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Element abundances in the metal-rich open cluster NGC 6253
Context: We have carried out a big FLAMES survey of 10 Galactic openclusters aiming at different goals. One of them is the determination ofchemical abundances, to put constraints on the radial metallicitygradient in the disk and its evolution. One of the sample clusters isthe very metal-rich NGC 6253. Aims: We have obtained UVES highresolution spectra of seven candidate cluster members (from the turn offup to the red clump) with the goal of determining the chemicalcomposition of NGC 6253 and of investigating its origin and role in theinterpretation of the radial metallicity gradient in the disk. Methods:Equivalent width analysis and spectral synthesis were performed usingMOOG and Kurucz model atmospheres. Results: We derived abundances ofFe, α-, and Fe-peak elements, the light element Na, and thes-process element Ba. Excluding two likely non-members and the clumpgiant, whose metallicity from equivalent widths is overestimated, wefind an average [Fe/H] = +0.36±0.07 (rms) for the cluster. Formost of the other elements we derive solar abundance ratios.Based on observations collected at ESO telescopes under program072.D-0550(A). Table 3 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/465/185

K-band magnitude of the red clump as a distance indicator
We have investigated how the K-band magnitude of the red clump [M_K(RC)]depends on age and metallicity, using 2MASS infrared data for a sampleof 24 open clusters with known distances. We show that a constant valueof M_K(RC)=-1.57 ± 0.05 is a reasonable assumption to use indistance determinations for clusters with metallicity between -0.5 and+0.4 dex and age between 108.5 and 109.9 years.Figures 8 and 9 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

Lupus a wild animal.
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On the current status of open-cluster parameters
We aim to characterize the current status of knowledge on the accuracyof open-cluster parameters such as the age, reddening and distance.These astrophysical quantities are often used to study the globalcharacteristics of the Milky Way down to the very local stellarphenomena. In general, the errors of these quantities are neglected orset to some kind of heuristic standard value. We attempt to give somerealistic estimates for the accuracy of available cluster parameters byusing the independently derived values published in the literature. Intotal, 6437 individual estimates for 395 open clusters were used in ourstatistical analysis. We discuss the error sources depending ontheoretical as well as observational methods and compare our resultswith those parameters listed in the widely used catalogue by Dias et al.In addition, we establish a list of 72 open clusters with the mostaccurate known parameters which should serve as a standard table in thefuture for testing isochrones and stellar models.

uvbyCaHβ CCD Photometry of Clusters. VII. The Intermediate-Age Anticenter Cluster Melotte 71
CCD photometry on the intermediate-band uvbyCaHβ system ispresented for the anticenter, intermediate-age open cluster Melotte 71.Restricting the data to probable single members of the cluster using thecolor-magnitude diagram and the photometric indices alone generates asample of 48 F dwarfs on the unevolved main sequence. The averageE(b-y)=0.148+/-0.003 (standard error of the mean [s.e.m.]) orE(B-V)=0.202+/-0.004 (s.e.m.), where the errors refer to internal errorsalone. With this reddening, [Fe/H] is derived from both m1and hk, using Hβ and b-y as the temperature index, with excellentagreement among the four approaches and a final weighted average of[Fe/H]=-0.17+/-0.02 (s.e.m.) for the cluster, on a scale in which theHyades has [Fe/H]=+0.12. When adjusted for the higher reddeningestimate, the previous metallicity estimates from Washington photometryand from spectroscopy are now in agreement with the intermediate-bandresult. From comparisons to isochrones of appropriate metallicity, thecluster age and distance are determined as 0.9+/-0.1 Gyr and(m-M)=12.2+/-0.1 or (m-M)0=11.6+/-0.1. At this distance fromthe Sun, Mel 71 has a galactocentric distance of 10.0 kpc on a scale inwhich the Sun is 8.5 kpc from the Galactic center. Based on its age,distance, and elemental abundances, Mel 71 appears to be a less populousanalog to NGC 3960.

Kinematics of the Open Cluster System in the Galaxy
Absolute proper motions and radial velocities of 202 open clusters inthe solar neighborhood, which can be used as tracers of the Galacticdisk, are used to investigate the kinematics of the Galaxy in the solarvicinity, including the mean heliocentric velocity components(u1,u2,u3) of the open cluster system,the characteristic velocity dispersions(σ1,σ2,σ3), Oortconstants (A,B) and the large-scale radial motion parameters (C,D) ofthe Galaxy. The results derived from the observational data of propermotions and radial velocities of a subgroup of 117 thin disk young openclusters by means of a maximum likelihood algorithm are:(u1,u2,u3) =(-16.1+/-1.0,-7.9+/-1.4,-10.4+/-1.5) km s-1,(σ1,σ2,σ3) =(17.0+/-0.7,12.2+/-0.9,8.0+/-1.3) km s-1,(A,B) =(14.8+/-1.0,-13.0+/-2.7) km s-1 kpc-1, and (C,D) =(1.5+/-0.7,-1.2+/-1.5) km s-1 k pc-1. A discussionon the results and comparisons with what was obtained by other authorsis given.

Proper motion determination of open clusters based on the UCAC2 catalogue
We present the kinematics of hundreds of open clusters, based on theUCAC2 Catalogue positions and proper motions. Membership probabilitieswere obtained for the stars in the cluster fields by applying astatistical method uses stellar proper motions. All open clusters withknown distance were investigated, and for 75 clusters this is the firstdetermination of the mean proper motion. The results, including the DSSimages of the cluster's fields with the kinematic members marked, areincorporated in the Open Clusters Catalogue supported on line by ourgroup.

Properties of five low-contrast open clusters in the third quadrant
We derive photometric, structural and dynamical evolution-relatedparameters of five as yet unstudied low-contrast open clusters locatedin the third quadrant using 2MASS data. The target clusters are Czernik31, Czernik 32, Haffner 9, Haffner 11 and Trumpler 13. We apply astatistical field-star decontamination procedure to infer on theintrinsic colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) morphology which is criticalfor such low-contrast objects. Consequently, it became possible toderive accurate reddening, age, distance from the Sun and Galactocentricdistance for the five clusters. In the structural andluminosity/mass-function analyses we apply a colour-magnitude filterwhich encompasses the cluster evolutionary CMD sequences and excludesstars with discrepant colours. Using this procedure we derive core andlimiting radii, mass function (MF) slope, total mass, mass density andrelaxation time. We derive ages in the range 140-1100 Myr,Galactocentric distances within 7.7-11.4 kpc, and total masses within360-2900 M_ȯ. Reflecting large-scale mass segregation, the MF slopein the core is significantly flatter than that in the halo of the fiveclusters. Although some of the present clusters are relatively youngerthan the Gyr-old clusters, they present evidence of advanced dynamicalevolution. This kind of study has become possible because of thephotometric uniformity and spatial coverage of 2MASS which allows aproper subtraction of the field-star contamination on the target CMDs.The present study indicates that low-contrast clusters can be studiedwith 2MASS, particularly after field-star subtraction, which isimportant since most of the unstudied open clusters belong to thisclass.

Astrophysical parameters of Galactic open clusters
We present a catalogue of astrophysical data for 520 Galactic openclusters. These are the clusters for which at least three most probablemembers (18 on average) could be identified in the ASCC-2.5, a catalogueof stars based on the Tycho-2 observations from the Hipparcos mission.We applied homogeneous methods and algorithms to determine angular sizesof cluster cores and coronae, heliocentric distances, mean propermotions, mean radial velocities, and ages. For the first time we derivedistances for 200 clusters, radial velocities for 94 clusters, and agesof 196 clusters. This homogeneous new parameter set is compared withearlier determinations, where we find, in particular, that the angularsizes were systematically underestimated in the literature.

Detailed analysis of open clusters: A mass function break and evidence of a fundamental plane
We derive photometric, structural and dynamical evolution-relatedparameters of 11 nearby open clusters with ages in the range 70 Myr to 7Gyr and masses in the range ≈400 M_ȯ to ≈5300 M_ȯ. Theclusters are homogeneously analysed by means of J, H and KS2MASS photometry, which provides spatial coverage wide enough toproperly take into account the contamination of the cluster field byGalaxy stars. Structural parameters such as core and limiting radii arederived from the background-subtracted radial density profiles.Luminosity and mass functions (MFs) are built for stars later than theturnoff and brighter than the 2MASS PSC 99.9% completeness limit. Thetotal mass locked up in stars in the core and the whole cluster, as wellas the corresponding mass densities, are calculated by taking intoaccount the observed stars (evolved and main sequence) and extrapolatingthe MFs down to the H-burning mass limit, 0.08 M_ȯ. We illustratethe methods by analysing for the first time in the near-infrared thepopulous open clusters NGC 2477 and NGC 2516. For NGC 2477 we derive anage of 1.1 ± 0.1 Gyr, distance from the Sun d_ȯ=1.2 ±0.1 kpc, core radius Rcore=1.4 ± 0.1 pc, limitingradius Rlim=11.6 ± 0.7 pc and total massmtot≈(5.3±1.6) × 103 M_ȯ.Large-scale mass segregation in NGC 2477 is reflected in the significantvariation of the MF slopes in different spatial regions of the cluster,and in the large number-density of giant stars in the core with respectto the cluster as a whole. For NGC 2516 we derive an age of 160 ±10 Myr, d_ȯ=0.44 ± 0.02 kpc, Rcore=0.6 ±0.1 pc, Rlim=6.2 ± 0.2 pc andmtot≈(1.3±0.2) × 103 M_ȯ.Mass-segregation in NGC 2516 shows up in the MFs. Six of the 11 clusterspresent a slope break in the MF occurring at essentially the same massas that found for the field stars in Kroupa's universal IMF. The MFbreak is not associated to cluster mass, at least in the clusters inthis paper. In two clusters the low-mass end of the MF occurs above theMF break. However, in three clusters the MF break does not occur, atleast for the mass range m≥0.7 M_ȯ. One possibility isdynamical evolution affecting the MF slope distribution. We also searchfor relations of structural and evolutionary parameters with age andGalactocentric distance. The main results for the present sample are:(i) cluster size correlates both with age and Galactocentric distance;(ii) because of size and mass scaling, core and limiting radii, and coreand overall mass correlate; (iii) massive (m≥1000 M_ȯ) andless-massive clusters follow separate correlation paths on the planecore radius and overall mass; (iv) MF slopes of massive clusters arerestricted to a narrow range, while those of the less-massive onesdistribute over a wider range. Core and overall MF flattening is relatedto the ratio (τ) of age to relaxation time. For large values ofτ the effects of large-scale mass segregation and low-mass starsevaporation can be observed in the MFs. In this sense, τ appears tocharacterize the evolutionary state of the clusters. We conclude thatappreciable slope flattenings in the overall MFs of the less-massiveclusters take ~6 times longer to occur than in the core, while in themassive clusters they take a time ~13 times longer. We investigatecluster parameters equivalent to those determining the fundamental planeof ellipticals. These parameters are: overall mass, projected massdensity and core radius. We conclude that in the present sample there isevidence of a fundamental plane. Larger samples are necessary to pindown this issue.

Proper motion measurements as indicators of binarity in open clusters
We analyze 9 open clusters with ages in the range 70 Myr to 3.2 Gyrusing UCAC2 proper motion data and 2MASS photometry, which allows us toreach stellar masses down to ≈0.7 M_ȯ. We employ in this work anapproach in which the background proper motion contribution isstatistically subtracted in order to obtain the cluster's intrinsicproper motion distribution. For each cluster we consider the projectedvelocity distributions in the core and off-core regions separately. Inthe projected velocity distribution of all sample clusters we find awell-defined low-velocity peak, as well as an excess in the number ofstars at larger velocities. The low-velocity peak is accounted for bythe random motion of the single stars, while the high-velocity excesscan be attributed to the large velocity changes produced by asignificant fraction of unresolved binaries in a cluster. We derivekinematic parameters of the single-star distribution, in particular theprojected velocity dispersion. The relatively large velocity dispersionsderived in this work may reflect the non-virialized state of theclusters. Based on the relative number of high-velocity (binary) andsingle stars, we inferred for the sample clusters unresolved binaryfractions in the range 15%≤f_bin≤54%, for both core and off-coreregions. Stars with a projected velocity exceeding the maximum reachedby the single-star distribution are identified in 2MASS J×(J-H)colour magnitude diagrams. The asymmetry observed in the distribution ofthese stars around the main sequence is consistent with models ofmain-sequence widening resulting from unresolved binaries combined with2MASS photometric uncertainties. The present results suggest that caremust be taken when applying proper-motion filters to sort out members,especially binaries in a star cluster. This paper shows that propermotions turn out to be a useful tool for identifying high-velocity starsas unresolved binary cluster members, and as a consequence, map andquantify the binary component in colour magnitude diagrams.

Searching for Planetary Transits in Galactic Open Clusters: EXPLORE/OC
Open clusters potentially provide an ideal environment for the searchfor transiting extrasolar planets, since they feature a relatively largenumber of stars of the same known age and metallicity at the samedistance. With this motivation, over a dozen open clusters are now beingmonitored by four different groups. We review the motivations andchallenges for open cluster transit surveys for short-period giantplanets. Our photometric monitoring survey of Galactic southern openclusters, the Extrasolar Planet Occultation Research/Open Clusters(EXPLORE/OC) project, was designed with the goals of maximizing thechance of finding and characterizing planets and of providing astatistically valuable astrophysical result in the case of nodetections. We use the EXPLORE/OC data from two open clusters, NGC 2660and NGC 6208, to illustrate some of the largely unrecognized issuesfacing open cluster surveys, including severe contamination by Galacticfield stars (>80%) and the relatively low number of cluster membersfor which high-precision photometry can be obtained. We discuss how acareful selection of open cluster targets under a wide range of criteriasuch as cluster richness, observability, distance, and age can meet thechallenges, maximizing chances to detect planet transits. In addition,we present the EXPLORE/OC observing strategy to optimize planetdetection, which includes high-cadence observing and continuouslyobserving individual clusters rather than alternating between targets.

Multicolor Photometry of Red Giant Candidates in the Southern Open Cluster NGC 2447
Photoelectric photometry in the UBV, DDO and Washington systems ispresented for 14 late-type giant candidates of the southern open clusterNGC 2447. By applying two independent photometric criteria, nine starsare found to have a high probability of being cluster giants. Thephotometric membership results are in good agreement with those derivedfrom published Coravel radial velocities. The mean interstellarreddening EB-V = 0.05±0.04 has been derived from theconfirmed cluster giants. NGC 2447 has a mean ultraviolet excess<δ (U-B)> = 0.01±0.02 (σ n) withrespect to solar composition K giants, and a mean cyanogen anomaly<Δ CN> = 0.01±0.02 (σ n), bothimplying a small metal deficiency ([Fe/H] ≃ -0.1). Fiveindependent Washington abundance indices yield a mean clustermetallicity of [Fe/H] = -0.09±0.06, in agreement with the twoprevious estimates. Therefore, NGC 2447 is found to be slightlymetal-poor.

On the recent star formation history of the Milky Way disk
We have derived the star formation history of the Milky Way disk overthe last 2 Gyr from the age distribution diagram of a large sample ofopen clusters comprising more than 580 objects. By interpreting the agedistribution diagram using numerical results from an extensive libraryof N-body calculations carried out during the last ten years, wereconstruct the recent star formation history of the Milky Way disk.Under the assumption that the disk has never been polluted by anyextragalactic stellar populations, our analysis suggests thatsuperimposed on a relatively small level of constant star formationactivity mainly in small-N star clusters, the star formation rate hasexperienced at least five episodes of enhanced star formation lastingabout 0.2 Gyr with production of larger clusters. This cyclic behaviourshows a period of 0.4+/-0.1 Gyr and could be the result of density wavesand/or interactions with satellite galaxies. On the other hand, the starformation rate history from a volume-limited sample of open clusters inthe solar neighbourhood appears to be consistent with the overall starformation history obtained from the entire sample. Pure continuous starformation both in the solar neighbourhood and the entire Galactic diskis strongly ruled out. Our results also indicate that, in the Milky Waydisk, about 90% of open clusters are born with N<=150 and the slopein the power-law frequency distribution of their masses is about -2.7when quiescent star formation takes place. If the above results arere-interpreted taking into consideration accretion events onto the MilkyWay, it is found that a fraction of the unusually high number of openclusters with ages older than 0.6 Gyr may have been formed in disruptedsatellites. Problems arising from the selection effects and the ageerrors in the open cluster sample used are discussed in detail.

The age of the oldest Open Clusters
We determine ages of 71 old Open Clusters by a two-step method: we usemain-squence fitting to 10 selected clusters, in order to obtain theirdistances, and derive their ages from comparison with our own isochronesused before for Globular Clusters. We then calibrate the morphologicalage indicator δ(V), which can be obtained for all remainingclusters, in terms of age and metallicity. Particular care is taken toensure consistency in the whole procedure. The resulting Open Clusterages connect well to our previous Globular Cluster results. From theOpen Cluster sample, as well as from the combined sample, questionsregarding the formation process of Galactic components are addressed.The age of the oldest open clusters (NGC 6791 and Be 17) is of the orderof 10 Gyr. We determine a delay by 2.0±1.5 Gyr between the startof the halo and thin disk formation, whereas thin and thick disk startedto form approximately at the same time. We do not find any significantage-metallicity relationship for the open cluster sample. The cumulativeage distribution of the whole open cluster sample shows a moderatelysignificant (˜ 2σ level) departure from the predictions foran exponentially declining dissolution rate with timescale of 2.5 Gyr.The cumulative age distribution does not show any trend withgalactocentric distance, but the clusters with larger height to theGalactic plane have an excess of objects between 2-4 and 6 Gyr withrespect to their counterpart closer to the plane of the Galaxy.

Intermediate-age Galactic open clusters: fundamental parameters of NGC 2627
Charge-coupled device (CCD) photometry in the Johnson V, Kron-Cousins Iand Washington CMT1 systems is presented in the field of thepoorly known open cluster NGC 2627. Four independent Washingtonabundance indices yield a mean cluster metallicity of [Fe/H]=-0.12 +/-0.08, which is compatible with the existence of a radial gradient in theGalactic disc. The resultant colour-magnitude diagrams indicate that thecluster is an intermediate-age object of 1.4 Gyr. Based on the best fitsof the Geneva group's isochrones to the (V, V-I) and (T1,C-T1) diagrams, we estimate E(V-I) = 0.25 +/- 0.05 andV-MV= 11.80 +/- 0.25 for logt= 9.15, and E(C-T1) =0.23 +/- 0.07 and T1-MT1= 11.85 +/-0.25 for logt= 9.10, respectively, assuming solar metal content. Thederived reddening value E(C-T1) implies E(B-V) = 0.12 +/-0.07 and a distance from the Sun of 2.0 +/- 0.4 kpc. Using the WEBDAdata base and the available literature, we re-examined the overallproperties of all the open clusters with ages between 0.6 and 2.5 Gyr.We identified peaks of cluster formation at 0.7-0.8, 1.0-1.1, 1.6-1.7and 2.0-2.1 Gyr, separated by relative quiescent epochs of ~0.2-0.3 Gyr.We also estimated a radial abundance gradient of -0.08 +/- 0.02, whichis consistent with the most recent determinations for the Galactic disc,but no clear evidence for a gradient perpendicular to the Galactic planeis found.

On the Galactic Disk Metallicity Distribution from Open Clusters. I. New Catalogs and Abundance Gradient
We have compiled two new open cluster catalogs. In the first one, thereare 119 objects with ages, distances, and metallicities available, whilein the second one, 144 objects have both absolute proper motion andradial velocity data, of which 45 clusters also have metallicity dataavailable. Taking advantage of the large number of objects included inour sample, we present an iron radial gradient of about -0.063+/-0.008dex kpc-1 from the first sample, which is quite consistentwith the most recent determination of the oxygen gradient from nebulaeand young stars, about -0.07 dex kpc-1. By dividing clustersinto age groups, we show that the iron gradient was steeper in the past,which is consistent with the recent result from Galactic planetarynebulae data, and also consistent with inside-out galactic diskformation scenarios. Based on the cluster sample, we also discuss themetallicity distribution, cluster kinematics, and space distribution. Adisk age-metallicity relation could be implied by those properties,although we cannot give conclusive result from the age- metallicitydiagram based on the current sample. More observations are needed formetal-poor clusters. From the second catalog, we have calculated thevelocity components in cylindrical coordinates with respect to theGalactic standard of rest for 144 open clusters. The velocitydispersions of the older clusters are larger than those of youngclusters, but they are all much smaller than that of the Galactic thickdisk stars.

Proper Motions of Open Star Clusters and the Rotation Rate of the Galaxy
The mean proper motions of 167 Galactic open clusters withradial-velocity measurements are computed from the data of the Tycho-2catalog using kinematic and photometric cluster membership criteria. Theresulting catalog is compared to the results of other studies. The newproper motions are used to infer the Galactic rotation rate at the solarcircle, which is found to be ω0=+24.6±0.8 km s-1 kpc-1.Analysis of the dependence of the dispersion of ω0 estimates onheliocentric velocity showed that even the proper motions of clusterswith distances r>3 kpc contain enough useful information to be usedin kinematic studies demonstrating that the determination of propermotions is quite justified even for very distant clusters.

Metallicities of Old Open Clusters
We present radial velocities and metallicities for a sample of 39 openclusters with ages greater than about 700 million years. For 24 clustersnew moderate-resolution spectroscopic data obtained with multiobjectspectrographs on the Kitt Peak National Observatory and the Cerro TololoInter-American Observatory 4 m telescopes are used to determine radialvelocities and mean cluster metallicities. These new results arecombined with data published previously by Friel & Janes to providea sample of 459 giants in 39 old open clusters, which are used toinvestigate radial abundance gradients in the Galactic disk. Based on anupdated abundance calibration of spectroscopic indices measuring Fe andFe-peak element blends, this larger sample yields an abundance gradientof -0.06+/-0.01 dex kpc-1 over a range in Galactocentricradius of 7 to 16 kpc. There is a slight suggestion of a steepening ofthe abundance gradient with increasing cluster age in this sample, butthe significance of the result is limited by the restricted distancerange for the youngest clusters. The clusters show no correlation ofmetallicity with age in the solar neighborhood. Consistent with theevidence for a steepening of the gradient with age, the clusters in theouter disk beyond 10 kpc show a suggestion at the 1.5 σ level of adependence of metallicity on age.

Abundance Gradient from Open Clusters and Implications for the Galactic Disk Evolution
We compile a new sample of 89 open clusters with ages, distances andmetallicities available. We derive a radial iron gradient of about-0.099±0.008 dexkpc (unweighted) for the whole sample, which issomewhat greater than the most recent determination of oxygen gradientfrom nebulae and young stars. By dividing the clusters into age groups,we show that the iron gradient was steeper in the past and has evolvedslowly in time. Current data show a substantial scatter of the clustermetallicities indicating that the Galactic disk has undergone a veryrapid, inhomogeneous enrichment.Also, based on a simple, but quitesuccessful model of chemical evolution of the Milky Way disk, we make adetailed calculation of the iron abundance gradient and its timeevolution. The predicted current iron gradient is about -0.072 dexkpc.The model also predicts a steady flattening of the iron gradient withtime, which agrees with the result from our open cluster sample.

The Böhm-Vitense Gap: The Role of Turbulent Convection
``Böhm-Vitense gaps,'' discontinuities in the color distribution ofA-F type stars along the main sequence, have traditionally beenattributed to the abrupt onset of strong convection (8000K>=Teff>=6400 K) in stellar atmospheres and envelopes.Using the full spectrum of turbulence model to describe convectivetransport (Canuto, Goldman, & Mazzitelli) both in the interior andin the atmosphere yields a very sharp transition between structures thatare convective only in the surface layers and structures that show awell-developed convection also in the interior. This produces a suddenchange in the Teff of stars, around Teff~=6800 K.Using numerical simulations, we show that this feature produces astellar depletion that is consistent with the gap at0.33<~B-V<~0.38. The standard mixing-length theory does not showthis behavior. Consequently, this particular gap is a``Teff'' gap and not a ``color'' gap. In fact, it is alsopresent in the V-I color distribution of the Hyades stars.

Statistics and supermetallicity: The metallicity of NGC 6791
For the old galactic cluster NGC 6791, Peterson & Green(\cite{pg98a}) and Chaboyer et al. (\cite{cgl99}) have found that [Fe/H]~ +0.4 dex. A second look at that conclusion is taken in this paper.Zero-point problems are reviewed for a high-dispersion analysis done byPeterson & Green, and it is found that accidental errors have notbeen determined rigorously for the results of that analysis. It is alsonoted that in a color-magnitude analysis performed by Chaboyer et al.,the important metallicity range between 0.0 and +0.3 dex is not exploredand hence is not ruled out. Moreover, that analysis does not yieldstatistically rigorous results, and it appears that such results may notbe produced in color-magnitude analysis of clusters in general. Resultsin the two cited papers and elsewhere are re-evaluated statistically,with an allowance being made for uncertainty in the cluster reddening.Apparently the best that can be said at present is that the clustermetallicity lies in the range from +0.16 to +0.44 dex. This conclusionis stressed by reviewing the immaturity of the underlying data base. Thepremature conclusion for a high metallicity turns out to be due largelyto neglect of accidental errors, though a tendency to ascribe too muchweight to high derived metallicities may also play a role.

Proper motions of open clusters within 1 kpc based on the TYCHO2 Catalogue
We present mean absolute proper motions of 112 open clusters, determinedusing the data from the Tycho2 Catalogue. For 28 clusters, this is thefirst determination of proper motion. The measurements made use of alarge number of stars (usually several tens) for each cluster. The totalnumber of stars studied in the fields of the 164 open clusters is 5016,of which 4006 were considered members. The mean proper motions of theclusters and membership probability of individual stars were obtainedfrom the proper motion data by applying the statistical method proposedby Sanders (\cite{Sanders71}). Based on observations of the ESAHipparcos satellite. Tables 1, 2 and 5 to 117 are only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/376/441

Absolute proper motions of open clusters. I. Observational data
Mean proper motions and parallaxes of 205 open clusters were determinedfrom their member stars found in the Hipparcos Catalogue. 360 clusterswere searched for possible members, excluding nearby clusters withdistances D < 200 pc. Members were selected using ground basedinformation (photometry, radial velocity, proper motion, distance fromthe cluster centre) and information provided by Hipparcos (propermotion, parallax). Altogether 630 certain and 100 possible members werefound. A comparison of the Hipparcos parallaxes with photometricdistances of open clusters shows good agreement. The Hipparcos dataconfirm or reject the membership of several Cepheids in the studiedclusters. Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at theCDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

Foreground and background dust in star cluster directions
This paper compares reddening values E(B-V) derived from the stellarcontent of 103 old open clusters and 147 globular clusters of the MilkyWay with those derived from DIRBE/IRAS 100 mu m dust emission in thesame directions. Star clusters at |b|> 20deg showcomparable reddening values between the two methods, in agreement withthe fact that most of them are located beyond the disk dust layer. Forvery low galactic latitude lines of sight, differences occur in thesense that DIRBE/IRAS reddening values can be substantially larger,suggesting effects due to the depth distribution of the dust. Thedifferences appear to arise from dust in the background of the clustersconsistent with a dust layer where important extinction occurs up todistances from the Plane of ~ 300 pc. For 3 % of the sample asignificant background dust contribution might be explained by higherdust clouds. We find evidence that the Milky Way dust lane and higherdust clouds are similar to those of several edge-on spiral galaxiesrecently studied in detail by means of CCD imaging.

CCD UVBY Hβ Photometry in Clusters. I. The Open Cluster Standard, IC 4651
CCD photometry of the intermediate-age open cluster IC 4651 on theuvbyHβ system is presented and analyzed. By using a combination ofthe information from the color-magnitude diagram (CMD) and thecolor-color diagrams, a sample of 98 highly probable main-sequencecluster members with high photometric accuracy is isolated. From thissample, adopting the intrinsic color relation of Olsen,E(b-y)=0.062+/-0.003 and [Fe/H]=+0.077+/-0.012, where the errors quotedare the standard errors of the mean and refer to the internal errorsalone. Use of the Nissen intrinsic color relation produces E(b-y)=0.071and [Fe/H]=+0.115. Adopting the lower reddening, a direct main-sequencefit to the Hyades with (m-M)=3.33 leads to (m-M)=10.15, while isochroneswith convective overshoot and zeroed to the Hyades produce an age of1.7+/-0.1 Gyr, with an excellent match to the morphology of the turnoff.The higher reddening produces (m-M)=10.3 and an age lower by 0.1 Gyr.Comparison with the CMD of NGC 3680 shows that the two clusters havevirtually identical morphology, which in combination with their similarcompositions produces identical ages. Coincidentally, the shifts in theCMD necessary to superpose the two clusters require that the apparentmoduli of IC 4651 and NGC 3680 be the same, whileE(b-y)4651=E(b-y)3680+0.04.

The Relationship Between the Böhm-Vitense Gap and Stellar Activity in Open Clusters
Using published UBV photometry of nine open clusters and chromosphericactivity data in five clusters, we have performed the most completestudy to date of the supposed Böhm-Vitense gap in main-sequencelate-A and early-F stars. Using the χ2 test on thedistribution of B-V colors of the main-sequence stars of these clusters,we located gaps at the 0.90 probability level or greater in eight out ofthe nine clusters. Six of the nine clusters show a gap near B-V=0.35 atthis level. In four nearby clusters, Alpha Persei, Pleiades, Coma, andPraesepe, we compare the gaps with measurements of chromosphericactivity via the He I λ5876 (D3) line. If the Böhm-Vitensegap is related to the onset of surface convection zones, as has beensuggested, we would expect to find a direct relationship between theonset of activity and the gaps. However, in all four cases we find starson both sides of the gap showing strong activity. The observed gaps donot appear to correlate directly with any known physical mechanism andthus either point to an unknown mechanism or a statistical anomaly.

On the Galactic disc age-metallicity relation
A comparison is made between the age-metallicity relations obtained fromfour different types of studies: F and G stars in the solarneighbourhood, analysis of open clusters, galactic structure studieswith the stellar population synthesis technique and chemical evolutionmodels. Metallicities of open clusters are corrected for the effects ofthe radial gradient, which we find to be -0.09 dex kpc^-1 and mostlikely constant in time. We do not correct for the vertical gradient,because its existence and value are not firmly established. Stars andclusters trace a similar age-metallicity relation, showing an excess ofrather metal-rich objects in the age range 5-9 Gyr. Galactic structurestudies tend to give a more metal-poor relation than chemical evolutionmodels. Neither relation explains the presence of old, relativelymetal-rich stars and clusters. This might be caused by uncertainties inthe ages of the local stars, or pre-enrichment of the disc with materialfrom the bulge, possibly as a result of a merger event in the earlyphases of the formation of our Galaxy.

HIPPARCOS absolute magnitudes for metal-rich K giants and the calibration of DDO photometry
Parallaxes for 581 bright K giants have been determined using theHipparcos satellite. We combine the trigonometric parallaxes withground-based photometric data to determine the K giant absolutemagnitudes. For all these giants, absolute magnitude estimates can alsobe made using the intermediate-band photometric David Dunlop Observatory(DDO) system. We compare the DDO absolute magnitudes with the veryaccurate Hipparcos absolute magnitudes, finding various systematicoffsets in the DDO system. These systematic effects can be corrected,and we provide a new calibration of the DDO system allowing absolutemagnitude to be determined with an accuracy of 0.35 mag in the Mv rangebetween 2 and -1. The new calibration performs well when tested on Kgiants with DDO photometry in a selection of low-reddening open clusterswith well-measured distance moduli.

Some Revised Observational Constraints on the Formation and Evolution of the Galactic Disk
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1997AJ....114.2556T&db_key=AST

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Right ascension:15h04m24.00s
Apparent magnitude:7

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NGC 2000.0NGC 5822

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