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A multiwavelength investigation of the temperature of the cold neutral medium
We present measurements of the HI spin temperatures (Ts) ofthe cold neutral medium (CNM) towards radio sources that are closelyaligned with stars for which published H2 ortho-paratemperatures (T01) are available from ultraviolet (UV)observations. Our sample consists of 18 radio sources close to 16 nearbystars. The transverse separation of the lines of sight of thecorresponding UV and radio observations varies from 0.1 to 12.0 pc atthe distance of the star. The UV measurements do not have velocityinformation, so we use the velocities of low ionization species (e.g.NaI/KI/CI) observed towards these same stars to make a plausibleidentification of the CNM corresponding to the H2 absorption.We then find that T01 and Ts match withinobservational uncertainties for lines of sight with H2 columndensity above 1015.8cm-2, but deviate from eachother below this threshold. This is consistent with the expectation thatin the CNM Ts tracks the kinetic temperature due tocollisions and that T01 is driven towards the kinetictemperature by proton exchange reactions.

Variations in D/H and D/O from New Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer Observations
We use data obtained with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) to determine the interstellar abundances of D I, N I, O I, Fe II,and H2 along the sight lines to WD 1034+001, BD +39 3226, andTD1 32709. Our main focus is on determining the D/H, N/H, O/H, and D/Oratios along these sight lines, with logN(H)>20.0, that probe gaswell outside of the Local Bubble. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) andInternational Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) archival data are used todetermine the H I column densities along the WD 1034+001 and TD1 32709sight lines, respectively. For BD +39 3226, a previously published N(HI) is used. We find(D/H)×105=2.14+0.53-0.45,1.17+0.31-0.25, and1.86+0.53-0.43 and(D/O)×102=6.31+1.79-1.38,5.62+1.61-1.31, and7.59+2.17-1.76 for the WD 1034+001, BD +39 3226,and TD1 32709 sight lines, respectively (all 1 σ). The scatter inthese three D/H ratios exemplifies the scatter that has been found byother authors for sight lines with column densities in the range19.2

The Homogeneity of Interstellar Elemental Abundances in the Galactic Disk
We present interstellar elemental abundance measurements derived fromSpace Telescope Imaging Spectrograph echelle observations of 47 sightlines extending up to 6.5 kpc through the Galactic disk. These pathsprobe a variety of interstellar environments, covering ranges of nearly4 orders of magnitude in molecular hydrogen fraction f(H2)and more than 2 in mean hydrogen sight-line density. Coupling the current data with Goddard HighResolution Spectrograph data from 17 additional sight lines and thecorresponding Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer and Copernicusobservations of H2 absorption features, we explore magnesium,phosphorus, manganese, nickel, copper, and germanium gas-phase abundancevariations as a function of : density-dependentdepletion is noted for each element, consistent with a smooth transitionbetween two abundance plateaus identified with warm and cold neutralinterstellar medium depletion levels. The observed scatter with respectto an analytic description of these transitions implies that totalelemental abundances are homogeneous on length scales of hundreds ofparsecs, to the limits of abundance measurement uncertainty. Theprobable upper limit we determine for intrinsic variability at any is 0.04 dex, aside from an apparent 0.10 dexdeficit in copper (and oxygen) abundances within 800 pc of the Sun.Magnesium dust abundances are shown to scale with the amount of siliconin dust, and in combination with a similar relationship between iron andsilicon, these data appear to favor the young F and G star values ofSofia & Meyer as an elemental abundance standard for the Galaxy.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA.

Winds from OB Stars: A Two-Component Scenario?
X-ray spectroscopy of several OB stars with massive winds has revealedthat many X-ray line profiles exhibit unexpectedly small blueshifts andare almost symmetric. Moreover, the hottest X-ray lines appear tooriginate closest to the star. These properties appear to beinconsistent with the standard model of X-rays originating in shockedmaterial in line-driven spherically symmetric winds. Here we raise thequestion, can the X-ray line data be understood in terms of atwo-component wind? We consider a scenario in which one component of thewind is a standard line-driven wind that emerges from a broad range oflatitudes centered on the equator. The second component of the windemerges from magnetically active regions in extensive polar caps. Theexistence of such polar caps is suggested by a recent model of dynamoaction in massive stars. We describe how the two-component model isconsistent with a variety of observational properties of OB star winds.

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.

Physical parameters and wind properties of galactic early B supergiants
We present optical studies of the physical and wind properties, plus CNOchemical abundances, of 25 O9.5-B3 Galactic supergiants. We employnon-LTE, line blanketed, extended model atmospheres, which provide amodest downward revision in the effective temperature scale of early Bsupergiants of up to 1-2 kK relative to previous non-blanketed results.The so-called "bistability jump" at B1 (Teff ˜ 21 kK)from Lamers et al. is rather a more gradual trend (with large scatter)from v&infy;/vesc˜3.4 for B0-0.5 supergiantsabove 24 kK to v&infy;/vesc˜ 2.5 for B0.7-1supergiants with 20 kK ≤ Teff ≤ 24 kK, andv&infy;/vesc˜ 1.9 for B1.5-3 supergiants below20 kK. This, in part, explains the break in observed UV spectralcharacteristics between B0.5 and B0.7 subtypes as discussed by Walbornet al. We compare derived (homogeneous) wind densities with recentresults for Magellanic Cloud B supergiants and generally confirmtheoretical expectations for stronger winds amongst Galacticsupergiants. However, winds are substantially weaker than predictionsfrom current radiatively driven wind theory, especially at mid-Bsubtypes, a problem which is exacerbated if winds are already clumped inthe Hα line forming region. In general, CNO elemental abundancesreveal strongly processed material at the surface of Galactic Bsupergiants, with mean N/C and N/O abundances 10 and 5 times higher thanthe Solar value, respectively, with HD 2905 (BC0.7 Ia) indicating thelowest degree of processing in our sample, and HD 152236 (B1.5Ia+) the highest.

Prospects for brown dwarf and extrasolar planet research with the GTC and the LMT
The topic of brown dwarf and extrasolar planet research with the GTC andthe LMT was discussed during a half day workshop at Universidad NacionalAutonoma de Mexico. This paper summarizes the contributions presented atthat Workshop plus additional contributions from members of the SpanishNetwork for extrasolar planets. Specific observational projects, whichcan be carried out with the planned instruments for the GTC, includingfirst light ones, are explained in some detail. These projects are thefollowing: our coolest neighbors, brown dwarfs in wide binaries, browndwarfs and planetary mass objects in Orion, follow-up of transitingextrasolar planets and verification of planet candidates, the search forultracool companions to nearby stars, brown dwarf binaries and disksaround brown dwarfs.

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

The epoch of the constellations on the Farnese Atlas and their origin in Hipparchus's lost catalogue
Not Available

Polarization Effects in the Radiation of Magnetized Envelopes and Extended Accretion Structures
We have calculated the degree and position angle of the polarization ofradiation scattered in a magnetized, optically thin or optically thickenvelope around a central source, taking into account Faraday rotationof the plane of polarization during the propagation of the scatteredradiation and the finite size of the radiation source. The wavelengthdependence of the degree of polarization can be used to estimate themagnetic field of the source (a star, the region around a neutron star,or a black hole), and we have used our calculations to estimate themagnetic fields in a number of individual objects: several hot O andWolf-Rayet stars, compact objects in X-ray close binaries with blackholes (SS 433, Cyg X-1), and supernovae. The spectrum of the linearpolarization can be used to determine the magnetic field in the vicinityof a central supermassive black hole, where the polarized opticalradiation is generated. In a real physical model, this value can beextrapolated to the region of the last stable orbit. In the future, theproposed technique will make it possible to directly estimate themagnetic field in the region of the last stable orbit of a supermassiveblack hole using X-ray polarimetry.

A Medium Resolution Near-Infrared Spectral Atlas of O and Early-B Stars
We present intermediate-resolution (R~8000-12,000) high signal-to-noise(S/N) H- and K-band spectroscopy of a sample of 37 optically visiblestars, ranging in spectral type from O3 to B3 and representing mostluminosity classes. Spectra of this quality can be used to constrain thetemperature, luminosity, and general wind properties of OB stars, whenused in conjunction with sophisticated atmospheric model codes. Mostimportant is the need for moderately high resolutions (R>=5000) andvery high signal-to-noise (S/N>=150) spectra for a meaningful profileanalysis. When using near-infrared spectra for a classification system,moderately high signal-to-noise (S/N~100) is still required, though theresolution can be relaxed to just a thousand or two. In the Appendix weprovide a set of very high-quality near-infrared spectra of Brackettlines in six early-A dwarfs. These can be used to aid in the modelingand removal of such lines when early-A dwarfs are used for telluricspectroscopic standards.

FUSE Determination of a Low Deuterium Abundance along an Extended Sight Line in the Galactic Disk
We present a study of the deuterium abundance along the extended sightline toward HD 90087 with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer(FUSE). HD 90087 is a O9.5 III star located in the Galactic disk at adistance of ~2.7 kpc away from the Sun. Both in terms of distance andcolumn densities, HD 90087 has the longest and densest sight lineobserved in the Galactic disk for which a deuterium abundance has beenmeasured from ultraviolet absorption lines so far. Because manyinterstellar clouds are probed along this sight line, possiblevariations in the properties of individual clouds should be averagedout. This would yield a deuterium abundance that is characteristic ofthe interstellar medium on scales larger than the Local Bubble. The FUSEspectra of HD 90087 show numerous blended interstellar and stellarfeatures. We have measured interstellar column densities of neutralatoms, ions, and molecules by simultaneously fitting the interstellarabsorption lines detected in the different FUSE channels. As far aspossible, saturated lines were excluded from the fits in order tominimize possible systematic errors. IUE (International UltravioletExplorer) archival data are also used to measure neutral hydrogen. Wereport D/O=(1.7+/-0.7)×10-2 andD/H=(9.8+/-3.8)×10-6 (2 σ). Our new resultsconfirm that the gas-phase deuterium abundance in the distantinterstellar medium is significantly lower than the one measured withinthe Local Bubble. We supplement our study with a revision of the oxygenabundance toward Feige 110, a moderately distant (~200 pc) sdOB star,located ~150 pc below the Galactic plane. Excluding saturated lines fromthe fits of the FUSE spectra is critical; this led us to derive an O Icolumn density about 2 times larger than the one previously reported forFeige 110. The corresponding updated D/O ratio on this sight line isD/O=(2.6+/-1.0)×10-2 (2 σ), which is lower thanthe one measured within the Local Bubble. The data set available nowoutside the Local Bubble, which is based primarily on FUSE measurements,shows a contrast between the constancy of D/O and the variability ofD/H. As oxygen is considered to be a good proxy for hydrogen within theinterstellar medium, this discrepancy is puzzling.

The D/H Ratio toward PG 0038+199
We determine the D/H ratio in the interstellar medium toward the DOwhite dwarf PG 0038+199 using spectra from the Far UltravioletSpectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), with ground-based support from KeckHIRES. We employ curve-of-growth, apparent optical depth, andprofile-fitting techniques to measure the column densities and limits ofmany other species (H2, Na I, C I, C II, C III, N I, N II, OI, Si II, P II, S III, Ar I, and Fe II), which allows us to determinerelated ratios such as D/O, D/N, and the H2 fraction. Ourefforts are concentrated on measuring gas-phase D/H, which is key tounderstanding Galactic chemical evolution, and comparing it topredictions from big bang nucleosynthesis. We find column densitieslogN(HI)=20.41+/-0.08, logN(DI)=15.75+/-0.08, andlogN(H2)=19.33+/-0.04, yielding a molecular hydrogen fractionof 0.14+/-0.02 (2 σ errors), with an excitation temperature of143+/-5 K. The high H I column density implies that PG 0038+199 liesoutside of the Local Bubble; we estimate its distance to be297+164-104 pc (1 σ).[DI+HD]/[HI+2H2] toward PG 0038+199 is1.91+0.52-0.42×10-5 (2 σ).There is no evidence of component structure on the scale ofΔv>8 km s-1, based on Na I, but there is marginalevidence for structure on smaller scales. The D/H value is high comparedto the majority of recent D/H measurements but consistent with thevalues for two other measurements at similar distances. D/O is inagreement with other distant measurements. The scatter in D/H valuesbeyond ~100 pc remains a challenge for Galactic chemical evolution.This paper is dedicated in memory of Ervin J. Williger, father of thefirst author, who passed away on 2003 September 13. His enthusiasticsupport and encouragement were essential to its successful completion.Based on data from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer and the W.M. Keck Observatory.

Evidence of Correlated Titanium and Deuterium Depletion in the Galactic Interstellar Medium
Current measurements indicate that the deuterium abundance in diffuseinterstellar gas varies spatially by a factor of ~4 among sight linesextending beyond the Local Bubble. One plausible explanation for thescatter is the variable depletion of D onto dust grains. To test thisscenario, we have obtained high signal-to-noise, high- resolutionprofiles of the refractory ion Ti II along seven Galactic sight lineswith D/H ranging from 0.65 to 2.1×10-5. Thesemeasurements, acquired with the recently upgraded Keck/HIRESspectrometer, indicate a correlation between Ti/H and D/H at the betterthan 95% confidence level Therefore, our observations support theinterpretation that D/H scatter is associated with differentialdepletion. We note, however, that Ti/H values taken from the literaturedo not uniformly show the correlation. Finally, we identify significantcomponent-to-component variations in the depletion levels amongindividual sight lines and discuss complications arising from thisbehavior.

Rotation and variability of young very low-mass objects
Variability studies are an important tool to investigate key propertiesof stars and brown dwarfs. From photometric monitoring we are able toobtain information about rotation and magnetic activity, which areexpected to change in the mass range below 0.3 solar masses, since thesefully convective objects cannot host a solar-type dynamo. On the otherhand, spectroscopic variability information can be used to obtain adetailed view on the accretion process in very young objects. In thispaper, we report about our observational efforts to analyse thevariability and rotational evolution of young brown dwarfs and verylow-mass stars.

Photometric Accretion Signatures Near the Substellar Boundary
Multiepoch imaging of the Orion equatorial region by the Sloan DigitalSky Survey has revealed that significant variability in the bluecontinuum persists into the late-M spectral types, indicating thatmagnetospheric accretion processes occur below the substellar boundaryin the Orion OB1 association. We investigate the strength of theaccretion-related continuum veiling by comparing the reddening-invariantcolors of the most highly variable stars against those of main-sequenceM dwarfs and evolutionary models. A gradual decrease in the g-bandveiling is seen for the cooler and less massive members, as expected fora declining accretion rate with decreasing mass. We also see evidencethat the temperature of the accretion shock decreases in the very lowmass regime, reflecting a reduction in the energy flux carried by theaccretion columns. We find that the near-IR excess attributed tocircumstellar disk thermal emission drops rapidly for spectral typeslater than M4. This is likely due to the decrease in color contrastbetween the disk and the cooler stellar photosphere. Since accretion,which requires a substantial stellar magnetic field and the presence ofa circumstellar disk, is inferred for masses down to 0.05Msolar, we surmise that brown dwarfs and low-mass stars sharea common mode of formation.

The CIDA Variability Survey of Orion OB1. I. The Low-Mass Population of Ori OB1a and 1b
We present results of a large-scale, multiepoch optical survey of theOrion OB1 association, carried out with the QUEST camera at theVenezuela National Astronomical Observatory. We identify for the firsttime the widely spread low-mass, young population in the Ori OB1a andOB1b subassociations. Candidate members were picked up by theirvariability in the V band and position in color-magnitude diagrams. Weobtained spectra to confirm membership. In a region spanning ~68deg2, we found 197 new young stars; of these, 56 are locatedin the Ori OB1a subassociation and 141 in Ori OB1b. The spatialdistribution of the low-mass young stars is spatially coincident withthat of the high-mass members but suggests a much sharper edge to theassociation. Comparison with the spatial extent of molecular gas andextinction maps indicates that the subassociation Ori OB1b isconcentrated within a ringlike structure of radius ~2°(~15 pc at 440pc), centered roughly on the star ɛ Ori in the Orion belt. The ringis apparent in 13CO and corresponds to a region with anextinction AV>=1. The stars exhibiting strong Hαemission, an indicator of active accretion, are found along this ring,whereas the center is populated with weak Hα-emitting stars. Incontrast, Ori OB1a is located in a region devoid of gas and dust. Weidentify a grouping of stars within a ~3 deg2 area located inOri OB1a, roughly clustered around the B2 star 25 Ori. The Herbig Ae/Bestar V346 Ori is also associated with this grouping, which could be anolder analog of σ Ori. Using several sets of evolutionary tracks,we find an age of 7-10 Myr for Ori OB1a and of ~4-6 Myr for Ori OB1b,consistent with previous estimates from OB stars. Indicators such as theequivalent width of Hα and near-IR excesses show that the numberof accreting low-mass stars decreases sharply between Ori OB1b and OriOB1a. These results indicate that although a substantial fraction ofaccreting disks remain at ages ~5 Myr, inner disks are essentiallydissipated by 10 Myr.Based on observations obtained at the Llano del Hato NationalAstronomical Observatory of Venezuela, operated by Centro deInvestigaciones de Astronomía (CIDA) for the Ministerio deCiencia y Tecnología, and at the Fred Lawrence WhippleObservatory (FLWO) of the Smithsonian Institution.Based on observations obtained at the 3.5 m WIYN Telescope. The WIYNObservatory is a joint facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison,Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical AstronomyObservatory (NOAO).

Deuterium Depletion and Magnesium Enhancement in the Local Disk
The local disk deuterium is known to be depleted in comparison to thelocal bubble. We used Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spectra to obtaincolumn densities of Si, Mg and Fe. We compared normalized columndensities of these elements in the directions with high and lowdeuterium abundances.We show, that the lines of sight that are depleted in deuterium, areenhanced in magnesium. This observation implicates that astration isresponsible for both deuterium depletion and magnesium enhancement.

Quantitative H and K band spectroscopy of Galactic OB-stars at medium resolution
In this paper we have analyzed 25 Galactic O and early B-stars by meansof H and K band spectroscopy, with the primary goal to investigate towhat extent a lone near-IR spectroscopy is able to recover stellar andwind parameters derived in the optical. Most of the spectra have beentaken with subaru-ircs, at an intermediate resolution of 12 000, andwith a very high S/N, mostly on the order of 200 or better. In order tosynthesize the strategic H/He lines, we have used our recent,line-blanketed version of fastwind (Puls et al. 2005, A&A, 435,669). In total, seven lines have been investigated, where for two starswe could make additional use of the Hei2.05 singlet which has beenobserved with irtf-cshell. Apart from Brγ and Heii2.18, the otherlines are predominately formed in the stellar photosphere, and thusremain fairly uncontaminated from more complex physical processes,particularly clumping. First we investigated the predicted behaviour ofthe strategic lines. In contradiction to what one expects from theoptical in the O-star regime, almost all photospheric H/Hei/Heii H/Kband lines become stronger if the gravity decreases. Concerning H andHeii, this finding is related to the behaviour of Stark broadening as afunction of electron density, which in the line cores is different formembers of lower (optical) and higher (IR) series. Regarding Hei, thepredicted behaviour is due to some subtle NLTE effects resulting in astronger overpopulation of the lower level when the gravity decreases.We have compared our calculations with results from the alternative NLTEmodel atmosphere code cmfgen (Hillier & Miller 1998, ApJ, 496, 407).In most cases, we found reasonable or nearly perfect agreement. Only theHei2.05 singlet for mid O-types suffers from some discrepancy, analogouswith findings for the optical Hei singlets. For most of our objects, weobtained good fits, except for the line cores of Brγ in earlyO-stars with significant mass-loss. Whereas the observations showBrγ mostly as rather symmetric emission lines, the models predicta P Cygni type profile with strong absorption. This discrepancy (whichalso appears in lines synthesized by cmfgen) might be an indirect effectof clumping. After having derived the stellar and wind parameters fromthe IR, we have compared them to results from previous optical analyses.Overall, the IR results coincide in most cases with the optical oneswithin the typical errors usually quoted for the correspondingparameters, i.e., an uncertainty in T_eff of 5%, in log g of 0.1 dex andin {dot M} of 0.2 dex, with lower errors at higher wind densities.Outliers above the 1-σ level where found in four cases withrespect to log g and in two cases for {dot M}.

The projection factor of δ Cephei. A calibration of the Baade-Wesselink method using the CHARA Array
Cepheids play a key role in astronomy as standard candles for measuringintergalactic distances. Their distance is usually inferred from theperiod-luminosity relationship, calibrated using the semi-empiricalBaade-Wesselink method. Using this method, the distance is known to amultiplicative factor, called the projection factor. Presently, thisfactor is computed using numerical models - it has hitherto never beenmeasured directly. Based on our new interferometric measurementsobtained with the CHARA Array and the already published parallax, wepresent a geometrical measurement of the projection factor of a Cepheid,δ Cep. The value we determined, p=1.27 ±0.06, confirms the generally adopted value of p=1.36 within 1.5 sigmas.Our value is in line with recent theoretical predictions of Nardetto etal. (2004, A&A, 428, 131).

Constraining the properties of spots on Pleiades very low mass stars
We present results of a multi-filter monitoring campaign for very lowmass (VLM) stars in the Pleiades. Simultaneous to our I-band time series(Scholz & Eislöffel 2004b), which delivered photometric periodsfor nine VLM stars, we obtained light curves in the J- and H-band. OneVLM star with M≈0.15 Mȯ (BPL129) shows a period inall three wavelength bands. The amplitudes in I, J, and H are 0.035,0.035, and 0.032 mag. These values are compared to simulations, in whichwe compute the photometric amplitude as a function of spot temperatureand filling factor. The best agreement between observations and modelsis found for cool spots with a temperature contrast of 18-31% and a verylow surface filling factor of 4-5%. We suggest that compared to moremassive stars VLM objects may have either very few spots or a rathersymmetric spot distribution. This difference might be explained with achange from a shell to a distributed dynamo in the VLM regime.

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.

Understanding B-type supergiants in the low metallicity environment of the SMC II
Despite a resurgence of effort over the last decade in the area ofmassive stars there is still ambiguity over their evolutionary path,contamination of their surface abundances and the behaviour of theirstellar winds. Here 10 SMC B-type supergiants are analysed applying aunified model atmosphere code fastwind to intermediate resolutionspectra from the ESO Multi Mode Instrument (emmi) on the NTT telescope.Combined with the 8 targets analysed in Paper I (Trundle et al. 2004),this work provides observational results on the properties of the windsand chemical compositions of B-type supergiants in the SMC. This paperemphasizes and substantiates the implications for stellar evolution fromPaper I; that current theoretical models need to produce larger degreesof surface nitrogen enhancements at lower rotational velocities. Inaddition a significant discrepancy between theoretical and observedmass-loss rates is discussed which will have important implications forthe rotational velocities obtained from stellar evolution calculations.Furthermore, an initial calibration of the wind-momentum luminosityrelationship for B-type supergiants in a low metallicity environment (Z= 0.004) is presented.

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

The ionization structure of early-B supergiant winds
We present empirically determined ionization conditions for the winds of106 luminous B0 to B5 stars observed by IUE. The UV wind lines aremodelled to extract products of mass-loss rates times ionizationfractions (\mdot qi(w) where w = v/v&infy;) for NV, C IV, Si IV, Si III, Al III and C II. We describe the generalbehaviour of the \mdot qi(w) and their ratios, demonstratingthat the wind ionization increases with distance from the star, contraryto recent findings for O star winds. Using empirical mass-loss rates(from Hα observations) and model prescriptions, we derive meanqi(w) values integrated over the wind, .These are quite small, never exceeding 15% for AlIII or 2&%slash; for Si IV. This is surprising, since the for these ions clearly peak within the observedspectral range. We conclude that the low arisebecause the <\mdot qi> are underestimated by the windmodels, which assume that the outflows are smooth when they are, infact, highly structured.

Rotation and variability of very low mass stars and brown dwarfs near ɛ Ori
We explore the rotation and activity of very low mass (VLM) objects bymeans of a photometric variability study. Our targets in the vicinity ofɛ Ori belong to the Ori OB1b population in the Orionstar-forming complex. In this region we selected 143 VLM stars and browndwarfs (BDs), whose photometry in RIJHK is consistent with membership ofthe young population. The variability of these objects was investigatedusing a densely sampled I-band time series covering four consecutivenights with altogether 129 data points per object. Our targets showthree types of variability: Thirty objects, including nine BDs, showsignificant photometric periods, ranging from 4 h up to 100 h, which weinterpret as the rotation periods. Five objects, including two BDs,exhibit variability with high amplitudes up to 1 mag which is at leastpartly irregular. This behaviour is most likely caused by ongoingaccretion and confirms that VLM objects undergo a T Tauri phase similarto solar-mass stars. Finally, one VLM star shows a strong flare event of0.3 mag amplitude. The rotation periods show dependence on mass, i.e.the average period decreases with decreasing object mass, consistentwith previously found mass-period relationships in younger and olderclusters. The period distribution of BDs extends down to the breakupperiod, where centrifugal and gravitational forces are balanced.Combining our BD periods with literature data, we found that the lowerperiod limit for substellar objects lies between 2 h and 4 h, more orless independent of age. Contrary to stars, these fast rotating BDs seemto evolve at constant rotation period from ages of 3 Myr to 1 Gyr, inspite of the contraction process. Thus, they should experience strongrotational braking.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory,Chile, observing run 68.C-0213(A)Table 2 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/429/1007.

Hydrogen in the atmosphere of the evolved WN3 Wolf-Rayet star WR 3: defying an evolutionary paradigm?
WR 3 is the brightest very early-type WN star in the sky. Based onseveral years of time-resolved spectroscopy and precision photometry onvarious time-scales, we deduce that WR 3 is most likely a single,weak-lined star of type WN3ha (contrary to its current catalogue-type ofWN3 + O4), with H lines occurring both in emission and absorption in itswind. This conclusion is confirmed and strengthened via detailedmodelling of the spectrum of WR 3. Given the similarity of WR 3 withnumerous H-rich WNE stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud and especiallythe Small Magellanic Cloud, and its location towards the metal-deficientexterior of the Galaxy, we conclude that rotationally induced meridionalcirculation probably led to the apparently unusual formation of this hotGalactic WN star with enhanced hydrogen. Although we cannot completelyrule out the possibility of a binary with a low orbital inclinationand/or long period, we regard this latter possibility as highlyunlikely.

Large-scale wind structures in OB supergiants: a search for rotationally modulated Hα variability
We present the results of a long-term monitoring campaign of theHα line in a sample of bright OB supergiants (O7.5-B9) which aimsat detecting rotationally modulated changes potentially related to theexistence of large-scale wind structures. A total of 22 objects weremonitored during 36 nights spread over six months in 2001-2002.Coordinated broad-band photometric observations were also obtained forsome targets. Conspicuous evidence for variability in Hα is foundfor the stars displaying a feature contaminated by wind emission. Mostchanges take place on a daily time-scale, although hourly variations arealso occasionally detected. Convincing evidence for a cyclical patternof variability in Hα has been found in two stars: HD 14134 and HD42087. Periodic signals are also detected in other stars, butindependent confirmation is required. Rotational modulation is suggestedfrom the similarity between the observed recurrence time-scales (in therange 13-25 d) and estimated periods of stellar rotation. We callattention to the atypical case of HD 14134, which exhibits a clear12.8-d periodicity, both in the photometric and in the spectroscopicdata sets. This places this object among a handful of early-type starswhere one may observe a clear link between extended wind structures andphotospheric disturbances. Further modelling may test the hypothesisthat azimuthally-extended wind streams are responsible for the patternsof spectral variability in our target stars.

Magnetic fields in massive stars: dynamics and origin
Evidence continues to accumulate in favour of the presence of magneticfields on the surfaces of massive stars. Some authors hypothesize thatsuch fields originate in a dynamo in the convective core, with buoyancybringing flux tubes to the surface. Here we show that, when realisticstellar models are used, this `core dynamo hypothesis' encounters aserious difficulty: in order for surface fields to originate in a coredynamo, the core must create magnetic fields that are much stronger thanequipartition values.As an alternative hypothesis for the origin of magnetic fields in OBstars, we suggest that a dynamo is operating in shear-unstable gas inthe radiative stellar envelope. Using a recently developed code for theevolution of rotating stars, we find that in a 10-Msolarzero-age main sequence (ZAMS) star with a typical rotation period, morethan 90 per cent of the volume of the star is subject to shearinstability. We have recently proposed that dynamo operation inshear-unstable gas helps to explain certain properties of mass loss incool giants. Here, in the context of hot stars, we show that fieldswhich originate in the shear-unstable regions of the envelope can reachthe surface without violating the constraints of equipartition. Suchfields rise to the surface on time-scales which are short compared tomain-sequence lifetimes.

A near-infrared stellar spectral library: I. H-band spectra.
This paper presents the H band near-infrared (NIR) spectral library of135 solar type stars covering spectral types O5-M3 and luminosityclasses I-V as per MK classification. The observations were carried outwith 1.2 meter Gurushikhar Infrared Telescope (GIRT), at Mt. Abu, Indiausing a NICMOS3 HgCdTe 256 x 256 NIR array based spectrometer. Thespectra have a moderate resolution of 1000 (about 16 A) at the H bandand have been continuum shape corrected to their respective effectivetemperatures. This library and the remaining ones in J and K bands oncereleased will serve as an important database for stellar populationsynthesis and other applications in conjunction with the newly formedlarge optical coude feed stellar spectral library of Valdes et al.(2004). The complete H-Band library is available online at: http://vo.iucaa.ernet.in/~voi/NIR_Header.html

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:05h36m12.80s
Apparent magnitude:1.7
Distance:411.523 parsecs

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesAlnilam
Alnihan, Alnitam, string of pearls
Bayerε Ori
Flamsteed46 Ori
HD 1989HD 37128
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0825-01598320
BSC 1991HR 1903

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