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Atmospheric Scintillation at Dome C, Antarctica: Implications for Photometryand Astrometry
We present low-resolution turbulence profiles of the atmosphere aboveDome C, Antarctica, measured with the MASS instrument during 25 nightsin 2004 March-May. Except for the lowest layer, Dome C has significantlyless turbulence than Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón. Inparticular, the integrated turbulence at 16 km is always less than themedian values at the two Chilean sites. From these profiles we evaluatethe photometric noise produced by scintillation, and the atmosphericcontribution to the error budget in narrow-angle differentialastrometry. In comparison with the two midlatitude sites in Chile, DomeC offers a potential gain of about 3.6 in both photometric precision(for long integrations) and narrow-angle astrometry precision. Thesegain estimates are preliminary, being computed with average wind-speedprofiles, but the validity of our approach is confirmed by independentdata. Although the data from Dome C cover a fairly limited time frame,they lend strong support to expectations that Dome C will offersignificant advantages for photometric and astrometric studies.

Discovery of magnetic fields in the βCephei star ξ1 CMa and in several slowly pulsating B stars*
We present the results of a magnetic survey of a sample of eightβCephei stars and 26 slowly pulsating B (SPBs) stars with the FOcalReducer low dispersion Spectrograph at the Very Large Telescope. A weakmean longitudinal magnetic field of the order of a few hundred Gauss isdetected in the βCephei star ξ1CMa and in 13 SPBstars. The star ξ1CMa becomes the third magnetic staramong the βCephei stars. Before our study, the star ζCas wasthe only known magnetic SPB star. All magnetic SPB stars for which wegathered several magnetic field measurements show a field that varies intime. We do not find a relation between the evolution of the magneticfield with stellar age in our small sample. Our observations imply thatβCephei and SPB stars can no longer be considered as classes ofnon-magnetic pulsators, but the effect of the fields on the oscillationproperties remains to be studied.

Computed Hβ indices from ATLAS9 model atmospheres
Aims.Grids of Hβ indices based on updated (new-ODF) ATLAS9 modelatmospheres were computed for solar and scaled solar metallicities[+0.5], [+0.2], [0.0], [ -0.5] , [ -1.0] , [ -1.5] , [ -2.0] , [ -2.5]and for α enhanced compositions [+0.5a], [0.0a], [ -0.5a] , [-1.0a] , [ -1.5a] , [ -2.0a] , [ -2.5a] , and [ -4.0a] . Methods:.Indices for T_eff > 5000 K were computed with the same methods asdescribed by Lester et al. (1986, LGK86) except for a differentnormalization of the computed natural system to the standard system.LGK86 used special ODFs to compute the fluxes. For T_eff ≤ 5000 K wecomputed the fluxes using the synthetic spectrum method. In order toassess the accuracy of the computed indices comparisons were made withthe indices computed by Smalley & Dworetsky (1995, A&A, 293,446, MD95) and with the empirical relations T_eff-Hβ given byAlonso et al. (1996, A&A, 313, 873) for several metallicities.Furthermore, for cool stars, temperatures inferred from the computedindices were compared with those of the fundamental stars listed byMD95. The same kind of comparison was made between gravities for B-typestars. Results: .The temperatures from the computed indices are ingood agreement, within the error limits, with the literature values for4750 K ≤ T_eff ≤ 8000 K, while the gravities agree for T_eff> 9000 K. The computed Hβ indices for the Sun and for Procyonare very close to the observed values. The comparison between theobserved and computed Hβ indices as function of the observedHβ has shown a very small trend which almost completely disappearswhen only stars hotter than 10 000 K are considered. The trend due tothe cool stars is probably related with the low accuracy of thefundamental T_eff which are affected by large errors for most of thestars.

A high-resolution spectroscopy survey of β Cephei pulsations in bright stars
We present a study of absorption line-profile variations in early-B typenear-main-sequence stars without emission lines. We have surveyed atotal of 171 bright stars using the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOTSA),William Herschel Telescope (ING) and Coudé Auxiliary Telescope(ESO). Our sample contains 75% of all O9.5-B2.5 III-V non-emission-linestars brighter than 5.5 mag. We obtained high signal-to-noise,high-resolution spectra of the SiIII λ4560 triplet - for 125stars of our sample we obtained more than one spectrum - and examinedthese for pulsational-like line-profile variations and/or structure. Weconclude that about half of our sample stars show evidence forline-profile variations (LPV). We find evidence for LPV in about 65% ofour sample stars brighter than V=5.5. For stars with rotationalbroadening V sin i ˜100 km s-1, we find evidence for LPVin about 75% of the cases. We argue that it is likely that these LPV areof pulsational origin, and that hence more than half of thesolar-neighbourhood O9.5-B2.5 III-V stars is pulsating in modes that canbe detected with high-resolution spectroscopy. We detected LPV in 64stars previously unknown to be pulsators, and label these stars as newβ Cep candidates. We conclude that there is no obvious differencein incidence of (pulsational) LPV for early-B type near-main-sequencestars in binaries or in OB associations, with respect to single fieldstars.

Radial velocity measurements of B stars in the Scorpius-Centaurus association
We derive single-epoch radial velocities for a sample of 56 B-type starsmembers of the subgroups Upper Scorpius, Upper Centaurus Lupus and LowerCentaurus Crux of the nearby Sco-Cen OB association. The radial velocitymeasurements were obtained by means of high-resolution echelle spectravia analysis of individual lines. The internal accuracy obtained in themeasurements is estimated to be typically 2-3 km s-1, butdepends on the projected rotational velocity of the target. Radialvelocity measurements taken for 2-3 epochs for the targets HD 120307, HD142990 and HD 139365 are variable and confirm that they arespectroscopic binaries, as previously identified in the literature.Spectral lines from two stellar components are resolved in the observedspectra of target stars HD 133242, HD 133955 and HD 143018, identifyingthem as spectroscopic binaries.

Atlas and Catalog of Dark Clouds Based on Digitized Sky Survey I
We present a quantitative atlas and catalog of dark clouds derived byusing the optical database ``Digitized Sky Survey I''. Applying atraditional star-count technique to 1043 plates contained in thedatabase, we produced an AV map covering the entire region inthe galactic latitude range |b| ≤ 40°. The map was drawn at twodifferent angular resolutions of 6' and 18', and is shown in detail in aseries of figures in this paper. Based on the AV map, weidentified 2448 dark clouds and 2841 clumps located inside them. Somephysical parameters, such as the position, extent, and opticalextinction, were measured for each of the clouds and clumps. We alsosearched for counterparts among already known dark clouds in theliterature. The catalog of dark clouds presented in this paper lists thecloud parameters as well as the counterparts.

An asteroseismic study of the β Cephei star θ Ophiuchi: spectroscopic results
We present the results of a detailed analysis of 121 ground-basedhigh-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio spectroscopic measurementsspread over 3 yr for the β Cephei star θ Ophiuchi. Wediscovered θ Oph to be a triple system. In addition to thealready known speckle B5 companion of the B2 primary, we showed thepresence of a low-mass spectroscopic companion and we derived an orbitalperiod of 56.71 d with an eccentricity of 0.1670. After removing theorbit we determined two frequencies for the primary in the residualradial velocities: f1= 7.1160 cd-1 andf2= 7.4676 cd-1. We also found the presence off3= 7.3696 cd-1 by means of a two-dimensionalfrequency search across the SiIII 4567-Åprofiles. We identifiedthe m-value of the main mode with frequency f1 by taking intoaccount the photometric identifications of the degrees l. By means ofthe moment method and the amplitude and phase variations across the lineprofile, we derived (l1, m1) = (2, -1). Thisresult allows us to fix the mode identifications of the whole quintupletfor which three components were detected in photometry. This is ofparticular use for our forthcoming seismic modelling of the primary. Wealso determined stellar parameters of the primary by non-localthermodynamic equilibrium hydrogen, helium and silicon line profilefitting and we obtained Teff= 24000 K and logg= 4.1, which isconsistent with photometrically determined values.

Catalog of Galactic β Cephei Stars
We present an extensive and up-to-date catalog of Galactic β Cepheistars. This catalog is intended to give a comprehensive overview ofobservational characteristics of all known β Cephei stars, coveringinformation until 2004 June. Ninety-three stars could be confirmed to beβ Cephei stars. We use data from more than 250 papers publishedover the last nearly 100 years, and we provide over 45 notes onindividual stars. For some stars we reanalyzed published data orconducted our own analyses. Sixty-one stars were rejected from the finalβ Cephei list, and 77 stars are suspected to be β Cepheistars. A list of critically selected pulsation frequencies for confirmedβ Cephei stars is also presented.We analyze the β Cephei stars as a group, such as the distributionsof their spectral types, projected rotational velocities, radialvelocities, pulsation periods, and Galactic coordinates. We confirm thatthe majority of the β Cephei stars are multiperiodic pulsators. Weshow that, besides two exceptions, the β Cephei stars with highpulsation amplitudes are slow rotators. Those higher amplitude starshave angular rotational velocities in the same range as thehigh-amplitude δ Scuti stars (Prot>~3 days).We construct a theoretical HR diagram that suggests that almost all 93β Cephei stars are main-sequence objects. We discuss theobservational boundaries of β Cephei pulsation and the physicalparameters of the stars. We corroborate that the excited pulsation modesare near to the radial fundamental mode in frequency and we show thatthe mass distribution of the stars peaks at 12 Msolar. Wepoint out that the theoretical instability strip of the β Cepheistars is filled neither at the cool nor at the hot end and attempt toexplain this observation.

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).

Metallicity of mono- and multiperiodic β Cephei stars
Analyzing IUE ultraviolet spectra of β Cep pulsating stars wenoticed that multiperiodic variables have a larger mean metal abundancein the photosphere, [ m/H] , than monoperiodic ones. We applystatistical tests to verify this dichotomy. We obtain that, with a largeprobability, the multiperiodic β Cep stars have greater values of [m/H] . This result is consistent with the linear non-adiabatic theory ofpulsation of early B-type stars.

Metallicities of the β Cephei stars from low-resolution ultraviolet spectra
We derive basic stellar parameters (angular diameters, effectivetemperatures, metallicities) and interstellar reddening for all βCephei stars observed during the IUE satellite mission, including thosebelonging to three open clusters. The parameters are derived by means ofan algorithmic procedure of fitting theoretical flux distributions tothe low-resolution IUE spectra and ground-based spectrophotometricobservations. Since the metallicity has a special importance forpulsating B-type stars, we focus our attention in particular on thisparameter.Tables 1, 2, 4 and 5 are 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

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.

Modelling of dust scattering toward the Coalsack
Murthy, Henry & Holberg discovered intense far-ultraviolet (FUV)(λλ912-1600) emission from the direction of the Coalsackmolecular cloud 10 years ago. We have used their results in conjunctionwith a Monte Carlo model for the scattering in the region to show thatthe scattering is from dust in the foreground of the Coalsack. Thealbedo of the grains is 0.4 +/- 0.2. This is one of the fewdeterminations of the albedo of dust in the diffuse interstellar mediumin the FUV.

Asteroseismology of the β Cephei star ν Eridani - III. Extended frequency analysis and mode identification
Using the large photometric and spectroscopic data sets of the νEridani multisite campaign given in our two recent papers (Aerts et al.and Handler et al.), we present an extended frequency analysis and aphotometric mode identification. For the extended frequency analysis, weused an improved radial velocity time series, the second-moment timeseries and the line profiles themselves. In the radial velocity timeseries, we can now detect an additional pulsation frequency that waspreviously only found in photometric time series. We also report severalnew candidate pulsation frequencies. For seven frequencies, thephotometric mode identification indicates that they belong to a radialmode and six dipole modes, and for three frequencies the degree l couldnot be unambiguously determined. We also placed ν Eri in theHertzsprung-Russell diagram by determining Teff using Genevaplus Strömgren photometric calibrations, spectral energydistribution fitting, by non-local thermodynamic equilibrium hydrogen,helium and silicon line profile fitting, and by determininglog(L/Lsolar) using the Hipparcos parallax and an Hβcalibration.

Asteroseismology of the β Cephei star ν Eridani - II. Spectroscopic observations and pulsational frequency analysis
We undertook a multisite spectroscopic campaign for the β Cepheistar ν Eridani. A total of 2294 high-resolution spectra were obtainedfrom telescopes at 11 different observatories around the world. The timebase of dedicated multisite observations is 88 d. To this data set wehave added 148 older, previously unpublished spectra, such that theoverall time-span of the 2442 spectra is 430 d. The analysis of theradial velocity variations derived from the SiIII triplet centred on4560Å leads to 19 significant frequencies, of which sevencorrespond to independent pulsation frequencies. Five of these aremembers of multiplets with an average spacing of 0.018 +/- 0.002cd-1. Our spectroscopic results agree well with those derivedfrom a simultaneous multisite photometric campaign of the star, albeitthat we do not recover their low frequency at 0.43218 cd-1.We find three different candidate frequencies below 1 cd-1instead. We also find that the radial velocity amplitude of the mainmode has increased by some 30 per cent over the last 15 years, which isconsistent with the photometry data. We derive a relative equivalentwidth variation of 6.5 per cent, which is completely dominated by themain radial mode. The phase difference between the radial velocity andlight variations for the main frequency is , which is clearly deviantfrom the adiabatic value and confirms the radial nature of the dominantmode. The spectral line broadening leads to an upper limit of 20 kms-1 for vsini, which is consistent with the long rotationperiod derived from the frequency splittings.

Classification of Spectra from the Infrared Space Observatory PHT-S Database
We have classified over 1500 infrared spectra obtained with the PHT-Sspectrometer aboard the Infrared Space Observatory according to thesystem developed for the Short Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) spectra byKraemer et al. The majority of these spectra contribute to subclassesthat are either underrepresented in the SWS spectral database or containsources that are too faint, such as M dwarfs, to have been observed byeither the SWS or the Infrared Astronomical Satellite Low ResolutionSpectrometer. There is strong overall agreement about the chemistry ofobjects observed with both instruments. Discrepancies can usually betraced to the different wavelength ranges and sensitivities of theinstruments. Finally, a large subset of the observations (~=250 spectra)exhibit a featureless, red continuum that is consistent with emissionfrom zodiacal dust and suggest directions for further analysis of thisserendipitous measurement of the zodiacal background.Based on observations with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), aEuropean Space Agency (ESA) project with instruments funded by ESAMember States (especially the Principle Investigator countries: France,Germany, Netherlands, and United Kingdom) and with the participation ofthe Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

J - K DENIS photometry of a VLTI-selected sample of bright southern stars
We present a photometric survey of bright southern stars carried outusing the DENIS instrument equipped with attenuating filters. Theobservations were carried out not using the survey mode of DENIS, butwith individual target pointings. This project was stimulated by theneed to obtain near-infrared photometry of stars to be used in earlycommissioning observations of the ESO Very Large TelescopeInterferometer, and in particular to establish a network of brightcalibrator sources.We stress that near-infrared photometry is peculiarly lacking for manybright stars. These stars are saturated in 2MASS as well as in regularDENIS observations. The only other observations available for brightinfrared stars are those of the Two Micron Sky Survey dating from overthirty years ago. These were restricted to declinations above≈-30°, and thus cover only about half of the sky accessible fromthe VLTI site.We note that the final 2MASS data release includes photometry of brightstars, obtained by means of point-spread function fitting. However, thismethod only achieves about 30% accuracy, which is not sufficient formost applications.In this work, we present photometry for over 600 stars, each with atleast one and up to eight measurements, in the J and K filters. Typicalaccuracy is at the level of 0\fm05 and 0\fm04 in the J and K_s bands,respectively.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla.Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/413/1037

β Cep stars from a spectroscopic point of view
In this review we present the current status of line-profile-variationstudies of β Cep stars. Such studies have been performed for 26bright members of this class of pulsating stars in the past 25 years. Wedescribe all these currently available data and summarize theinterpretations based on them in terms of the excited pulsation modes.We emphasize that line-profile variations offer a much more detailedpicture of the pulsational behaviour of pulsating stars compared toground-based photometric data. The latter, however, remain necessary tounravel the often complex frequency pattern and to achieve unambiguousmode identification for multiperiodic β Cep stars and also toderive the pulsational properties of the faint members of the class. Wehighlight the statistical properties of the sample of 26 stars for whichaccurate spectroscopic studies are available and point out some futureprospects.

Understanding the High-Resolution X-Ray Spectra of Early-Type Stars
Not Available

Interstellar Silicon Abundance
We present 34 measurements of silicon gas phase column densities in theinterstellar medium. We have used spectra containing the SiII 1808 Angline which were obtained with the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph(GHRS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Extinction curveparameters are determined for analyzed lines of sight and relationbetween Si/H ratio and extinction parameters is discussed. We find theabundance of gas phase silicon in diffuse clouds to be lower than thesolar value by a factor of four.

Formation scenarios for the young stellar associations between galactic longitudes l = 280degr - 360degr
We investigate the spatial distribution, the space velocities and agedistribution of the pre-main sequence (PMS) stars belonging toOphiuchus, Lupus and Chamaeleon star-forming regions (SFRs), and of theyoung early-type star members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association.These young stellar associations extend over the galactic longituderange from 280degr to 360degr , and are at a distance interval ofaround 100 and 200 pc. This study is based on a compilation ofdistances, proper motions and radial velocities from the literature forthe kinematic properties, and of basic stellar data for the constructionof Hertzsprung-Russel diagrams. Although there was no well-known OBassociation in Chamaeleon, the distances and the proper motions of agroup of 21 B- and A-type stars, taken from the Hipparcos Catalogue,lead us to propose that they form a young association. We show that theyoung early-type stars of the OB associations and the PMS stars of theSFRs follow a similar spatial distribution, i.e., there is no separationbetween the low and the high-mass young stars. We find no difference inthe kinematics nor in the ages of these two populations studied.Considering not only the stars selected by kinematic criteria but thewhole sample of young early-type stars, the scattering of their propermotions is similar to that of the PMS stars and all the young starsexhibit a common direction of motion. The space velocities of theHipparcos PMS stars of each SFR are compatible with the mean values ofthe OB associations. The PMS stars in each SFR span a wide range of ages(from 1 to 20 Myr). The ages of the OB subgroups are 8-10 Myr for UpperScorpius (US), and 16-20 Myr for Upper Centaurus Lupus (UCL) and forLower Centaurus Crux (LCC). Thus, our results do not confirm that UCL isolder than the LCC association. Based on these results and theuncertainties associated with the age determination, we cannot say thatthere is indeed a difference in the age of the two populations. Weanalyze the different scenarios for the triggering of large-scalestar-formation that have been proposed up to now, and argue that mostprobably we are observing a spiral arm that passes close to the Sun. Thealignment of young stars and molecular clouds and the average velocityof the stars in the opposite direction to the Galactic rotation agreewith the expected behavior of star formation in nearby spiral arms.Tables 1 to 4 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/404/913

Spectroscopic mode identification for the beta Cephei star EN (16) Lacertae
We perform for the first time spectroscopic mode identification in theeclipsing binary beta Cephei star EN (16) Lac. This mode identificationis based upon a time series of 942 line profiles of the He I lambdalambda 6678 Åline in its spectrum. All three known frequenciesf1, f,SUB>2,/SUB>, f3 of the star arepresent in the line-profile variations, but we failed to find additionalmodes. Using different identification methods we find conclusiveevidence for the radial nature of the main mode and for the l=2, m=0identification of the mode with frequency f2. A uniqueidentification of the third mode is not possible from the spectra, butwe do derive that l3<3. Fits to the amplitude and phasevariability of the modes imply a rotation frequency between 0.1 and 0.4c d-1. The star's rotation axis is not aligned with theorbital axis.Based on observations gathered with the coudé spectrographattached to the 2.0 m reflector telescope at Tautenburg Observatory.

A new version of the moment method, optimized for mode identification in multiperiodic stars
We present a numerical version of the moment method for theidentification of non-radial pulsation modes. The new version requiresless computation time than the previous one, allowing users to considerall the information contained in the first three moments of amultiperiodic star and to identify multiple modes simultaneously. This,together with the use of a new discriminant that considers the momentscalculated at each time of observation, increases considerably thefeasibility and the accuracy of the mode identification formultiperiodic stars. Moreover, the technique is extended to rotatingpulsating stars. We apply the new version to three B stars showingmultiperiodicity.Computer code for mode identification available upon request.Tables 1 to 8 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

The latitude and epoch for the formation of the southern Greek constellations
Not Available

The Local Interstellar Ultraviolet Radiation Field
I have used the Hipparcos Input Catalogue, together with Kurucz modelstellar atmospheres and information on the strength of the interstellarextinction, to create a model of the expected intensity and spectraldistribution of the local interstellar ultraviolet radiation field,under various assumptions concerning the albedo a of the interstellargrains. (This ultraviolet radiation field is of particular interestbecause of the fact that ultraviolet radiation is capable of profoundlyaffecting the chemistry of the interstellar medium.) By comparing mymodels with the observations, I am able to conclude that the albedo a ofthe interstellar grains in the far-ultraviolet is very low, perhapsa=0.1. I also advance arguments that my present determination of thisalbedo is much more reliable than any of the many previous (andconflicting) ultraviolet interstellar grain albedo determinations.Beyond this, I show that the ultraviolet background radiation that isobserved at high Galactic latitudes must be extragalactic in origin, asit cannot be backscatter of the interstellar radiation field.

Multiperiodicity in the light variations of the beta Cephei star beta Crucis
High-resolution spectroscopic observations have led recently to thediscovery that the beta Cephei star beta Crucis (Mimosa) ismultiperiodic with at least three non-radial pulsation modes. Dataobtained by the star tracker of the WIRE satellite have now allowed usto confirm this multiperiodicity in the light variations. A total of 5million observations covering 17 days was analysed and the three mainperiods we find in this work are in perfect agreement with the resultsderived from the line profile variations. The photometric amplitudes aresmall (3, 2.7 and 0.6 millimag for the dominant modes), but this is notsurprising in view of the mode identifications derived earlier from theline profiles. Additional periods of low-amplitude modes (between0.2-0.3 mmag) are also derived, including one suggested earlier by theradial velocity data.

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.

Characterization of low-mass pre-main sequence stars in the Southern Cross
We report high-resolution spectroscopic observations, as well ashigh-resolution near infrared (IR) imaging of six stars previouslyidentified in a ROSAT pointed observation in the direction of the B-typestar beta Cru, and classified as low-mass pre-main sequence (PMS) stars.Four of the stars are confirmed to be low-mass PMS stars, associatedwith the Lower Centaurus-Crux group, while the other two are unrelatedto the Sco-Cen association. The confirmed PMS stars are most likely intheir post-T Tauri evolutionary phase. Although future deep X-rayobservations with high-resolution imagers might detect more new PMSstars, the possibility that the Crux PMS stars are part of a smallaggregate, with beta Crux itself approximately at the center, is ratherunlikely, given the high velocity dispersion and the low spatial densityof the confirmed PMS stars. Instead, these stars may be part of a movinggroup in a more disperse and numerous population of low-mass PMS stars,distributed in the Lower Centaurus-Crux subgroup. New PMS binaries andmultiple systems were also discovered among the stars in the sample,namely a close visual pair and a hierarchical triple system in which oneof the components is a double-lined spectroscopic binary (SB2). Thedetailed orbital solution is reported for the inner short-period (P_orb= 58.3 days) SB2. A preliminary orbital solution for the hierarchicaltriple system yields a systemic orbital period of about 4.6 years, whichmakes this object a very suitable target for follow-up observations withthe Very-Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in the coming years.Based on observations carried out at the European Southern Observatory,La Silla, Chile under proposals numbers 62.I-0368 and 63.I-0045,65.I-0089 and the Swiss Euler telescope at ESO, La Silla.

Boron Abundances in Early B Stars: Results from the B III Resonance Line in IUE Data
We have used archival International Ultraviolet Explorer high-dispersionSWP spectra to study the B III resonance line at 2065.8 Å in 44early B stars. We find a median boron abundance about half that of solarsystem meteoritic material, consistent with the values found fromprevious studies of boron in early B stars. About one-third of the starsstudied appear to have boron abundances that are a factor of 4 or morelower than this median. Many of these are stars with enhanced nitrogenabundances, confirming the belief that deep envelope mixing can occur inmain-sequence B stars. A few stars with low boron abundances have normalN/C ratios. It is unclear whether all of these can be explained as starswhere mixing depleted the boron but did not go deep enough to bringCN-processed material to the surface or if some stars were actuallyformed with an unusually low boron abundance.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:12h47m43.20s
Apparent magnitude:1.25
Distance:108.108 parsecs

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesMimosa
Becrux   (Edit)
Bayerβ Cru
HD 1989HD 111123
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0300-16649846
BSC 1991HR 4853

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