stars and two single-lined systems with a giantcomponent. The kinematical properties of two, or possibly four, of theobserved systems are consistent with a young disk population.

Extended envelopes around Galactic Cepheids. II. Polaris and δ Cephei from near-infrared interferometry with CHARA/FLUOR
We present the results of long-baseline interferometric observations ofthe classical Cepheids Polaris and δ Cep in the near infrared K'band (1.9-2.3 μm), using the FLUOR instrument of the CHARA Array.Following our previous detection of a circumstellar envelope (CSE)around ℓ Car (Kervella et al. 2006), we report similar detectionsaround Polaris and δ Cep. Owing to the large data set acquired onPolaris, in both the first and second lobes of visibility function, wehave detected the presence of a circum-stellar envelope (CSE), locatedat 2.4±0.1 stellar radii, accounting for 1.5±0.4% of thestellar flux in the K band. A similar model is applied to the δCep data, which shows improved agreement compared to a model withoutCSE. Finally, we find that the bias in estimating the angular diameterof δ Cep in the framework of the Baade-Wesselink method(Mérand et al 2005b) is of the order of 1% or less in the K band.A complete study of the influence of the CSE is proposed in thiscontext, showing that at the optimum baseline for angular diametervariation detection, the bias is of the order of the formal precision inthe determination of the δ Cep pulsation amplitude (1.6%).

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.

Can stellar wobble in triple systems mimic a planet?
The first extrasolar planets were detected by the measurement of thewobble of the parent star. This wobble leads to the periodic modulationof three observables: the radial velocity, the position on the sky andthe time of arrival of periodic signals. We show that the same wobble,and therefore the same modulation of the three observables, can be dueto the presence of a more distant binary stellar companion. Thus, the observation of the wobble does not, by itself, constitute a proof of aplanet detection. In particular, astrometric confirmation of a wobbledoes not necessarily provide a sufficient proof of the existence of aplanet candidate detected by radial velocity. Additional conditions,which we discuss here, must be fulfilled. We investigate the observedwobble for the planet candidates already detected and we find that, foreach case, a wobble due to a binary stellar companion can beexcluded.
However, for apparent Saturn-like planets in wideorbits, there may be an ambiguity in future detections, especially inspaceborne astrometric missions. We conclude that, in some cases, adefinitive proof of the presence of a planet requires furtherobservations such as direct imaging.

The Hunt for Extrasolar Planets at McDonald Observatory
Currently every major telescope at McDonald Observatory is utilized inthe search for extrasolar planets. We review the different planet searchefforts and present the results of these programs. In particular wedescribe in detail the on-going precise Doppler surveys at the Harlan J.Smith 2.7 m telescope and at the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). Thehighlight of the HET program was last year's discovery of a "HotNeptune" in the ρ planetary system. With a mass of only 17 Earthmasses this object demonstrates our ability to detect extrasolar planetswith masses below the gas giant range.

Shapes of Spectral Line Bisectors for Cool Stars
The shape of the line bisector for the prototype spectral line Fe Iλ6253 was measured for an array of 54 stars on the cool half ofthe HR diagram. These bisectors are given in tables along with theirerrors. The classic C shape is shown by only a rather restricted rangein effective temperature and luminosity. The detailed change in bisectorshape with effective temperature and luminosity is documented moreprecisely than in previous work. The most blueward point on the bisectorchanges its height systematically with luminosity and can be used as aluminosity or gravity discriminant. The wide range of bisector shapescontains significant information about the velocity fields in theatmospheres of these stars, but extracting that information may requireextensive modeling.

An extrasolar giant planet in a close triple-star system
Hot Jupiters are gas-giant planets orbiting with periods of 3-9 daysaround Sun-like stars. They are believed to form in a disk of gas andcondensed matter at or beyond ~2.7 astronomical units (AU-the Sun-Earthdistance) from their parent star. At such distances, there exists asufficient amount of solid material to produce a core capable ofcapturing enough gas to form a giant planet. Subsequently, they migrateinward to their present close orbits. Here I report the detection of anunusual hot Jupiter orbiting the primary star of a triple stellarsystem, HD 188753. The planet has an orbital period of 3.35 days and aminimum mass of 1.14 times that of Jupiter. The primary star's mass is1.06 times that of the Sun, 1.06Msolar. The secondary star,itself a binary stellar system, orbits the primary at an averagedistance of 12.3AU with an eccentricity of 0.50. The mass of thesecondary pair is 1.63Msolar. Such a close and massivesecondary would have truncated a disk around the primary to a radius ofonly ~1.3AU (ref. 4) and might have heated it up to temperatures highenough to prohibit giant-planet formation, leaving the origin of thisplanet unclear.

Gl86B: a white dwarf orbits an exoplanet host star
In this Letter we present our first high-contrast observations of theexoplanet host star Gl86 using NAOS-CONICA (NACO) and its newSimultaneous Differential Imager (SDI) as well as results from NACOspectroscopy. Els et al. found a faint comoving companion located only~2 arcsec east of the exoplanet host star Gl86A. Our high-contrast SDIobservations rule out additional stellar companions from 1 au up to 23au, and are sensitive for faint T-dwarf companions down to 35MJup. We present evidence for orbital motion of Gl86B aroundthe exoplanet host star Gl86A, which finally confirms that this is abound binary system. With the given photometry from Els et al. and theNACO spectroscopy obtained, we prove that the companion Gl86B is a coolwhite dwarf with an effective temperature of 5000 +/- 500 K. This is thefirst confirmed white dwarf companion to an exoplanet host star and thefirst observational confirmation that planets survive thepost-main-sequence evolution (giant phase and planetary nebula) of astar from which they are separated by only one to two dozen astronomicalunits, as expected from theory.

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.

Cluster Origin of the Triple Star HD 188753 and Its Planet
The recent discovery by M. Konacki of a ``hot Jupiter'' in thehierarchical triple star system HD 188753 challenges establishedtheories of giant planet formation. If the orbital geometry of thetriple has not changed since the birth of the planet, then a disk aroundthe planetary host star would probably have been too compact and too hotfor a Jovian planet to form by the core accretion model or gravitationalcollapse. This paradox is resolved if the star was initially eithersingle or had a much more distant companion. It is suggested here that aclose multistar dynamical encounter transformed this initial state intothe observed triple, an idea that follows naturally if HD 188753 formedin a moderately dense stellar system-perhaps an open cluster-that hassince dissolved. Three distinct types of encounters are investigated.The most robust scenario involves an initially single planetary hoststar that changes places with the outlying member of a preexistinghierarchical triple.

Can Life Develop in the Expanded Habitable Zones around Red Giant Stars?
We present some new ideas about the possibility of life developingaround subgiant and red giant stars. Our study concerns the temporalevolution of the habitable zone. The distance between the star and thehabitable zone, as well as its width, increases with time as aconsequence of stellar evolution. The habitable zone moves outward afterthe star leaves the main sequence, sweeping a wider range of distancesfrom the star until the star reaches the tip of the asymptotic giantbranch. Currently there is no clear evidence as to when life actuallyformed on the Earth, but recent isotopic data suggest life existed atleast as early as 7×108 yr after the Earth was formed.Thus, if life could form and evolve over time intervals from5×108 to 109 yr, then there could behabitable planets with life around red giant stars. For a 1Msolar star at the first stages of its post-main-sequenceevolution, the temporal transit of the habitable zone is estimated to beseveral times 109 yr at 2 AU and around 108 yr at9 AU. Under these circumstances life could develop at distances in therange 2-9 AU in the environment of subgiant or giant stars, and in thefar distant future in the environment of our own solar system. After astar completes its first ascent along the red giant branch and the Heflash takes place, there is an additional stable period of quiescent Hecore burning during which there is another opportunity for life todevelop. For a 1 Msolar star there is an additional109 yr with a stable habitable zone in the region from 7 to22 AU. Space astronomy missions, such as proposed for the TerrestrialPlanet Finder (TPF) and Darwin, that focus on searches for signatures oflife on extrasolar planets, should also consider the environments ofsubgiants and red giant stars as potentially interesting sites forunderstanding the development of life. We performed a preliminaryevaluation of the difficulty of interferometric observations of planetsaround red giant stars compared to a main-sequence star environment. Weshow that pathfinder missions for TPF and Darwin, such as Eclipse andFKSI, have sufficient angular resolution and sensitivity to search forhabitable planets around some of the closest evolved stars of thesubgiant and red giant class.

Prospects for Habitable ``Earths'' in Known Exoplanetary Systems
We have examined whether putative Earth-mass planets could remainconfined to the habitable zones (HZs) of the 111 exoplanetary systemsconfirmed by 2004 August. We find that in about half of these systemsthere could be confinement for at least the past 1000 Myr, though insome cases only in variously restricted regions of the HZ. The HZmigrates outward during the main-sequence lifetime, and we find that inabout two-thirds of the systems an Earth-mass planet could be confinedto the HZ for at least 1000 Myr sometime during the main-sequencelifetime. Clearly, these systems should be high on the target list forexploration for terrestrial planets. We have reached our conclusions bydetailed investigations of seven systems, which has resulted in anestimate of the distance from the giant planet within which orbitalstability is unlikely for an Earth-mass planet. This distance is givenby nRH, where RH is the Hill radius of the giantplanet and n is a multiplier that depends on the giant's orbitaleccentricity and on whether the Earth-mass planet is interior orexterior to the giant planet. We have estimated n for each of the sevensystems by launching Earth-mass planets in various orbits and followingtheir fate with a hybrid orbital integrator. We have then evaluated thehabitability of the other exoplanetary systems using nRHderived from the giant's orbital eccentricity without carrying outtime-consuming orbital integrations. A stellar evolution model has beenused to obtain the HZs throughout the main-sequence lifetime.

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).

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.

On the ages of exoplanet host stars
We obtained spectra, covering the CaII H and K region, for 49 exoplanethost (EH) stars, observable from the southern hemisphere. We measuredthe chromospheric activity index, R'{_HK}. We compiled previouslypublished values of this index for the observed objects as well as theremaining EH stars in an effort to better smooth temporal variations andderive a more representative value of the average chromospheric activityfor each object. We used the average index to obtain ages for the groupof EH stars. In addition we applied other methods, such as: Isochrone,lithium abundance, metallicity and transverse velocity dispersions, tocompare with the chromospheric results. The kinematic method is a lessreliable age estimator because EH stars lie red-ward of Parenago'sdiscontinuity in the transverse velocity dispersion vs dereddened B-Vdiagram. The chromospheric and isochrone techniques give median ages of5.2 and 7.4 Gyr, respectively, with a dispersion of 4 Gyr. The medianage of F and G EH stars derived by the isochrone technique is 1-2 Gyrolder than that of identical spectral type nearby stars not known to beassociated with planets. However, the dispersion in both cases is large,about 2-4 Gyr. We searched for correlations between the chromosphericand isochrone ages and L_IR/L* (the excess over the stellarluminosity) and the metallicity of the EH stars. No clear tendency isfound in the first case, whereas the metallicy dispersion seems toslightly increase with age.

Astrometric orbits of SB^9 stars
Hipparcos Intermediate Astrometric Data (IAD) have been used to deriveastrometric orbital elements for spectroscopic binaries from the newlyreleased Ninth Catalogue of Spectroscopic Binary Orbits(SB^9). This endeavour is justified by the fact that (i) theastrometric orbital motion is often difficult to detect without theprior knowledge of the spectroscopic orbital elements, and (ii) suchknowledge was not available at the time of the construction of theHipparcos Catalogue for the spectroscopic binaries which were recentlyadded to the SB^9 catalogue. Among the 1374 binaries fromSB^9 which have an HIP entry (excluding binaries with visualcompanions, or DMSA/C in the Double and Multiple Stars Annex), 282 havedetectable orbital astrometric motion (at the 5% significance level).Among those, only 70 have astrometric orbital elements that are reliablydetermined (according to specific statistical tests), and for the firsttime for 20 systems. This represents a 8.5% increase of the number ofastrometric systems with known orbital elements (The Double and MultipleSystems Annex contains 235 of those DMSA/O systems). The detection ofthe astrometric orbital motion when the Hipparcos IAD are supplementedby the spectroscopic orbital elements is close to 100% for binaries withonly one visible component, provided that the period is in the 50-1000 drange and the parallax is >5 mas. This result is an interestingtestbed to guide the choice of algorithms and statistical tests to beused in the search for astrometric binaries during the forthcoming ESAGaia mission. Finally, orbital inclinations provided by the presentanalysis have been used to derive several astrophysical quantities. Forinstance, 29 among the 70 systems with reliable astrometric orbitalelements involve main sequence stars for which the companion mass couldbe derived. Some interesting conclusions may be drawn from this new setof stellar masses, like the enigmatic nature of the companion to theHyades F dwarf HIP 20935. This system has a mass ratio of 0.98 but thecompanion remains elusive.

Sulphur abundance in Galactic stars
We investigate sulphur abundance in 74 Galactic stars by using highresolution spectra obtained at ESO VLT and NTT telescopes. For the firsttime the abundances are derived, where possible, from three opticalmultiplets: Mult. 1, 6, and 8. By combining our own measurements withdata in the literature we assemble a sample of 253 stars in themetallicity range -3.2  [Fe/H]  +0.5. Two important features,which could hardly be detected in smaller samples, are obvious from thislarge sample: 1) a sizeable scatter in [S/Fe] ratios around [Fe/H]˜-1; 2) at low metallicities we observe stars with [S/Fe]˜ 0.4, aswell as stars with higher [S/Fe] ratios. The latter do not seem to bekinematically different from the former ones. Whether the latter findingstems from a distinct population of metal-poor stars or simply from anincreased scatter in sulphur abundances remains an open question.

Abundances of Na, Mg and Al in stars with giant planets
We present Na, Mg and Al abundances in a set of 98 stars with knowngiant planets, and in a comparison sample of 41 “single”stars. The results show that the [X/H] abundances (with X = Na, Mg andAl) are, on average, higher in stars with giant planets, a resultsimilar to the one found for iron. However, we did not find any strongdifference in the [X/Fe] ratios, for a fixed [Fe/H], between the twosamples of stars in the region where the samples overlap. The data wasused to study the Galactic chemical evolution trends for Na, Mg and Aland to discuss the possible influence of planets on this evolution. Theresults, similar to those obtained by other authors, show that the[X/Fe] ratios all decrease as a function of metallicity up to solarvalues. While for Mg and Al this trend then becomes relatively constant,for Na we find indications of an upturn up to [Fe/H] values close to0.25 dex. For metallicities above this value the [Na/Fe] becomesconstant.

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.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:23h39m20.80s
Apparent magnitude:3.21
Distance:13.793 parsecs
Proper motion RA:-67.9
Proper motion Dec:142.6
B-T magnitude:4.529
V-T magnitude:3.322

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesAlrai
Errai, Er Rai   (Edit)
Bayerγ Cep
Flamsteed35 Cep
HD 1989HD 222404
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 4606-3584-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 1650-02820313
BSC 1991HR 8974
HIPHIP 116727

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