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Reliability Checks on the Indo-US Stellar Spectral Library Using Artificial Neural Networks and Principal Component Analysis
The Indo-US coudé feed stellar spectral library (CFLIB) madeavailable to the astronomical community recently by Valdes et al. (2004,ApJS, 152, 251) contains spectra of 1273 stars in the spectral region3460 to 9464Å at a high resolution of 1Å (FWHM) and a widerange of spectral types. Cross-checking the reliability of this databaseis an important and desirable exercise since a number of stars in thisdatabase have no known spectral types and a considerable fraction ofstars has not so complete coverage in the full wavelength region of3460-9464Å resulting in gaps ranging from a few Å to severaltens of Å. We use an automated classification scheme based onArtificial Neural Networks (ANN) to classify all 1273 stars in thedatabase. In addition, principal component analysis (PCA) is carried outto reduce the dimensionality of the data set before the spectra areclassified by the ANN. Most importantly, we have successfullydemonstrated employment of a variation of the PCA technique to restorethe missing data in a sample of 300 stars out of the CFLIB.

Metallicity, debris discs and planets
We investigate the populations of main-sequence stars within 25 pc thathave debris discs and/or giant planets detected by Doppler shift. Themetallicity distribution of the debris sample is a very close match tothat of stars in general, but differs with >99 per cent confidencefrom the giant planet sample, which favours stars of above averagemetallicity. This result is not due to differences in age of the twosamples. The formation of debris-generating planetesimals at tens of authus appears independent of the metal fraction of the primordial disc,in contrast to the growth and migration history of giant planets withina few au. The data generally fit a core accumulation model, with outerplanetesimals forming eventually even from a disc low in solids, whileinner planets require fast core growth for gas to still be present tomake an atmosphere.

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.

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.

Frequency of Debris Disks around Solar-Type Stars: First Results from a Spitzer MIPS Survey
We have searched for infrared excesses around a well-defined sample of69 FGK main-sequence field stars. These stars were selected withoutregard to their age, metallicity, or any previous detection of IRexcess; they have a median age of ~4 Gyr. We have detected 70 μmexcesses around seven stars at the 3 σ confidence level. Thisextra emission is produced by cool material (<100 K) located beyond10 AU, well outside the ``habitable zones'' of these systems andconsistent with the presence of Kuiper Belt analogs with ~100 times moreemitting surface area than in our own planetary system. Only one star,HD 69830, shows excess emission at 24 μm, corresponding to dust withtemperatures >~300 K located inside of 1 AU. While debris disks withLdust/L*>=10-3 are rare around oldFGK stars, we find that the disk frequency increases from 2%+/-2% forLdust/L*>=10-4 to 12%+/-5% forLdust/L*>=10-5. This trend in thedisk luminosity distribution is consistent with the estimated dust inour solar system being within an order of magnitude greater or less thanthe typical level around similar nearby stars. Although there is nocorrelation of IR excess with metallicity or spectral type, there is aweak correlation with stellar age, with stars younger than a gigayearmore likely to have excess emission.

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.

A Comparative Study on Lithium Abundances in Solar-Type Stars With and Without Planets
We have investigated the abundance anomalies of lithium for stars withplanets in the temperature range of 5600-5900 K reported by Israelianand coworkers, as compared to 20 normal stars in the same temperatureand metallicity ranges. Our result indicates a higher probability oflithium depletion for stars with planets in the main-sequence stage. Itseems that stellar photospheric abundances of lithium in stars withplanets may be somewhat affected by the presence of planets. Twopossible mechanisms are considered to account for the lower Liabundances of stars with planets. One is related to the rotation-inducedmixing due to the conservation of angular momentum by the protoplanetarydisk, and the other is a shear instability triggered by planetmigration. These results provide new information on stellar evolutionand the lithium evolution of the Galaxy.

Abundances of refractory elements in the atmospheres of stars with extrasolar planets
Aims.This work presents a uniform and homogeneous study of chemicalabundances of refractory elements in 101 stars with and 93 without knownplanetary companions. We carry out an in-depth investigation of theabundances of Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Na, Mg and Al. The newcomparison sample, spanning the metallicity range -0.70< [Fe/H]<0.50, fills the gap that previously existed, mainly at highmetallicities, in the number of stars without known planets.Methods.Weused an enlarged set of data including new observations, especially forthe field "single" comparison stars . The line list previously studiedby other authors was improved: on average we analysed 90 spectral linesin every spectrum and carefully measured more than 16 600 equivalentwidths (EW) to calculate the abundances.Results.We investigate possibledifferences between the chemical abundances of the two groups of stars,both with and without planets. The results are globally comparable tothose obtained by other authors, and in most cases the abundance trendsof planet-host stars are very similar to those of the comparison sample.Conclusions.This work represents a step towards the comprehension ofrecently discovered planetary systems. These results could also beuseful for verifying galactic models at high metallicities andconsequently improve our knowledge of stellar nucleosynthesis andgalactic chemical evolution.

Oxygen abundances in planet-harbouring stars. Comparison of different abundance indicators
We present a detailed and uniform study of oxygen abundances in 155solar type stars, 96 of which are planet hosts and 59 of which form partof a volume-limited comparison sample with no known planets. EWmeasurements were carried out for the [O I] 6300 Å line and the OI triplet, and spectral synthesis was performed for several OH lines.NLTE corrections were calculated and applied to the LTE abundanceresults derived from the O I 7771-5 Å triplet. Abundances from [OI], the O I triplet and near-UV OH were obtained in 103, 87 and 77dwarfs, respectively. We present the first detailed and uniformcomparison of these three oxygen indicators in a large sample ofsolar-type stars. There is good agreement between the [O/H] ratios fromforbidden and OH lines, while the NLTE triplet shows a systematicallylower abundance. We found that discrepancies between OH, [O I] and the OI triplet do not exceed 0.2 dex in most cases. We have studied abundancetrends in planet host and comparison sample stars, and no obviousanomalies related to the presence of planets have been detected. Allthree indicators show that, on average, [O/Fe] decreases with [Fe/H] inthe metallicity range -0.8< [Fe/H] < 0.5. The planet host starspresent an average oxygen overabundance of 0.1-0.2 dex with respect tothe comparison sample.

Radial-Velocity Variability of G-Type Giants: First Three Years of the Okayama Planet Search Program
We report on the radial-velocity variability of G-type giants based onthe results of precise Doppler measurements of 57 stars that wereobserved for the first 3 years of the Okayama Planet Search Program.This program aims to search for planets around intermediate-mass starsin their evolved stages as late-G giants. We found that most of thetargets with B ‑ V < 1.0 have radial-velocity scatters ofσ ˜ 10 m s-1, with the most stable reaching levels of6‑8 m s-1, while those with B ‑ V > 1.0 typically showσ ˜ 20 m s-1. In total, about 60% of the targets are stable inradial velocity to a level of σ < 15 m s-1 over 1-3 years, andabout 90% have σ < 30 m s-1. We found that 4 stars (HD 30557,HD 34559, HD 68077, and HD 85444) show significant long-termradial-velocity trends, suggesting that they are probably orbited byunseen stellar or substellar companions. Three stars (HD 79181, HD104985, and HD 141680) show periodic radial-velocity variations. HD104985 is the first planet-harboring star discovered from our survey.The properties of the variations in these 3 stars have been, and willbe, extensively discussed in separate papers. Relatively large, but notapparently periodic, radial-velocity variations of σ > 30 m s-1are found in 4 stars (HD 41597, HD 134190, HD 161178, and HD 176598).For most of the stars without showing any significant periodicity, wecan exclude companions with K > 50 m s-1, or m2sini > 1.8 MJ (a/AU)1/2(M*/Mȯ)1/2 for orbital radii a ≲ 1‑2 AU.

Lithium Abundances of F-, G-, and K-Type Stars: Profile-Fitting Analysis of the Li I 6708 Doublet
An extensive profile-fitting analysis was performed for the Li(+Fe)6707-6708Å feature of nearby 160 F-K dwarfs/subgiants (including27 planet-host stars) in the Galactic disk ( 7000 K ≳Teff ≳ 5000 K, -1 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ +0.4), in orderto establish the photospheric lithium abundances of these stars. Thenon-LTE effect (though quantitatively insignificant) was taken intoaccount based on our statistical equilibrium calculations, which werecarried out on an adequate grid of models. Our results confirmed most ofthe interesting observational characteristics revealed by recentlypublished studies, such as the bimodal distribution of the Li abundancesfor stars at Teff ≳ 6000 K, the satisfactory agreementof the upper envelope of the A(Li) vs. [Fe/H] distribution with thetheoretical models, the existence of a positive correlation betweenA(Li) and the stellar mass, and the tendency of lower lithium abundancesof planet-host stars (as compared to stars without planets) at thenarrow ``transition'' region of 5900 K ≳ Teff ≳5800 K. The solar Li abundance derived from this analysis is 0.92 (H =12.00), which is by 0.24dex lower than the widely referenced standardvalue of 1.16.

Spectroscopic Study on the Atmospheric Parameters of Nearby F--K Dwarfs and Subgiants
Based on a collection of high-dispersion spectra obtained at OkayamaAstrophysical Observatory, the atmospheric parameters (Teff,log g, vt, and [Fe/H]) of 160 mid-F through early-K starswere extensively determined by the spectroscopic method using theequivalent widths of Fe I and Fe II lines along with the numericaltechnique of Takeda et al. (2002, PASJ, 54, 451). The results arecomprehensively discussed and compared with the parameter values derivedby different approaches (e.g., photometric colors, theoreticalevolutionary tracks, Hipparcos parallaxes, etc.) as well as with thepublished values found in various literature. It has been confirmed thatour purely spectroscopic approach yields fairly reliable and consistentresults.

High-Dispersion Spectra Collection of Nearby F--K Stars at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory: A Basis for Spectroscopic Abundance Standards
Towards constructing a system of high-dispersion spectroscopic standardstars with well-established abundances, so that adequate reference starsof similar properties may be found for precise differential abundancestudies of any near-solar type stars, we have collected high-resolution(R ˜ 70000) echelle spectra for 160 F-K dwarfs and subgiants of thesolar neighborhood in three wavelength regions (5000-6200Å,5800-7000Å, and 7600-8800Å) at Okayama AstrophysicalObservatory. This spectra database is open to the public.

A link between the semimajor axis of extrasolar gas giant planets and stellar metallicity
The fact that most extrasolar planets found to date are orbitingmetal-rich stars lends credence to the core accretion mechanism of gasgiant planet formation over its competitor, the disc instabilitymechanism. However, the core accretion mechanism is not refined to thepoint of explaining orbital parameters such as the unexpected semimajoraxes and eccentricities. We propose a model that correlates themetallicity of the host star with the original semimajor axis of itsmost massive planet, prior to migration, assuming that the coreaccretion scenario governs giant gas planet formation. The modelpredicts that the optimum regions for planetary formation shift inwardsas stellar metallicity decreases, providing an explanation for theobserved absence of long-period planets in metal-poor stars. We compareour predictions with the available data on extrasolar planets for starswith masses similar to the mass of the Sun. A fitting procedure producesan estimate of what we define as the zero-age planetary orbit (ZAPO)curve as a function of the metallicity of the star. The model hints thatthe lack of planets circling metal-poor stars may be partly caused by anenhanced destruction probability during the migration process, becausethe planets lie initially closer to their central star.

Magnetospheric radio emission from extrasolar giant planets: the role of the host stars
We present a new analysis of the expected magnetospheric radio emissionfrom extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) for a distance limited sample ofthe nearest known extrasolar planets. Using recent results on thecorrelation between stellar X-ray flux and mass-loss rates from nearbystars, we estimate the expected mass-loss rates of the host stars ofextrasolar planets that lie within 20 pc of the Earth. We find that someof the host stars have mass-loss rates that are more than 100 times thatof the Sun and, given the expected dependence of the planetarymagnetospheric radio flux on stellar wind properties, this has a verysubstantial effect. Using these results and extrapolations of the likelymagnetic properties of the extrasolar planets, we infer their likelyradio properties.We compile a list of the most promising radio targets and conclude thatthe planets orbiting Tau Bootes, Gliese 86, Upsilon Andromeda and HD1237(as well as HD179949) are the most promising candidates, with expectedflux levels that should be detectable in the near future with upcomingtelescope arrays. The expected emission peak from these candidate radioemitting planets is typically ~40-50 MHz. We also discuss a range ofobservational considerations for detecting EGPs.

Spectroscopic Properties of Cool Stars (SPOCS). I. 1040 F, G, and K Dwarfs from Keck, Lick, and AAT Planet Search Programs
We present a uniform catalog of stellar properties for 1040 nearby F, G,and K stars that have been observed by the Keck, Lick, and AAT planetsearch programs. Fitting observed echelle spectra with synthetic spectrayielded effective temperature, surface gravity, metallicity, projectedrotational velocity, and abundances of the elements Na, Si, Ti, Fe, andNi, for every star in the catalog. Combining V-band photometry andHipparcos parallaxes with a bolometric correction based on thespectroscopic results yielded stellar luminosity, radius, and mass.Interpolating Yonsei-Yale isochrones to the luminosity, effectivetemperature, metallicity, and α-element enhancement of each staryielded a theoretical mass, radius, gravity, and age range for moststars in the catalog. Automated tools provide uniform results and makeanalysis of such a large sample practical. Our analysis method differsfrom traditional abundance analyses in that we fit the observed spectrumdirectly, rather than trying to match equivalent widths, and wedetermine effective temperature and surface gravity from the spectrumitself, rather than adopting values based on measured photometry orparallax. As part of our analysis, we determined a new relationshipbetween macroturbulence and effective temperature on the main sequence.Detailed error analysis revealed small systematic offsets with respectto the Sun and spurious abundance trends as a function of effectivetemperature that would be inobvious in smaller samples. We attempted toremove these errors by applying empirical corrections, achieving aprecision per spectrum of 44 K in effective temperature, 0.03 dex inmetallicity, 0.06 dex in the logarithm of gravity, and 0.5 kms-1 in projected rotational velocity. Comparisons withprevious studies show only small discrepancies. Our spectroscopicallydetermined masses have a median fractional precision of 15%, but theyare systematically 10% higher than masses obtained by interpolatingisochrones. Our spectroscopic radii have a median fractional precisionof 3%. Our ages from isochrones have a precision that variesdramatically with location in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. We planto extend the catalog by applying our automated analysis technique toother large stellar samples.

Planets and Infrared Excesses: Preliminary Results from a Spitzer MIPS Survey of Solar-Type Stars
As part of a large Spitzer MIPS Guaranteed Time Observation program, wehave searched for infrared excesses due to debris disks toward 26 FGKfield stars known from radial velocity (RV) studies to have one or moreplanets. While none of these stars show excesses at 24 μm, we havedetected 70 μm excesses around six stars at the 3 σ confidencelevel. The excesses are produced by cool material (<100 K) locatedbeyond 10 AU, well outside the ``habitable zones'' of these systems andconsistent with the presence of Kuiper Belt analogs with ~100 times moreemitting surface area than in our own planetary system. Theseplanet-bearing stars are, by selection for RV studies, typically olderthan 1 Gyr, and the stars identified here with excesses have a medianage of 4 Gyr. We find a preliminary correlation of both the frequencyand the magnitude of dust emission with the presence of known planets.These are the first stars outside the solar system identified as havingboth well-confirmed planetary systems and well-confirmed IR excesses.

The Planet-Metallicity Correlation
We have recently carried out spectral synthesis modeling to determineTeff, logg, vsini, and [Fe/H] for 1040 FGK-type stars on theKeck, Lick, and Anglo-Australian Telescope planet search programs. Thisis the first time that a single, uniform spectroscopic analysis has beenmade for every star on a large Doppler planet search survey. We identifya subset of 850 stars that have Doppler observations sufficient todetect uniformly all planets with radial velocity semiamplitudes K>30m s-1 and orbital periods shorter than 4 yr. From this subsetof stars, we determine that fewer than 3% of stars with-0.5<[Fe/H]<0.0 have Doppler-detected planets. Above solarmetallicity, there is a smooth and rapid rise in the fraction of starswith planets. At [Fe/H]>+0.3 dex, 25% of observed stars have detectedgas giant planets. A power-law fit to these data relates the formationprobability for gas giant planets to the square of the number of metalatoms. High stellar metallicity also appears to be correlated with thepresence of multiple-planet systems and with the total detected planetmass. This data set was examined to better understand the origin of highmetallicity in stars with planets. None of the expected fossilsignatures of accretion are observed in stars with planets relative tothe general sample: (1) metallicity does not appear to increase as themass of the convective envelopes decreases, (2) subgiants with planetsdo not show dilution of metallicity, (3) no abundance variations for Na,Si, Ti, or Ni are found as a function of condensation temperature, and(4) no correlations between metallicity and orbital period oreccentricity could be identified. We conclude that stars with extrasolarplanets do not have an accretion signature that distinguishes them fromother stars; more likely, they are simply born in higher metallicitymolecular clouds.Based on observations obtained at Lick and Keck Observatories, operatedby the University of California, and the Anglo-Australian Observatories.

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.

An Upper Bound on the 1.6 Micron Flux Ratio of the Companion to ρ Coronae Borealis
We use high-resolution infrared spectroscopy to investigate the 2001report by Gatewood and colleagues that ρ CrB's candidateextrasolar-planet companion is really a low-mass star with mass0.14+/-0.05 Msolar. We do not detect evidence of such acompanion; the upper bounds on the (companion-to-primary) flux ratio at1.6 μm are less than 0.0024 and 0.005 at the 90% and 99% confidencelevels, respectively. Using the H-band mass-luminosity relationshipcalculated by Baraffe and colleagues, the corresponding upper limits onthe companion mass are 0.11 and 0.15 Msolar. Our resultsindicate that the infrared spectroscopic technique can detect companionsin binaries with flux ratios as low as 0.01 to 0.02.

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.

Line bisectors and radial velocity jitter from SARG spectra
We present an analysis of spectral line bisector variations for a fewstars observed in the SARG high precision radial velocity planet survey,and discuss their relationship with differential radial velocities. Thespectra we consider are the same used for determining radial velocities.The iodine cell lines employed in the measurement of radial velocitieswere removed before bisector analysis. The line bisectors were thencomputed from average absorption profiles obtained by cross correlationof the stellar spectra with a mask made from suitable lines of a solarcatalog. Bisector velocity spans were then determined: errors in thesequantities compare well with theoretical expectations based onresolution, S/N and line shape. The plot of bisector velocity spanagainst radial velocity was studied to search for correlations betweenline asymmetries and radial velocity variations. A correlation was seenfor HD 166435 due to stellar activity, and for HD 8071B due to spectralcontamination by the companion. No correlation was seen for 51 Peg andρ CrB, stars hosting planets. We conclude that this technique may beuseful to separate radial velocity variations due to barycenter motionfrom spurious signals in spectra acquired with the iodine cell.

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.

Asteroseismology of Procyon A with SARG at TNG
We present high precision radial velocity measurements on the F5 IV starα CMi obtained by the SARG spectrograph at TNG (TelescopioNazionale Galileo) exploiting the iodine cell technique. The time seriesof about 950 spectra of Procyon A taken during 6 observation nights areaffected by an individual error of 1.3 m s-1. Thanks to theiodine cell technique, the spectrograph contribution to the Dopplershift measurement error is quite negligible and our error is dominatedby the photon statistics \citep{brown94}. An excess of power between 0.5and 1.5 mHz, detected also by \citet{martic04} has been found. Wedetermined a large separation frequency Δν0 =56± 2 μHz, consistent with both theoretical estimates\citep{chaboyer99} and previous observations \citep{martic04}.Based on observations made with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo(TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Centro Galileo Galileiof the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the SpanishObservatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisicade Canarias.

On the possible correlation between the orbital periods of extrasolar planets and the metallicity of the host stars
We investigate a possible correlation between the orbital periods P ofthe extrasolar planet sample and the metallicity [Fe/H] of their parentstars. Close-in planets, on orbits of a few days, are more likely to befound around metal-rich stars. Simulations show that a weak correlationis present. This correlation becomes stronger when only single starswith one detected planet are considered. We discuss several potentialsources of bias that might mimic the correlation, and find that they canbe ruled out, but not with high significance. If real, the absence ofvery short-period planets around the stellar sample with [Fe/H] < 0.0can be interpreted as evidence of a metallicity dependence of themigration rates of giant planets during formation in the protoplanetarydisc. The observed P-[Fe/H] correlation can be falsified or confirmed byconducting spectroscopic or astrometric surveys of metal-poor stars([Fe/H] < -0.5) in the field.

The R Coronae Borealis stars: carbon abundances from forbidden carbon lines
Spectra of several R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars at maximum light havebeen examined for the [CI] 9850- and 8727-Åabsorption lines. The9850-Åline is variously blended with an FeII and CN lines, butpositive identifications of the [CI] line are made for RCrB and SUTau.The 8727-Åline is detected in the spectrum of the five starsobserved in this wavelength region. Carbon abundances are derived fromthe [CI] lines using the model atmospheres and atmospheric parametersused by Asplund et al.Although the observed strength of a CI line is constant from cool to hotRCB stars, the strength is lower than predicted by an amount equivalentto a factor of 4 reduction of the gf-value of a line. Asplund et al.dubbed this `the carbon problem' and discussed possible solutions.The [CI] 9850-Åline seen clearly in RCrB and SUTau confirms themagnitude of the carbon problem revealed by the CI lines. The [CI]8727-Åline measured in five stars shows an enhanced carbonproblem. The gf-value required to fit the observed [CI] 8727-Ålineis a factor of 15 less than the well-determined theoretical gf-value. Wesuggest that the carbon problem for all lines may be alleviated to someextent by a chromospheric-like temperature rise in these stars. The risefar exceeds that predicted by our non-local thermodynamic equilibriumcalculations, and requires a substantial deposition of mechanicalenergy.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Constellation:Corona Borealis
Right ascension:16h01m02.70s
Apparent magnitude:5.41
Distance:17.428 parsecs
Proper motion RA:-199.1
Proper motion Dec:-773.9
B-T magnitude:6.13
V-T magnitude:5.471

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesGuànsu?ji?
Bayerρ CrB
Flamsteed15 CrB
HD 1989HD 143761
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 2576-2228-1
BSC 1991HR 5968
HIPHIP 78459

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