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The origin and chemical evolution of carbon in the Galactic thin and thick discs*
In order to trace the origin and evolution of carbon in the Galacticdisc, we have determined carbon abundances in 51 nearby F and G dwarfstars. The sample is divided into two kinematically distinct subsampleswith 35 and 16 stars that are representative of the Galactic thin andthick discs, respectively. The analysis is based on spectral synthesisof the forbidden [CI] line at 872.7nm using spectra of very highresolution (R~ 220000) and high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N >~ 300)that were obtained with the Coudé Echelle Spectrograph (CES)spectrograph by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) 3.6-m telescopeat La Silla in Chile. We find that [C/Fe] versus [Fe/H] trends for thethin and thick discs are totally merged and flat for subsolarmetallicities. The thin disc that extends to higher metallicities thanthe thick disc shows a shallow decline in [C/Fe] from [Fe/H]~ 0 and upto [Fe/H]~+0.4. The [C/O] versus [O/H] trends are well separated betweenthe two discs (due to differences in the oxygen abundances) and bear agreat resemblance to the [Fe/O] versus [O/H] trends. Our interpretationof our abundance trends is that the sources that are responsible for thecarbon enrichment in the Galactic thin and thick discs have operated ona time-scale very similar to those that are responsible for the Fe and Yenrichment [i.e. SNIa and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars,respectively]. We further note that there exist other observational datain the literature that favour massive stars as the main sources forcarbon. In order to match our carbon trends, we believe that the carbonyields from massive stars then must be very dependent on metallicity forthe C, Fe and Y trends to be so finely tuned in the two discpopulations. Such metallicity-dependent yields are no longer supportedby the new stellar models in the recent literature. For the Galaxy, wehence conclude that the carbon enrichment at metallicities typical ofthe disc is mainly due to low- and intermediate-mass stars, whilemassive stars are still the main carbon contributor at low metallicities(halo and metal-poor thick disc).

Asteroseismology of solar-type stars with CORALIE and HARPS . I: Observations and modelling of single stars
We present here the detection and characterization of solar-likeoscillations in several targets such as beta Vir, eta Boo, delta Eri,chi Eri and the Am star HD 209625 obtained with the CORALIE and HARPSspectrographs based at the ESO La Silla Observatory. The measurement ofthe frequencies of p-mode oscillations provides an insight into theinternal structure and is nowadays the most powerful constraint on thetheory of stellar evolution.

Detection Limits from the McDonald Observatory Planet Search Program
Based on the long-term radial velocity surveys carried out with theMcDonald Observatory 2.7 m Harlan J. Smith Telescope from 1988 to thepresent, we derive upper limits to long-period giant planet companionsfor 31 nearby stars. Data from three phases of the McDonald Observatory2.7 m planet-search program have been merged together, and for 17objects data from the pioneering Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope radialvelocity program have also been included in the companion-limitsdetermination. For those 17 objects, the baseline of observations is inexcess of 23 yr, enabling the detection or exclusion of giant planets inorbits beyond 8 AU. We also consider the possibility of eccentric orbitsin our computations. At an orbital separation of 5.2 AU, we can excludeon average planets of Msini>~(2.0+/-1.1)MJ (e=0) andMsini>~(4.0+/-2.8)MJ (e=0.6) for 25 of the 31 stars inthis survey. However, we are not yet able to rule out ``true Jupiters,''i.e., planets of Msini~1MJ in 5.2 AU orbits. These limits areof interest for the Space Interferometry Mission, Terrestrial PlanetFinder, and Darwin missions, which will search for terrestrial planetsorbiting nearby stars, many of which are included in this work.

Dwarfs in the Local Region
We present lithium, carbon, and oxygen abundance data for a sample ofnearby dwarfs-a total of 216 stars-including samples within 15 pc of theSun, as well as a sample of local close giant planet (CGP) hosts (55stars) and comparison stars. The spectroscopic data for this work have aresolution of R~60,000, a signal-to-noise ratio >150, and spectralcoverage from 475 to 685 nm. We have redetermined parameters and derivedadditional abundances (Z>10) for the CGP host and comparison samples.From our abundances for elements with Z>6 we determine the meanabundance of all elements in the CGP hosts to range from 0.1 to 0.2 dexhigher than nonhosts. However, when relative abundances ([x/Fe]) areconsidered we detect no differences in the samples. We find nodifference in the lithium contents of the hosts versus the nonhosts. Theplanet hosts appear to be the metal-rich extension of local regionabundances, and overall trends in the abundances are dominated byGalactic chemical evolution. A consideration of the kinematics of thesample shows that the planet hosts are spread through velocity space;they are not exclusively stars of the thin disk.

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.

Photospheric and chromospheric active regions on three single-lined RS CVn binaries
A monitoring of three active RS CVn binaries has been performed withmedium resolution spectroscopy with the aim of investigating thebehavior of chromospheric and photospheric inhomogeneities. Surfacetemperature, as recovered from line-depth ratios (LDRs), allowed us tomap the photospheric spots, while the Hα emission has been used asan indicator of chromospheric inhomogeneities. We have found that therotational modulation of the Hα emission is always in anti-phasewith the temperature wave, i.e. at the time of our observations activeregions at chromospheric and photospheric levels are closely spatiallyassociated in these active stars. The residual Hα profiles,obtained as the difference between the observed spectra and non-activetemplates, are well reproduced by a two Gaussian fitting. The broademission component, responsible for the wide emission wings in near allthe spectra, is often blue-shifted with respect to the center of thestellar disk. The narrow Hα emission displays a phase-dependentvariation in all stars and is anti-correlated with the photosphericdiagnostics, while the broad one displays no or little rotationalmodulation. We suggest that the broad emission component is mainlyrelated to physical phenomena, like micro-flaring or strongchromospheric velocity fields, occurring all over the star disk, whilethe central narrow emission is more affected by chromospheric plages. Wehave also detected a modulation of the intensity of the He I D3 linewith the star rotation, suggesting surface features also in the upperchromosphere of these stars.

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

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

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.

Stellar Lyα Emission Lines in the Hubble Space Telescope Archive: Intrinsic Line Fluxes and Absorption from the Heliosphere and Astrospheres
We search the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archive for previouslyunanalyzed observations of stellar H I Lyα emission lines, ourprimary purpose being to look for new detections of Lyα absorptionfrom the outer heliosphere and to also search for analogous absorptionfrom the astrospheres surrounding the observed stars. The astrosphericabsorption is of particular interest because it can be used to studysolar-like stellar winds that are otherwise undetectable. We find andanalyze 33 HST Lyα spectra in the archive. All the spectra weretaken with the E140M grating of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph(STIS) instrument on board HST. The HST STIS spectra yield four newdetections of heliospheric absorption (70 Oph, ξ Boo, 61 Vir, and HD165185) and seven new detections of astrospheric absorption (EV Lac, 70Oph, ξ Boo, 61 Vir, δ Eri, HD 128987, and DK UMa), doubling theprevious number of heliospheric and astrospheric detections. Whencombined with previous results, 10 of 17 lines of sight within 10 pcyield detections of astrospheric absorption. This high detectionfraction implies that most of the ISM within 10 pc must be at leastpartially neutral, since the presence of H I within the ISM surroundingthe observed star is necessary for an astrospheric detection. Incontrast, the detection percentage is only 9.7% (3 out of 31) for starsbeyond 10 pc. Our Lyα analyses provide measurements of ISM H I andD I column densities for all 33 lines of sight, and we discuss someimplications of these results. Finally, we measure chromosphericLyα fluxes from the observed stars. We use these fluxes todetermine how Lyα flux correlates with coronal X-ray andchromospheric Mg II emission, and we also study how Lyα emissiondepends on stellar rotation.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS5-26555.

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

New Mass-Loss Measurements from Astrospheric Lyα Absorption
Measurements of stellar mass-loss rates are used to assess how windstrength varies with coronal activity and age for solar-like stars. Massloss generally increases with activity, but we find evidence that windssuddenly weaken at a certain activity threshold. Very active stars areoften observed to have polar starspots, and we speculate that themagnetic field geometry associated with these spots may be inhibitingthe winds. Our inferred mass-loss/age relation represents an empiricalestimate of the history of the solar wind. This result is important forplanetary studies as well as solar/stellar astronomy, since solar winderosion may have played an important role in the evolution of planetaryatmospheres.

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

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.

Chromospherically Active Stars. XXIV. The Giant, Single-lined Binaries HD 37824, HD 181809, and HD 217188
We have obtained spectroscopy and photometry of three chromosphericallyactive, single-lined spectroscopic binaries, HD 37824 (V1149 Ori), HD181809 (V4138 Sgr), and HD 217188 (AZ Psc). HD 37824 has a circularorbit with a period of 53.57 days. Its primary is a K0 III star, whilethe secondary is likely a G or K dwarf. HD 181809 has an orbit with aperiod of 13.04667 days and a low eccentricity of 0.040. The primary hasa spectral type of K0 III-IV, and its secondary is probably an M dwarf.The orbit of HD 217188 has a period of 47.1209 days and a moderatelyhigh eccentricity of 0.470. The spectral type of the primary is K0 III,while the secondary is likely an M dwarf. All three systems areestimated to have near solar iron abundances. Photometric observationsspanning 15-16 years for all three stars yield mean photometric periodsof 53.12, 59.85, and 90.89 days for HD 37824, HD 181809, and HD 217188,respectively. Thus, HD 37824 is rotating synchronously with the orbitalperiod, while HD 181809 and HD 217188 are both rotating considerablyslower than synchronously. All three stars show long-term variations inmean brightness and photometric amplitude, but no correlations areobserved between the seasonal mean brightness, photometric amplitude,and seasonal photometric period in any of the stars. No clear evidencefor long-term periodic variations in any of these parameters is present.The circular orbit of HD 37824 and the synchronous rotation of its Kgiant argue that the star is in the core helium-burning phase of itsevolution. The giant components of HD 181809 and HD 217188 areasynchronous rotators, and both systems have eccentric orbits. Thus,those two stars are likely first-ascent giants.

Stars within 15 Parsecs: Abundances for a Northern Sample
We present an abundance analysis for stars within 15 pc of the Sunlocated north of -30° declination. We have limited our abundancesample to absolute magnitudes brighter than +7.5 and have eliminatedseveral A stars in the local vicinity. Our final analysis list numbers114 stars. Unlike Allende Prieto et al. in their consideration of a verysimilar sample, we have enforced strict spectroscopic criteria in thedetermination of atmospheric parameters. Nevertheless, our results arevery similar to theirs. We determine the mean metallicity of the localregion to be <[Fe/H]>=-0.07 using all stars and -0.04 when interlopersfrom the thick disk are eliminated.

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

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.

A 10 μm spectroscopic survey of Herbig Ae star disks: Grain growth and crystallization
We present spectroscopic observations of a large sample of Herbig Aestars in the 10 μm spectral region. We perform compositional fits ofthe spectra based on properties of homogeneous as well as inhomogeneousspherical particles, and derive the mineralogy and typical grain sizesof the dust responsible for the 10 μm emission. Several trends arereported that can constrain theoretical models of dust processing inthese systems: i) none of the sources consists of fully pristine dustcomparable to that found in the interstellar medium; ii) all sourceswith a high fraction of crystalline silicates are dominated by largegrains; iii) the disks around more massive stars (M  2.5{M}ȯ, L  60 {L}ȯ) have a higherfraction of crystalline silicates than those around lower mass stars,iv) in the subset of lower mass stars (M  2.5 {M}ȯ)there is no correlation between stellar parameters and the derivedcrystallinity of the dust. The correlation between the shape andstrength of the 10 micron silicate feature reported by van Boekel et al.(2003) is reconfirmed with this larger sample. The evidence presented inthis paper is combined with that of other studies to present a likelyscenario of dust processing in Herbig Ae systems. We conclude that thepresent data favour a scenario in which the crystalline silicates areproduced in the innermost regions of the disk, close to the star, andtransported outward to the regions where they can be detected by meansof 10 micron spectroscopy. Additionally, we conclude that the finalcrystallinity of these disks is reached very soon after active accretionhas stopped.

VLTI/VINCI diameter constraints on the evolutionary status of δ Eri, ξ Hya, η Boo
Using VLTI/VINCI angular diameter measurements, we constrain theevolutionary status of three asteroseismic targets: the stars δEri, ξ Hya, η Boo. Our predictions of the mean large frequencyspacing of these stars are in agreement with published observationalestimations. Looking without success for a companion of δ Eri, wedoubt its classification as an RS CVn star.

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

Spectroscopic determination of photospheric parameters and chemical abundances of 6 K-type stars^
High resolution, high -S/N- ratio optical spectra have been obtained fora sample of 6 K-type dwarf and subgiant stars, and have been analysedwith three different LTE methods in order to derive detailedphotospheric parameters and abundances and to compare thecharacteristics of analysis techniques. The results have been comparedwith the aim of determining the most robust method to perform completespectroscopic analyses of K-type stars, and in this perspective thepresent work must be considered as a pilot study. In this context wehave determined the abundance ratios with respect to iron of severalelements. In the first method the photospheric parameters (T_eff, log g,and ξ) and metal abundances are derived using measured equivalentwidths and Kurucz LTE model atmospheres as input for the MOOG softwarecode. The analysis proceeds in an iterative way, and relies on theexcitation equilibrium of the ion{Fe}{i} lines for determining theeffective temperature and microturbulence, and on the ionizationequilibrium of the ion{Fe}{i} and ion{Fe}{ii} lines for determining thesurface gravity and the metallicity. The second method follows a similarapproach, but discards the ion{Fe}{i} low excitation potentialtransitions (which are potentially affected by non-LTE effects) from theinitial line list, and relies on the B-V colour index to determine thetemperature. The third method relies on the detailed fitting of the 6162Å ion{Ca}{i} line to derive the surface gravity, using the samerestricted line list as the second method. Methods 1 and 3 giveconsistent results for the program stars; in particular the comparisonbetween the results obtained shows that the ion{Fe}{i} low-excitationpotential transitions do not appear significantly affected by non-LTEeffects (at least for the subgiant stars), as suggested by the goodagreement of the atmospheric parameters and chemical abundances derived.The second method leads to systematically lower T_eff and log g valueswith respect to the first one, and a similar trend is shown by thechemical abundances (with the exception of the oxygen abundance). Thesedifferences, apart from residual non-LTE effects, may be a consequenceof the colour-T_eff scale used. The α-elements have abundanceratios consistent with the solar values for all the program stars, asexpected for “normal” disk stars. The first method appearsto be the most reliable one, as it is self-consistent, it always leadsto convergent solutions and the results obtained are in good agreementwith previous determinations in the literature.Based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operatedon the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway,and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roche de los Muchachos ofthe Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. Table 6 is only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org

α-, r-, and s-process element trends in the Galactic thin and thick disks
From a detailed elemental abundance analysis of 102 F and G dwarf starswe present abundance trends in the Galactic thin and thick disks for 14elements (O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, Fe, Ni, Zn, Y, Ba, and Eu).Stellar parameters and elemental abundances (except for Y, Ba and Eu)for 66 of the 102 stars were presented in our previous studies (Bensbyet al. [CITE], A&A, 410, 527, [CITE], A&A, 415, 155). The 36stars that are new in this study extend and confirm our previous resultsand allow us to draw further conclusions regarding abundance trends. Thes-process elements Y and Ba, and the r-element Eu have also beenconsidered here for the whole sample for the first time. With this newlarger sample we now have the following results: 1) smooth and distinctabundance trends that for the thin and thick disks are clearlyseparated; 2) the α-element trends for the thick disk show typicalsignatures from the enrichment of SN Ia; 3) the thick disk stellarsample is in the mean older than the thin disk stellar sample; 4) thethick disk abundance trends are invariant with galactocentric radii(R_m); 5) the thick disk abundance trends appear to be invariant withvertical distance (Z_max) from the Galactic plane. Adding furtherevidence from the literaure we argue that a merger/interacting scenariowith a companion galaxy to produce a kinematical heating of the stars(that make up today's thick disk) in a pre-existing old thin disk is themost likely formation scenario for the Galactic thick disk. The 102stars have -1 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲ +0.4 and are all in the solarneighbourhood. Based on their kinematics they have been divided into athin disk sample and a thick disk sample consisting of 60 and 38 stars,respectively. The remaining 4 stars have kinematics that make themkinematically intermediate to the two disks. Their chemical abundancesalso place them in between the two disks. Which of the two diskpopulations these 4 stars belong to, or if they form a distinctpopulation of their own, can at the moment not be settled. The 66 starsfrom our previous studies were observed with the FEROS spectrograph onthe ESO 1.5-m telescope and the CES spectrograph on the ESO 3.6-mtelescope. Of the 36 new stars presented here 30 were observed with theSOFIN spectrograph on the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma, 3 withthe UVES spectrograph on VLT/UT2, and 3 with the FEROS spectrograph onthe ESO 1.5-m telescope. All spectra have high signal-to-noise ratios(typically S/N≳ 250) and high resolution (R˜ 80 000, 45 000,and 110 000 for the SOFIN, FEROS, and UVES spectra, respectively).Based on observations collected at the Nordic Optical Telescope on LaPalma, Spain, and at the European Southern Observatories on La Silla andParanal, Chile, Proposals # 65.L-0019(B), 67.B-0108(B), 69.B-0277. FullTables [see full text], [see full text] and [see full text] are onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/433/185

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.

Determination of fundamental characteristics for stars of the F, G, and K spectral types. The surface gravities and metallicity parameters.
Not Available

Chromospheric Ca II Emission in Nearby F, G, K, and M Stars
We present chromospheric Ca II H and K activity measurements, rotationperiods, and ages for ~1200 F, G, K, and M type main-sequence stars from~18,000 archival spectra taken at Keck and Lick Observatories as a partof the California and Carnegie Planet Search Project. We have calibratedour chromospheric S-values against the Mount Wilson chromosphericactivity data. From these measurements we have calculated medianactivity levels and derived R'HK, stellar ages,and rotation periods from general parameterizations for 1228 stars,~1000 of which have no previously published S-values. We also presentprecise time series of activity measurements for these stars.Based on observations obtained at Lick Observatory, which is operated bythe University of California, and on observations obtained at the W. M.Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University ofCalifornia and the California Institute of Technology. The KeckObservatory was made possible by the generous financial support of theW. M. Keck Foundation.

The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar Spectra
We have obtained spectra for 1273 stars using the 0.9 m coudéfeed telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This telescope feedsthe coudé spectrograph of the 2.1 m telescope. The spectra havebeen obtained with the no. 5 camera of the coudé spectrograph anda Loral 3K×1K CCD. Two gratings have been used to provide spectralcoverage from 3460 to 9464 Å, at a resolution of ~1 Å FWHMand at an original dispersion of 0.44 Å pixel-1. For885 stars we have complete spectra over the entire 3460 to 9464 Åwavelength region (neglecting small gaps of less than 50 Å), andpartial spectral coverage for the remaining stars. The 1273 stars havebeen selected to provide broad coverage of the atmospheric parametersTeff, logg, and [Fe/H], as well as spectral type. The goal ofthe project is to provide a comprehensive library of stellar spectra foruse in the automated classification of stellar and galaxy spectra and ingalaxy population synthesis. In this paper we discuss thecharacteristics of the spectral library, viz., details of theobservations, data reduction procedures, and selection of stars. We alsopresent a few illustrations of the quality and information available inthe spectra. The first version of the complete spectral library is nowpublicly available from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory(NOAO) via ftp and http.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:03h43m14.90s
Apparent magnitude:3.54
Distance:9.043 parsecs
Proper motion RA:-93
Proper motion Dec:742.5
B-T magnitude:4.694
V-T magnitude:3.622

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesRana
Bayerδ Eri
Flamsteed23 Eri
HD 1989HD 23249
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 5303-1320-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0750-00817175
BSC 1991HR 1136
HIPHIP 17378

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