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Modeling the Neutral Hydrogen Interstellar Medium: A Better Kinematic Distance Tool
An advanced approach to the kinematic distance method is developed. Themethod is applicable to second- and third-quadrant Galactic objects withknown velocities. It is based on fitting a model of the density andvelocity features in an isothermal H I disk to observed H I data. Thevelocity field of the gas is modeled with a power law for basic circularrotation, underlying noncircular motions from a two-armed density wavepattern. With a reasonable number of adjustable parameters andconstraints the model reproduces observations toward many Galacticobjects, and accurate distances are found from the modeled velocityfield. High-resolution H I spectral line data from the Canadian GalacticPlane Survey (CGPS; Taylor et al.) are used to discriminate clouds fromthe intercloud medium (the ``stratum'') for which the model is intended.The ability of the model to reproduce these data is demonstrated in one-[Tb(v)] and two- [Tb(l, v)] dimensional fits.Distances to 22 H II regions and SNRs calculated by the fitted velocityfield compare extremely well with other kinematically independentdistances.

The Discordance of Mass-Loss Estimates for Galactic O-Type Stars
We have determined accurate values of the product of the mass-loss rateand the ion fraction of P+4, M˙q(P+4), for asample of 40 Galactic O-type stars by fitting stellar wind profiles toobservations of the P V resonance doublet obtained with FUSE, ORFEUSBEFS, and Copernicus. When P+4 is the dominant ion in thewind [i.e., 0.5<~q(P+4)<=1], M˙q(P+4)approximates the mass-loss rate to within a factor of <~2. Theorypredicts that P+4 is the dominant ion in the winds of O7-O9.7stars, although an empirical estimator suggests that the range O4-O7 maybe more appropriate. However, we find that the mass-loss rates obtainedfrom P V wind profiles are systematically smaller than those obtainedfrom fits to Hα emission profiles or radio free-free emission bymedian factors of ~130 (if P+4 is dominant between O7 andO9.7) or ~20 (if P+4 is dominant between O4 and O7). Thesediscordant measurements can be reconciled if the winds of O stars in therelevant temperature range are strongly clumped on small spatial scales.We use a simplified two-component model to investigate the volumefilling factors of the denser regions. This clumping implies thatmass-loss rates determined from ``ρ2'' diagnostics havebeen systematically overestimated by factors of 10 or more, at least fora subset of O stars. Reductions in the mass-loss rates of this size haveimportant implications for the evolution of massive stars andquantitative estimates of the feedback that hot-star winds provide totheir interstellar environments.

Bright OB stars in the Galaxy. III. Constraints on the radial stratification of the clumping factor in hot star winds from a combined Hα, IR and radio analysis
Context: .Recent results strongly challenge the canonical picture ofmassive star winds: various evidence indicates that currently acceptedmass-loss rates, {dot M}, may need to be revised downwards, by factorsextending to one magnitude or even more. This is because the mostcommonly used mass-loss diagnostics are affected by "clumping"(small-scale density inhomogeneities), influencing our interpretation ofobserved spectra and fluxes. Aims: .Such downward revisions wouldhave dramatic consequences for the evolution of, and feedback from,massive stars, and thus robust determinations of the clumping propertiesand mass-loss rates are urgently needed. We present a first attemptconcerning this objective, by means of constraining the radialstratification of the so-called clumping factor. Methods: .To thisend, we have analyzed a sample of 19 Galactic O-type supergiants/giants,by combining our own and archival data for Hα, IR, mm and radiofluxes, and using approximate methods, calibrated to more sophisticatedmodels. Clumping has been included into our analysis in the"conventional" way, by assuming the inter-clump matter to be void.Because (almost) all our diagnostics depends on the square of density,we cannot derive absolute clumping factors, but only factors normalizedto a certain minimum. Results: .This minimum was usually found tobe located in the outermost, radio-emitting region, i.e., the radiomass-loss rates are the lowest ones, compared to {dot M} derived fromHα and the IR. The radio rates agree well with those predicted bytheory, but are only upper limits, due to unknown clumping in the outerwind. Hα turned out to be a useful tool to derive the clumpingproperties inside r < 3{ldots}5 Rstar. Our most importantresult concerns a (physical) difference between denser and thinnerwinds: for denser winds, the innermost region is more strongly clumpedthan the outermost one (with a normalized clumping factor of 4.1± 1.4), whereas thinner winds have similar clumping properties inthe inner and outer regions. Conclusions: .Our findings arecompared with theoretical predictions, and the implications arediscussed in detail, by assuming different scenarios regarding the stillunknown clumping properties of the outer wind.

On the diffuse bands related to the C2 interstellar molecule
The recently published idea that intensities of some weak diffuseinterstellar bands (DIBs) are related to the C2 molecule column densityhave been examined. We use a set of high quality echelle spectra ofheavily reddened stars, acquired at the Bohyunsan Optical AstronomicalObservatory (South Korea), with a resolution R=30 000. The high quality(high S/N ratio) of our spectra is proved by the fact that despite usingthe most widely used Phillips (2, 0) band of the C2 molecule (near 8760Å), we can trace the (3, 0) Phillips band (near 7725 Å) aswell. Equivalent widths of four (5176, 5542, 5546 and 5769 Å) outof 16 examined DIBs demonstrate relatively good correlation with C2column density. However, a majority of the studied DIBs, alreadyreported as "C2" ones, most likely are not related to this simplestcarbon molecule. A removal of peculiar objects like HD 34078 from theanalyzed sample does not substantially change the level of correlations.

On the feasibility of detection of neutron star companions to OB runaways using Gaia astrometry
For an illustrative sample of classical OB runaway stars, we examine thecapability of the upcoming Gaia satellite to detect compact companionsby the use of astrometric techniques. For the OB runaway stars in oursample, we estimate initial system parameters and consider the modifyingevolutionary effects of mass transfer and supernova explosion of theprimary. The possible system configurations that follow from this, andthe expected Gaia accuracy, determine the likelihood of detecting amovement of the photocentre due to an unseen companion. As the size ofthe natal kick imparted to the core of the exploding star is increasedthe overall probability of detecting a neutron star companion decreasesas more systems become disrupted. The overall detection probabilitiesfor our illustrative sample range from 2% to 27%, which imply thatwithin a distance of approximately 5 kpc from the Sun around 48detections of compact companions to runaway stars can be expected. Forcomparison, around 15% of High Mass X-ray Binaries would exhibit wobblesdetectable with Gaia.

Evolution of X-ray emission from young massive star clusters
The evolution of X-ray emission from young massive star clusters ismodelled, taking into account the emission from the stars as well asfrom the cluster wind. It is shown that the level and character of thesoft (0.2-10 keV) X-ray emission change drastically with cluster age andare tightly linked with stellar evolution. Using the modern X-rayobservations of massive stars, we show that the correlation betweenbolometric and X-ray luminosity known for single O stars also holds forO+O and (Wolf-Rayet) WR+O binaries. The diffuse emission originates fromthe cluster wind heated by the kinetic energy of stellar winds andsupernova explosions. To model the evolution of the cluster wind, themass and energy yields from a population synthesis are used as input toa hydrodynamic model. It is shown that in a very young cluster theemission from the cluster wind is low. When the cluster evolves, WRstars are formed. Their strong stellar winds power an increasing X-rayemission of the cluster wind. Subsequent supernova explosions pump thelevel of diffuse emission even higher. Clusters at this evolutionarystage may have no X-ray-bright stellar point sources, but a relativelyhigh level of diffuse emission. A supernova remnant may become adominant X-ray source, but only for a short time interval of a fewthousand years. We retrieve and analyse Chandra and XMM-Newtonobservations of six massive star clusters located in the LargeMagellanic Cloud (LMC). Our model reproduces the observed diffuse andpoint-source emission from these LMC clusters, as well as from theGalactic clusters Arches, Quintuplet and NGC 3603.

Correlation patterns between 11 diffuse interstellar bands and ultraviolet extinction
We relate the equivalent widths of 11 diffuse interstellar bands,measured in the spectra of 49 stars, to different colour excesses in theultraviolet. We find that most of the observed bands correlatepositively with the extinction in the neighbourhood of the2175-Åbump. Correlation with colour excesses in other parts of theextinction curve is more variable from one diffuse interstellar band toanother; we find that some diffuse bands (5797, 5850 and 6376 Å)correlate positively with the overall slope of the extinction curve,while others (5780 and 6284 Å) exhibit negative correlation. Wediscuss the implications of these results on the links between thediffuse interstellar band carriers and the properties of theinterstellar grains.

Cloud Structure and Physical Conditions in Star-forming Regions from Optical Observations. II. Analysis
To complement the optical absorption line survey of diffuse moleculargas in Paper I, we obtained and analyzed far-ultraviolet H2and CO data on lines of sight toward stars in Cep OB2 and Cep OB3.Possible correlations between column densities of different species forindividual velocity components, not total columns along a line of sightas in the past, were examined and were interpreted in terms of cloudstructure. The analysis reveals that there are two kinds of CH indiffuse molecular gas: CN-like CH and CH+-like CH. Evidenceis provided that CO is also associated with CN in diffuse molecularclouds. Different species are distributed according to gas density inthe diffuse molecular gas. Both calcium and potassium may be depletedonto grains in high-density gas, but with different dependencies onlocal gas density. Gas densities for components where CN was detectedwere inferred from a chemical model. Analysis of cloud structureindicates that our data are generally consistent with the large-scalestructure suggested by maps of CO millimeter-wave emission. On smallscales, the gas density is seen to vary by factors greater than 5.0 overscales of ~10,000 AU. The relationships between column densities of COand CH with that of H2 along a line of sight show similarslopes for the gas toward Cep OB2 and Cep OB3, but the CO/H2and CH/H2 ratios tend to differ, which we ascribe tovariation in average density along the line of sight.

X-Ray Counterparts of Runaway Stars
An X-ray search for possible compact companions of runaway OB stars hasbeen conducted using pointed ROSAT observations. Of a list of 71 runawaystars, ROSAT exposures were available for 24, of which 13 are detected.These numbers are nearly 3 times larger than for a previously studiedEinstein sample, and spectral information is exploited as well.Luminosities, hardness ratios, and long-term variability are as fornormal OB stars and do not suggest the presence of collapsed companions.A result like this is often interpreted as support for dynamicalejection from a dense group rather than a supernova event in a binary asa production process for runaway stars. There are, however, severalcircumstances that may adversely affect the observability of a compactcompanion, or after a supernova explosion systems may be disruptedbecause of the large natal kick velocity imparted to the neutron star asa result of asymmetries in the explosions. It is noted that there isactually evidence for both of these production routes and that they maybe expected to occur sequentially in the evolution of OB associations.

Abundances and Depletions of Interstellar Oxygen
We report on the abundance of interstellar neutral oxygen (O I) for 26sight lines, using data from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer,the International Spectroscopic Explorer, and the Hubble SpaceTelescope. O I column densities are derived by measuring the equivalentwidths of several ultraviolet absorption lines and subsequently fittingthose to a curve of growth. We consider both our general sample of 26sight lines and a more restrictive sample of 10 sight lines that utilizeHST data for a measurement of the weak 1355 Å line of oxygen andare thus better constrained owing to our sampling of all three sectionsof the curve of growth. The column densities of our HST sample showratios of O/H that agree with the current best solar value if dust isconsidered, with the possible exception of one sight line (HD 37903). Wenote some very limited evidence in the HST sample for trends ofincreasing depletion with respect to RV and f(H2),but the trends are not conclusive. Unlike a recent result from Cartledgeet al., we do not see evidence for increasing depletion with respect to, but our HST sample contains only two points moredense than the critical density determined in that paper. The columndensities of our more general sample show some scatter in O/H, but mostagree with the solar value to within errors. We discuss these results inthe context of establishing the best method for determining interstellarabundances, the unresolved question of the best value for O/H in theinterstellar medium, the O/H ratios observed in Galactic stars, and thedepletion of gas-phase oxygen onto dust grains.

Bright OB stars in the Galaxy. II. Wind variability in O supergiants as traced by Hα
We investigate the line-profile variability (lpv) of Hα for alarge sample of O-type supergiants (15 objects between O4 and O9.7), inan objective, statistically rigorous manner. We employed the TemporalVariance Spectrum (TVS) analysis, developed for the case of photosphericabsorption lines and modified by us to take into account the effects ofwind emission. By means of a comparative analysis we place constraintson the properties of this variability - quantified in terms of a meanand a newly defined fractional amplitude of deviations - as a functionof stellar and wind parameters. The results of our analysis show thatall the stars in the sample show evidence of significant lpv inHα, mostly dominated by processes in the wind. The variationsoccur between zero and 0.3 v_&infy; (i.e., below 1.5 R_star ), in goodagreement with results from similar studies. A comparison between theobservations and corresponding line-profile simulations indicates thatfor stars with intermediate wind densities the properties of theHα variability can be explained by simple models consisting ofcoherent or broken shells (blobs) uniformly distributed over the windvolume, with an intrinsic scatter in the maximum density contrast ofabout a factor of two. For stars at lower and higher wind densities, onthe other hand, we found certain inconsistencies between theobservations and our predictions, most importantly concerning the meanamplitude and the symmetry properties of the TVS. This disagreementmight be explained by the presence of coherent large-scale structures,partly confined in a volume close to the star. Interpreted in terms of avariable mass-loss rate, the observed variations of Hα indicatechanges of ±4% with respect to the mean value of dot M for starswith stronger winds and of ± 16% for stars with weaker winds. Theeffect of these variations on the corresponding wind momenta is ratherinsignificant (less than 0.16 dex), increasing only the local scatterwithout affecting the Wind Momentum Luminosity Relationship.

To see or not to see a bow shock. Identifying bow shocks with Hα allsky surveys
OB-stars have the highest luminosities and strongest stellar winds ofall stars, which enables them to interact strongly with theirsurrounding ISM, thus creating bow shocks. These offer us an idealopportunity to learn more about the ISM. They were first detected andanalysed around runaway OB-stars using the IRAS allsky survey by vanBuren et al. (1995, AJ, 110, 2614). Using the geometry of such bowshocks information concerning the ISM density and its fluctuations canbe gained from such infrared observations. As to help to improve the bowshock models, additional observations at other wavelengths, e.g.Hα, are most welcome. However due to their low velocity these bowshocks have a size of ˜ 1°, and could only be observed as awhole with great difficulties. In the light of the new Hα allskysurveys (SHASSA/VTSS) this is no problem any more. We developeddifferent methods to detect bow shocks, e.g. the improved determinationof their symmetry axis with radial distance profiles. Using twoHα-allsky surveys (SHASSA/VTSS), we searched for bow shocks andcompared the different methods. From our sample we conclude, that thecorrelation between the direction of both proper motion and the symmetryaxis determined with radial distance profile is the most promisingdetection method. We found eight bow shocks around HD17505, HD 24430, HD48099, HD 57061, HD92206, HD 135240, HD149757, and HD 158186 from 37 candidatestaken from van Buren et al. (1995, AJ, 110, 2614). Additionally to thetraditional determination of ISM parameters using the standoff distanceof the bow shock, another approach was chosen, using the thickness ofthe bow-shock layer. Both methods lead to the same results, yieldingdensities (˜ 1 cm-3) and the maximal temperatures (˜104 K), that fit well to the up-to-date picture of the WarmIonised Medium.

On the massive stellar population of the super star cluster Westerlund 1
We present new spectroscopic and photometric observations of the youngGalactic open cluster Westerlund 1 (Wd 1) that reveala unique population of massive evolved stars. We identify ~200 clustermembers and present spectroscopic classifications for ~25% of these. Wefind that all stars so classified are unambiguously post-Main Sequenceobjects, consistent with an apparent lack of an identifiable MainSequence in our photometric data to V˜ 20. We are able to identifyrich populations of Wolf Rayet stars, OB supergiants and short livedtransitional objects. Of these, the latter group consists of both hot(Luminous Blue Variable and extreme B supergiant) and cool (YellowHypergiant and Red Supergiant) objects - we find that half the knownGalactic population of YHGs resides within Wd 1. We obtain a meanV-MV ~ 25 mag from the cluster Yellow Hypergiants, implying aMain Sequence turnoff at or below MV =-5 (O7 V or later).Based solely on the masses inferred for the 53 spectroscopicallyclassified stars, we determine an absolute minimum mass of ~1.5 ×10^3~Mȯ for Wd 1. However, considering the completephotometrically and spectroscopically selected cluster population andadopting a Kroupa IMF we infer a likely mass for Wd 1 of~10^5~Mȯ, noting that inevitable source confusion andincompleteness are likely to render this an underestimate. As such, Wd 1is the most massive compact young cluster yet identified in the LocalGroup, with a mass exceeding that of Galactic Centre clusters such asthe Arches and Quintuplet. Indeed, the luminosity, inferred mass andcompact nature of Wd 1 are comparable with those of Super Star Clusters- previously identified only in external galaxies - and is consistentwith expectations for a Globular Cluster progenitor.

Correlations between diffuse interstellar bands and atomic lines
We present and discuss correlations between strengths of the well-known,strong interstellar atomic lines of KI and CaII, and four selected,strong unidentified diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs): 5780, 5797, 5850and 6614. In order to analyse a homogeneous sample of echellehigh-resolution spectra it has been chosen to use measurements fromTerskol Observatory in Northern Caucasus plus a selected number ofhigher resolution observations performed using other instruments. Wedemonstrate that the strength of certain DIBs correlate well withneutral potassium lines and to a much lower degree with ionized calciumlines. This fact suggests that the degree of irradiation of a cloud withUV photons, capable to ionize interstellar atoms, plays a crucial rolein the formation/maintenance of certain molecular species: possiblecarriers of DIBs.

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.

Cloud Structure and Physical Conditions in Star-forming Regions from Optical Observations. I. Data and Component Structure
We present high-resolution optical spectra (at ~0.6-1.8 kms-1) of interstellar CN, CH, CH+, Ca I, K I, andCa II absorption toward 29 lines of sight in three star-forming regions,ρ Oph, Cep OB2, and Cep OB3. The observations and data reduction aredescribed. The agreement between earlier measurements of the totalequivalent widths and our results is quite good. However, our higherresolution spectra reveal complex structure and closely blendedcomponents in most lines of sight. The velocity component structure ofeach species is obtained by analyzing the spectra of the six species fora given sight line together. The tabulated column densities and Dopplerparameters of individual components are determined by using the methodof profile fitting. Total column densities along lines of sight arecomputed by summing results from profile fitting for individualcomponents and are compared with column densities from the apparentoptical depth method. A more detailed analysis of these data and theirimplications will be presented in a companion paper.

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

A Galactic O Star Catalog
We have produced a catalog of 378 Galactic O stars with accuratespectral classifications that is complete for V<8 but includes manyfainter stars. The catalog provides cross-identifications with othersources; coordinates (obtained in most cases from Tycho-2 data);astrometric distances for 24 of the nearest stars; optical (Tycho-2,Johnson, and Strömgren) and NIR photometry; group membership,runaway character, and multiplicity information; and a Web-based versionwith links to on-line services.

On the Hipparcos parallaxes of O stars
We compare the absolute visual magnitude of the majority of bright Ostars in the sky as predicted from their spectral type with the absolutemagnitude calculated from their apparent magnitude and the Hipparcosparallax. We find that many stars appear to be much fainter thanexpected, up to five magnitudes. We find no evidence for a correlationbetween magnitude differences and the stellar rotational velocity assuggested for OB stars by Lamers et al. (1997, A&A, 325, L25), whosesmall sample of stars is partly included in ours. Instead, by means of asimulation we show how these differences arise naturally from the largedistances at which O stars are located, and the level of precision ofthe parallax measurements achieved by Hipparcos. Straightforwardlyderiving a distance from the Hipparcos parallax yields reliable resultsfor one or two O stars only. We discuss several types of bias reportedin the literature in connection with parallax samples (Lutz-Kelker,Malmquist) and investigate how they affect the O star sample. Inaddition, we test three absolute magnitude calibrations from theliterature (Schmidt-Kaler et al. 1982, Landolt-Börnstein; Howarth& Prinja 1989, ApJS, 69, 527; Vacca et al. 1996, ApJ, 460, 914) andfind that they are consistent with the Hipparcos measurements. AlthoughO stars conform nicely to the simulation, we notice that some B stars inthe sample of \citeauthor{La97} have a magnitude difference larger thanexpected.

Line profile variability in the spectra of Oef stars. II. HD 192281, HD 14442 and HD 14434
We present the very first analysis of the spectroscopic variability ofthe three rapidly rotating Oef stars HD 192281 (O5(ef)), HD 14442(O5.5ef) and HD 14434 (O6.5(ef)). Radial velocities of the He IIλ 4541 line reveal no evidence of binarity on time scales of afew days, or from one year to the next, for any of the targets. The HeII λ 4686 double-peaked emission and, to some extent, the Hβabsorption line display significant profile variability in the spectraof all three stars. Data gathered during different observing runs spreadover six years reveal a rather stable time scale for HD 192281 and HD14442, whereas the variability pattern changes significantly from oneyear to the other. The case of HD 14434 is less clear as no obvious timescale emerges from our analysis. In a tentative way to interpret thisvariability, stellar rotation remains a possible clock for HD 192281 andHD 14442. However, currently available models addressing stellarrotation fail to explain some crucial aspects of the observedvariability behaviour, which appear to be even more complex in the caseof HD 14434.Based on observations collected at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence,France.

NLTE models of line-driven stellar winds. I. Method of calculation and first results for O stars
New numerical models of line-driven stellar winds of late O stars arepresented. Statistical equilibrium (NLTE) equations of the most abundantelements are solved. Properly obtained occupation numbers are used tocalculate consistent radiative force and radiative heating terms. Winddensity, velocity and temperature are calculated as a solution of modelhydrodynamical equations. Contrary to other published models we accountfor a multicomponent wind nature and do not simplify the calculation ofthe radiative force (e.g. using force multipliers). We discuss theconvergence behaviour of our models. The ability of our models topredict correct values of mass-loss rates and terminal velocities ofselected late O stars (mainly giants and supergiants) is demonstrated.The systematic difference between predicted and observed terminalvelocities reported in the literature has been removed. Moreover, wefound good agreement between the theoretical wind momentum-luminosityrelationship and the observed one for Cyg OB2 supergiants.Appendices A, B and C are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

Stellar and wind parameters of Galactic O-stars. The influence of line-blocking/blanketing
We have re-analyzed the Galactic O-star sample from \citet{puls96} bymeans of line-blanketed NLTE model atmospheres in order to investigatethe influence of line-blocking/blanketing on the derived parameters. Theanalysis has been carried out by fitting the photospheric and wind linesfrom H and He. In most cases we obtained a good fit, but we have alsofound certain inconsistencies which are probably related to a stillinadequate treatment of the wind structure. These inconsistenciescomprise the line cores of Hγ and Hβ insupergiants (the synthetic profiles are too weak when the mass-loss rateis determined by matching Hα) and the ``generalizeddilution effect'' (cf. \citealt{vo89}) which is still present in He I4471 of cooler supergiants and giants.Compared to pure H/He plane-parallel models we found a decrease ineffective temperatures which is largest at earliest spectral types andfor supergiants (with a maximum shift of roughly 8000 K). This findingis explained by the fact that line-blanketed models of hot stars havephotospheric He ionization fractions similar to those from unblanketedmodels at higher Teff and higher log g. Consequently, anyline-blanketed analysis based on the He ionization equilibrium resultsin lower Teff-values along with a reduction of either log gor helium abundance (if the reduction of log g is prohibited by theBalmer line wings). Stellar radii and mass-loss rates, on the otherhand, remain more or less unaffected by line-blanketing.We have calculated ``new'' spectroscopic masses and compared them withprevious results. Although the former mass discrepancy \citep{h92}becomes significantly reduced, a systematic trend for masses below 50Msun seems to remain: The spectroscopically derived valuesare smaller than the ``evolutionary masses'' by roughly 10Msun. Additionally, a significant fraction of our samplestars stays over-abundant in He, although the actual values were foundto be lower than previously determined.Also the wind-momentum luminosity relation (WLR) changes because oflower luminosities and almost unmodified wind-momentum rates. Comparedto previous results, the separation of the WLR as a function ofluminosity class is still present but now the WLR for giants/dwarfs isconsistent with theoretical predictions.We argue that the derived mass-loss rates of stars withHα in emission are affected by clumping in the lowerwind region. If the predictions from different and independenttheoretical simulations (\citealt {Vink00, Paul03, puls03a}) that theWLR should be independent of luminosity class were correct, a typicalclumping factor <ρ2>/<ρ>2 ≈5 should be derived by ``unifying'' the different WLRs.Based upon observations obtained at the INT and the European SouthernObservatory, La Silla, Chile. The INT is operated on the island of LaPalma by the ING in the Spanish Observatorio de El Roque de losMuchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.Appendix A in only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

On the relation between diffuse bands and column densities of H2, CH and CO molecules
Mutual relations between column densities of H2, CH and COmolecules as well as between the latter and strengths of the major 5780and 5797 diffuse bands are presented and discussed. The CH radical seemsto be a good H2 tracer, possibly better than CO. It is alsodemonstrated that the molecular fraction of the H2 moleculeis correlated with an intensity ratio of 5797 and 5780 DIBs, suggestingthe possible formation of narrow DIB carriers in denser clouds,dominated by molecular hydrogen and reasonably shielded from ionizing UVradiation by small dust grains.Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/414/949

Bright OB stars in the Galaxy. I. Mass-loss and wind-momentum rates of O-type stars: A pure H\alpha analysis accounting for line-blanketing
We study mass-loss and wind momentum rates of 29 Galactic O-type starswith luminosity classes I, III and V by means of a pure H\alpha profileanalysis and investigate to what extent the results compare to thoseoriginating from a state-of-the-art, complete spectral analysis. Ourinvestigation relies on the approximate method developed by\citet{Puls96} which we have modified to account for the effects ofline-blanketing. Effective temperatures and gravities needed to obtainquantitative results from such a simplified approach have been derivedby means of calibrations based on most recent spectroscopic NLTEanalyses and models of Galactic stars by \citet{Repo03} and\citet{Martins02}. Comparing (i) the derived wind-densities to thosedetermined by \citet{Repo03} for eleven stars in common and (ii) theWind-momentum Luminosity Relationship (WLR) for our sample stars tothose derived by other investigations, we conclude that our approximateapproach is actually able to provide consistent results. Additionally,we studied the consequences of ``fine tuning'' some of the direct andindirect parameters entering the WLR, especially by accounting fordifferent possible values of stellar reddening and distances. Combiningour data set with the corresponding data provided by \citet{Herrero02}and \citet{Repo03} we finally study the WLR for the largest sample ofGalactic O-type stars gathered so far, including an elaborate errortreatment. The established disagreement between the theoreticalpredictions and the ``observed'' WLRs being a function of luminosityclass is suggested to be a result of wind clumping. Different strategiesto check this hypothesis are discussed, particularly by comparing theH\alpha mass-loss rates with the ones derived from radio observations.

Toward an adequate method to isolate spectroscopic families of diffuse interstellar bands
We divide some of the observed diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) intofamilies that appear to have the spectral structure of single species.Three different methods are applied to separate such families, exploringthe best approach for future investigations of this type. Starting witha statistical treatment of the data, we found that statistical methodsby themselves give insufficient results. Two other methods of dataanalysis (`averaging equivalent widths' and `investigating the figureswith arranged spectrograms') were found to be more useful as tools forfinding the spectroscopic families of DIBs. On the basis of thesemethods, we suggest some candidates as `relatives' of 5780- and5797-Å bands.

Fast Line-Profile Variability in the Spectra of O Stars
A program of the search for and analysis of profile variability in thespectra of bright O supergiants with a time resolution of 5-30 min isdescribed. Preliminary results of the spectroscopic observations of thestars lambda Ori, alpha Cam, and 19 Cep with the 1-m SpecialAstrophysical Observatory telescope in 2001 are presented. Line-profilevariability was detected in the spectra of all the stars studied;variability in the H_alpha and C III lambda5696 lines in the spectrum oflambda Ori has been found for the first time. The variability amplitudeis 4-5% for 19 Cep and 1-2% for alpha Cam and lambda Ori on time scalesfrom several hours to 3 or 4 days, and the width of the variablefeatures reaches 2 Angstroms (100 km/s). We detected cyclical variationsin the He II lambda4686 and C III lambda5696 line profiles in thespectrum of lambda Ori on time scales of 1.3-1.6 days. Rapid profilevariations on time scales of 3.5-7 h were found in the violet parts ofthe H_alpha and He I lambda4715 line profiles in the spectrum of lambdaOri A.

High-Resolution Observations of Interstellar Ca I Absorption-Implications for Depletions and Electron Densities in Diffuse Clouds
We present high-resolution (FWHM~0.3-1.5 km s-1) spectra,obtained with the AAT UHRF, the McDonald Observatory 2.7 m coudéspectrograph, and/or the KPNO coudé feed, of interstellar Ca Iabsorption toward 30 Galactic stars. Comparisons of the column densitiesof Ca I, Ca II, K I, and other species-for individual componentsidentified in the line profiles and also when integrated over entirelines of sight-yield information on relative electron densities anddepletions (dependent on assumptions regarding the ionizationequilibrium). There is no obvious relationship between the ratio N(CaI)/N(Ca II) [equal to ne/(Γ/αr) forphotoionization equilibrium] and the fraction of hydrogen in molecularform f(H2) (often taken to be indicative of the local densitynH). For a smaller sample of sight lines for which thethermal pressure (nHT) and local density can be estimated viaanalysis of the C I fine-structure excitation, the average electrondensity inferred from C, Na, and K (assuming photoionizationequilibrium) seems to be independent of nH andnHT. While the electron density (ne) obtained fromthe ratio N(Ca I)/N(Ca II) is often significantly higher than the valuesderived from other elements, the patterns of relative nederived from different elements show both similarities and differencesfor different lines of sight-suggesting that additional processesbesides photoionization and radiative recombination commonly andsignificantly affect the ionization balance of heavy elements in diffuseinterstellar clouds. Such additional processes may also contribute tothe (apparently) larger than expected fractional ionizations(ne/nH) found for some lines of sight withindependent determinations of nH. In general, inclusion of``grain-assisted'' recombination does reduce the inferred ne,but it does not reconcile the ne estimated from differentelements; it may, however, suggest some dependence of ne onnH. The depletion of calcium may have a much weakerdependence on density than was suggested by earlier comparisons with CHand CN. Two appendices present similar high-resolution spectra of Fe Ifor a few stars and give a compilation of column density data for Ca I,Ca II, Fe I, and S I.

Kinematical Structure of the Local Interstellar Medium: The Galactic Anticenter Hemisphere
A survey of interstellar Na I D1 and D2 absorption features in thespectra of 104 early-type stars in the second and third Galacticquadrants reveals the large-scale kinematics of the interstellar gaswithin the Galactic anticenter hemisphere at distances from the Sunbetween ~70 and ~250 pc. Employing a technique that uses both the radialvelocities and column densities of the Na I absorptions produced by theintervening gas we have identified the velocity vectors and determinedthe spatial distribution of eight interstellar clouds in the volumeexplored. The average internal H I+H2 densities of the cloudsrange between 0.03 and 1.7 cm-3, and their masses between 80and 104 Msolar, although uncertainties in thesizes of the clouds, their possible extension beyond the regionexplored, and the presence of denser gas embedded in the larger cloudsimply that these will tend to be lower limits. We have clearlyidentified clumps of denser gas immersed in the low-density gas in oneof the clouds; these clumps show internal H I+H2 densities oforder 50 cm-3. Although we are not able to detect anyinterstellar Na I within 70 pc, the sizes of some of the clouds implythat their near edges are within that range of distances from the Sun.With respect to the local standard of rest the clouds move withvelocities between 19 and 54 km s-1. Their velocity vectorsdo not support the view of a local interstellar medium uniquelydominated by expansion from centers in the Scorpio-Centaurus OBassociation; our results suggest that this expansion is present in theGalactic center hemisphere but in the Galactic anticenter hemisphere isrestricted to the immediate neighborhood of the Sun.

Potential Variations in the Interstellar N I Abundance
We present Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and SpaceTelescope Imaging Spectrograph observations of the weak interstellar N Iλ1160 doublet toward 17 high-density sight lines[N(Htot)>=1021 cm-2]. When combinedwith published data, our results reveal variations in the fractional N Iabundance showing a systematic deficiency at large N(Htot).At the FUSE resolution (~20 km s-1), the effects ofunresolved saturation cannot be conclusively ruled out, although O Iλ1356 shows little evidence of saturation. We investigated thepossibility that the N I variability is due to the formation ofN2 in our mostly dense regions. The 0-0 band of thec'41Σ+u-X1Σ+gtransition of N2 at 958 Å should be easily detected inour FUSE data; for 10 of the denser sight lines, N2 is notobserved at a sensitivity level of a few times 1014cm-2. The observed N I variations are suggestive of anincomplete understanding of nitrogen chemistry.Based on observations made with the NASA-CNES-CSA Far UltravioletSpectroscopic Explorer, which is operated for NASA by the Johns HopkinsUniversity under NASA contract NAS 5-32985, and the NASA/ESA HubbleSpace Telescope, obtained from the Multimission Archive at the SpaceTelescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association ofUniversities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under the NASA contractNAS 5-26555.

Observations of Rotationally Resolved C3 in Translucent Sight Lines
The rotationally resolved spectrum of theA1Πu<--X1Σ+g000-000 transition of C3, centered at 4051.6 Å, hasbeen observed along 10 translucent lines of sight. To interpret thesespectra, a new method for the determination of column densities andanalysis of excitation profiles involving the simulation and fitting ofobserved spectra has been developed. The populations of lower rotationallevels (J<=14) in C3 are best fitted by thermaldistributions that are consistent with the kinetic temperaturesdetermined from the excitation profile of C2. Just as in thecase of C2, higher rotational levels (J>14) ofC3 show increased nonthermal population distributions inclouds that have been determined to have total gas densities below ~500cm-3.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:22h11m30.70s
Apparent magnitude:5.04
Distance:505.051 parsecs
Proper motion RA:0
Proper motion Dec:0
B-T magnitude:5.293
V-T magnitude:5.099

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesZàofǔsān
Bayerλ Cep
Flamsteed22 Cep
HD 1989HD 210839
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 3981-1585-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 1425-12965410
BSC 1991HR 8469
HIPHIP 109556

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