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Computed Hβ indices from ATLAS9 model atmospheres
Aims.Grids of Hβ indices based on updated (new-ODF) ATLAS9 modelatmospheres were computed for solar and scaled solar metallicities[+0.5], [+0.2], [0.0], [ -0.5] , [ -1.0] , [ -1.5] , [ -2.0] , [ -2.5]and for α enhanced compositions [+0.5a], [0.0a], [ -0.5a] , [-1.0a] , [ -1.5a] , [ -2.0a] , [ -2.5a] , and [ -4.0a] . Methods:.Indices for T_eff > 5000 K were computed with the same methods asdescribed by Lester et al. (1986, LGK86) except for a differentnormalization of the computed natural system to the standard system.LGK86 used special ODFs to compute the fluxes. For T_eff ≤ 5000 K wecomputed the fluxes using the synthetic spectrum method. In order toassess the accuracy of the computed indices comparisons were made withthe indices computed by Smalley & Dworetsky (1995, A&A, 293,446, MD95) and with the empirical relations T_eff-Hβ given byAlonso et al. (1996, A&A, 313, 873) for several metallicities.Furthermore, for cool stars, temperatures inferred from the computedindices were compared with those of the fundamental stars listed byMD95. The same kind of comparison was made between gravities for B-typestars. Results: .The temperatures from the computed indices are ingood agreement, within the error limits, with the literature values for4750 K ≤ T_eff ≤ 8000 K, while the gravities agree for T_eff> 9000 K. The computed Hβ indices for the Sun and for Procyonare very close to the observed values. The comparison between theobserved and computed Hβ indices as function of the observedHβ has shown a very small trend which almost completely disappearswhen only stars hotter than 10 000 K are considered. The trend due tothe cool stars is probably related with the low accuracy of thefundamental T_eff which are affected by large errors for most of thestars.

A high-resolution spectroscopy survey of β Cephei pulsations in bright stars
We present a study of absorption line-profile variations in early-B typenear-main-sequence stars without emission lines. We have surveyed atotal of 171 bright stars using the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOTSA),William Herschel Telescope (ING) and Coudé Auxiliary Telescope(ESO). Our sample contains 75% of all O9.5-B2.5 III-V non-emission-linestars brighter than 5.5 mag. We obtained high signal-to-noise,high-resolution spectra of the SiIII λ4560 triplet - for 125stars of our sample we obtained more than one spectrum - and examinedthese for pulsational-like line-profile variations and/or structure. Weconclude that about half of our sample stars show evidence forline-profile variations (LPV). We find evidence for LPV in about 65% ofour sample stars brighter than V=5.5. For stars with rotationalbroadening V sin i ˜100 km s-1, we find evidence for LPVin about 75% of the cases. We argue that it is likely that these LPV areof pulsational origin, and that hence more than half of thesolar-neighbourhood O9.5-B2.5 III-V stars is pulsating in modes that canbe detected with high-resolution spectroscopy. We detected LPV in 64stars previously unknown to be pulsators, and label these stars as newβ Cep candidates. We conclude that there is no obvious differencein incidence of (pulsational) LPV for early-B type near-main-sequencestars in binaries or in OB associations, with respect to single fieldstars.

Radial velocity measurements of B stars in the Scorpius-Centaurus association
We derive single-epoch radial velocities for a sample of 56 B-type starsmembers of the subgroups Upper Scorpius, Upper Centaurus Lupus and LowerCentaurus Crux of the nearby Sco-Cen OB association. The radial velocitymeasurements were obtained by means of high-resolution echelle spectravia analysis of individual lines. The internal accuracy obtained in themeasurements is estimated to be typically 2-3 km s-1, butdepends on the projected rotational velocity of the target. Radialvelocity measurements taken for 2-3 epochs for the targets HD 120307, HD142990 and HD 139365 are variable and confirm that they arespectroscopic binaries, as previously identified in the literature.Spectral lines from two stellar components are resolved in the observedspectra of target stars HD 133242, HD 133955 and HD 143018, identifyingthem as spectroscopic binaries.

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.

Statistical Constraints for Astrometric Binaries with Nonlinear Motion
Useful constraints on the orbits and mass ratios of astrometric binariesin the Hipparcos catalog are derived from the measured proper motiondifferences of Hipparcos and Tycho-2 (Δμ), accelerations ofproper motions (μ˙), and second derivatives of proper motions(μ̈). It is shown how, in some cases, statistical bounds can beestimated for the masses of the secondary components. Two catalogs ofastrometric binaries are generated, one of binaries with significantproper motion differences and the other of binaries with significantaccelerations of their proper motions. Mathematical relations betweenthe astrometric observables Δμ, μ˙, and μ̈ andthe orbital elements are derived in the appendices. We find a remarkabledifference between the distribution of spectral types of stars withlarge accelerations but small proper motion differences and that ofstars with large proper motion differences but insignificantaccelerations. The spectral type distribution for the former sample ofbinaries is the same as the general distribution of all stars in theHipparcos catalog, whereas the latter sample is clearly dominated bysolar-type stars, with an obvious dearth of blue stars. We point outthat the latter set includes mostly binaries with long periods (longerthan about 6 yr).

Metallicity of mono- and multiperiodic β Cephei stars
Analyzing IUE ultraviolet spectra of β Cep pulsating stars wenoticed that multiperiodic variables have a larger mean metal abundancein the photosphere, [ m/H] , than monoperiodic ones. We applystatistical tests to verify this dichotomy. We obtain that, with a largeprobability, the multiperiodic β Cep stars have greater values of [m/H] . This result is consistent with the linear non-adiabatic theory ofpulsation of early B-type stars.

Metallicities of the β Cephei stars from low-resolution ultraviolet spectra
We derive basic stellar parameters (angular diameters, effectivetemperatures, metallicities) and interstellar reddening for all βCephei stars observed during the IUE satellite mission, including thosebelonging to three open clusters. The parameters are derived by means ofan algorithmic procedure of fitting theoretical flux distributions tothe low-resolution IUE spectra and ground-based spectrophotometricobservations. Since the metallicity has a special importance forpulsating B-type stars, we focus our attention in particular on thisparameter.Tables 1, 2, 4 and 5 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

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

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).

Line-profile variability in the β Cephei star ɛ Centauri
We present an analysis of 530 high-resolution spectra of the βCephei star ɛ Cen, showing complex variations in therotationally broadened absorption line-profiles of the SiIII triplet(λ 4552, 4567, 4574 Å). Most data were acquired during fourdedicated observing runs between April 1996 and June 1998, with timespans between 6 and 14 days. We calculate velocity moments of the lineprofiles and apply Fourier analysis techniques to analyze their timebehavior. The variations of the velocity moments confirm the presence oftwo periods already known from photometry, and provide evidence for thepresence of two or more non-radial pulsation modes. Our analysis of thespectral time series concentrates on the variability at each position inthe λ 4567 Å line profile. In addition to the twofrequencies found in the radial-velocity variations, we find severalother periodicities to be present across the line profile. We useFourier analysis, sinusoid fitting, and folding techniques to analyzethe amplitude and phase information for each of the detected periods. Wefind evidence for at least five pulsation modes in ɛ Cen, andidentify ℓ-values between 2 and 5.Based on data taken at ESO La Silla.

J - K DENIS photometry of a VLTI-selected sample of bright southern stars
We present a photometric survey of bright southern stars carried outusing the DENIS instrument equipped with attenuating filters. Theobservations were carried out not using the survey mode of DENIS, butwith individual target pointings. This project was stimulated by theneed to obtain near-infrared photometry of stars to be used in earlycommissioning observations of the ESO Very Large TelescopeInterferometer, and in particular to establish a network of brightcalibrator sources.We stress that near-infrared photometry is peculiarly lacking for manybright stars. These stars are saturated in 2MASS as well as in regularDENIS observations. The only other observations available for brightinfrared stars are those of the Two Micron Sky Survey dating from overthirty years ago. These were restricted to declinations above≈-30°, and thus cover only about half of the sky accessible fromthe VLTI site.We note that the final 2MASS data release includes photometry of brightstars, obtained by means of point-spread function fitting. However, thismethod only achieves about 30% accuracy, which is not sufficient formost applications.In this work, we present photometry for over 600 stars, each with atleast one and up to eight measurements, in the J and K filters. Typicalaccuracy is at the level of 0\fm05 and 0\fm04 in the J and K_s bands,respectively.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla.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/413/1037

β Cep stars from a spectroscopic point of view
In this review we present the current status of line-profile-variationstudies of β Cep stars. Such studies have been performed for 26bright members of this class of pulsating stars in the past 25 years. Wedescribe all these currently available data and summarize theinterpretations based on them in terms of the excited pulsation modes.We emphasize that line-profile variations offer a much more detailedpicture of the pulsational behaviour of pulsating stars compared toground-based photometric data. The latter, however, remain necessary tounravel the often complex frequency pattern and to achieve unambiguousmode identification for multiperiodic β Cep stars and also toderive the pulsational properties of the faint members of the class. Wehighlight the statistical properties of the sample of 26 stars for whichaccurate spectroscopic studies are available and point out some futureprospects.

Statistics of the Instability Strip of β Cephei Stars
We present a study of the β Cephei instability strip based on asample of 49 stars of this type. After deriving their effectivetemperatures and luminosities from their observed (B-V), (U-B) colorsand parallaxes we find their positions in the HR diagram to be mostlyconfined to the main sequence, and their masses to lie between 7Mȯ and 30 Mȯ. Their distribution on theHR diagram matches well with our previous theoretical instability stripwhich has an upper bound in the luminosity and rather tight boundariesin the effective temperature.

Formation scenarios for the young stellar associations between galactic longitudes l = 280degr - 360degr
We investigate the spatial distribution, the space velocities and agedistribution of the pre-main sequence (PMS) stars belonging toOphiuchus, Lupus and Chamaeleon star-forming regions (SFRs), and of theyoung early-type star members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association.These young stellar associations extend over the galactic longituderange from 280degr to 360degr , and are at a distance interval ofaround 100 and 200 pc. This study is based on a compilation ofdistances, proper motions and radial velocities from the literature forthe kinematic properties, and of basic stellar data for the constructionof Hertzsprung-Russel diagrams. Although there was no well-known OBassociation in Chamaeleon, the distances and the proper motions of agroup of 21 B- and A-type stars, taken from the Hipparcos Catalogue,lead us to propose that they form a young association. We show that theyoung early-type stars of the OB associations and the PMS stars of theSFRs follow a similar spatial distribution, i.e., there is no separationbetween the low and the high-mass young stars. We find no difference inthe kinematics nor in the ages of these two populations studied.Considering not only the stars selected by kinematic criteria but thewhole sample of young early-type stars, the scattering of their propermotions is similar to that of the PMS stars and all the young starsexhibit a common direction of motion. The space velocities of theHipparcos PMS stars of each SFR are compatible with the mean values ofthe OB associations. The PMS stars in each SFR span a wide range of ages(from 1 to 20 Myr). The ages of the OB subgroups are 8-10 Myr for UpperScorpius (US), and 16-20 Myr for Upper Centaurus Lupus (UCL) and forLower Centaurus Crux (LCC). Thus, our results do not confirm that UCL isolder than the LCC association. Based on these results and theuncertainties associated with the age determination, we cannot say thatthere is indeed a difference in the age of the two populations. Weanalyze the different scenarios for the triggering of large-scalestar-formation that have been proposed up to now, and argue that mostprobably we are observing a spiral arm that passes close to the Sun. Thealignment of young stars and molecular clouds and the average velocityof the stars in the opposite direction to the Galactic rotation agreewith the expected behavior of star formation in nearby spiral arms.Tables 1 to 4 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/404/913

The relation between far-UV and visible extinctions
For directions of sufficient reddening (/E(B-V)>~0.25), there is asimple relation between the slope of the extinction curve in the far-UVand /E(B-V). Regardless of direction, the far-UV extinction curve isproportional to 1/λn e-2E(B-V)/λ(/λ in μm, /n=4), in accordance with the idea that reddenedstars spectra are contaminated by scattered light (Zagury, 2001b). Thisrelation is not compatible with the standard theory of extinction whichstates that far-UV and visible extinctions are due to different classesof particle. In that model the two (far-UV and visible) extinctions varythus independently according to the proportion of each type of particle.In preceding papers I have shown that the standard theory cannot explainUV observations of nebulae, and is contradicted by the UV spectra ofstars with very low reddening: for how long shall the standard theory beconsidered as the interpretation of the extinction curve?

CHARM: A Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements
The Catalog of High Angular Resolution Measurements (CHARM) includesmost of the measurements obtained by the techniques of lunaroccultations and long-baseline interferometry at visual and infraredwavelengths, which have appeared in the literature or have otherwisebeen made public until mid-2001. A total of 2432 measurements of 1625sources are included, along with extensive auxiliary information. Inparticular, visual and infrared photometry is included for almost allthe sources. This has been partly extracted from currently availablecatalogs, and partly obtained specifically for CHARM. The main aim is toprovide a compilation of sources which could be used as calibrators orfor science verification purposes by the new generation of largeground-based facilities such as the ESO Very Large Interferometer andthe Keck Interferometer. The Catalog is available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/386/492, and from theauthors on CD-Rom.

The mass ratio distribution of B-type visual binaries in the Sco OB2 association
A sample of 115 B-type stars in the Sco OB2 association is examined forexistence of visual companions in the J and K_s bands, using the ADONISnear-infrared adaptive optics system and coronograph. Practically allthe components in the separation range 0farcs3 -6farcs4 (45-900 AU) andmagnitudes down to K = 16 were detected. The K and J - K photometry ofthe primaries and differential photometry and astrometry of the 96secondaries are presented. Ten secondaries are new physical components,as inferred from the photometric and statistical criteria, while therest of the newly detected objects are faint background stars. After asmall correction for detection incompleteness and a conversion of thefluxes into masses, an unbiased distribution of the components massratio q was derived. The power law f(q)~ q-0.5 fits theobservations well, whereas a q-1.8 distribution, whichcorresponds to a random pairing of stars, is rejected. The companionstar fraction is 0.20+/-0.04 per decade of separation which iscomparable to the highest measured binary fraction among low-mass PMSstars and ~ 1.6 times higher than the binary fraction of low-mass dwarfsin the solar neighborhood and in open clusters in the same separationrange. Based on observations collected at the European SouthernObservatory, La Silla, Chile (ESO programme 65.H-0179). Tables 1, 3 andthe full version of Table 2 are only available in electronic form at theCDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/382/92

Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statistics
The Catalogue, available at the Centre de Données Stellaires deStrasbourg, consists of 13 573 records concerning the results obtainedfrom different methods for 7778 stars, reported in the literature. Thefollowing data are listed for each star: identifications, apparentmagnitude, spectral type, apparent diameter in arcsec, absolute radiusin solar units, method of determination, reference, remarks. Commentsand statistics obtained from CADARS are given. The Catalogue isavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcar?J/A+A/367/521

Infrared spectral classification of OB stars with ISO-SWS
We present observations of the Bralpha , Brbeta and Pfalpha lines of 16dwarf and (sub)giant stars in the spectral range O9-B3. The observationswere done using the Short Wavelength Spectrometer on board the InfraredSpace Observatory, and have a signal-to-noise of ~ 20 to > 150 and aresolving power varying from ~ 1400 to 2100. We compare the equivalentwidths of these lines with predictions using non-LTE model atmospheresto investigate to what extent these infrared lines can be used to deriveeffective temperatures. We find that Pfalpha is a sensitive T_effdiagnostic for the range of spectral types investigated, and Bralpha fortypes O9-B2, yielding agreement with optical results to within 1-4 kK orone-three spectral sub-types. We find evidence for a gradient in theturbulent velocity, increasing from la 5 km s-1 for theatmospheric region in which Bralpha is formed to ~ 15 km s-1for the regime where Pfalpha originates. When this gradient in turbulentvelocity is taken into account, the accuracy of the spectral typecalibration is improved to ~ 1 kK or one spectral sub-type. The gravitydependence of the strengths of the investigated infrared lines isrelatively weak, and could not be used to constrain luminosity class.This failure is in part a result of the modest S/N and resolution and inpart a result of a cancelation of gravity effects in the line core andline wing. Our line predictions show that Hei lambda 2.058 is relativelyunsuited for spectral classification of O9-B3 stars. Hualpha , however,is expected to be an even better diagnostic as are Pfalpha and Bralpha .This line may be observed with the VLT Imager and Spectrometer for midInfraRed when it is installed on the Very Large Telescope.

The proper motions of fundamental stars. I. 1535 stars from the Basic FK5
A direct combination of the positions given in the HIPPARCOS cataloguewith astrometric ground-based catalogues having epochs later than 1939allows us to obtain new proper motions for the 1535 stars of the BasicFK5. The results are presented as the catalogue Proper Motions ofFundamental Stars (PMFS), Part I. The median precision of the propermotions is 0.5 mas/year for mu alpha cos delta and 0.7mas/year for mu delta . The non-linear motions of thephotocentres of a few hundred astrometric binaries are separated intotheir linear and elliptic motions. Since the PMFS proper motions do notinclude the information given by the proper motions from othercatalogues (HIPPARCOS, FK5, FK6, etc.) this catalogue can be used as anindependent source of the proper motions of the fundamental stars.Catalogue (Table 3) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strastg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/365/222

Empirical Luminosities and Radii of Early-Type Stars after Hipparcos
Using Hipparcos parallaxes we derive empirical luminosities and radii ofthe early-type stars for which the effective temperatures are known fromdirectly measured angular diameters and total absolute fluxes. Theempirical luminosities allow a direct comparison of the position ofthese stars in the fundamental HR diagram with evolutionary tracks. Thecomparison shows an overall agreement with the Y=0.30 and Z=0.02 trackscomputed with OPAL opacities and moderate amount of overshooting fromthe convective core. In addition, we present evidence that systematicerrors of the masses read off the evolutionary tracks are below 10%.Consequently, the surface gravities obtained from these "evolutionary"masses and the empirical radii are very nearly model-independent.Spectrographic and photometric observations of these stars can thereforebe used for verifying model atmospheres and calibrating photometric logg indices.

Excitation and visibility of high-degree modes in stars
Observational evidence for excitation of non-radial modes in stars isconfronted with the results of linear stability surveys for stellarmodels. We consider various types of pulsators on the upper mainsequence as well as stars in the Cepheid strip. Our stability surveycovers the whole range of spherical harmonic degrees, l, whereinstability is found. There is fair agreement between the theoreticalinstability strip and the location of ζ Oph stars, but the observedand calculated periods do not agree in some stars. We suggest thateither pulsation is not responsible for the ζ Oph phenomenon orelse there are serious errors in mode identification in these cases. Wedo not find instability at long periods for early B-type stars,supporting the idea that pulsation is not responsible for the periodicvariations in Be stars. The agreement between the observed andcalculated periods of high-degree modes in δ Sct stars is not verysatisfactory. This is attributed to problems in mode identification. Wediscuss unstable modes of high degree in Cepheid models as a possiblemechanism for the low-amplitude radial velocities seen in some starswithin the instability strip. We find, however, that the observedperiods are at least a factor of 2 longer than the calculated periods.Finally, we discuss the possibility of observing modes of high degreephotometrically. We suggest that a large number of high-degree modes maybecome detectable by future space-borne photometric missions. Theconfusion arising from these modes may greatly reduce the value of suchobservations for asteroseismology. However, they will be very importantin studying the mechanism of mode selection.

A HIPPARCOS Census of the Nearby OB Associations
A comprehensive census of the stellar content of the OB associationswithin 1 kpc from the Sun is presented, based on Hipparcos positions,proper motions, and parallaxes. It is a key part of a long-term projectto study the formation, structure, and evolution of nearby young stellargroups and related star-forming regions. OB associations are unbound``moving groups,'' which can be detected kinematically because of theirsmall internal velocity dispersion. The nearby associations have a largeextent on the sky, which traditionally has limited astrometricmembership determination to bright stars (V<~6 mag), with spectraltypes earlier than ~B5. The Hipparcos measurements allow a majorimprovement in this situation. Moving groups are identified in theHipparcos Catalog by combining de Bruijne's refurbished convergent pointmethod with the ``Spaghetti method'' of Hoogerwerf & Aguilar.Astrometric members are listed for 12 young stellar groups, out to adistance of ~650 pc. These are the three subgroups Upper Scorpius, UpperCentaurus Lupus, and Lower Centaurus Crux of Sco OB2, as well as VelOB2, Tr 10, Col 121, Per OB2, alpha Persei (Per OB3), Cas-Tau, Lac OB1,Cep OB2, and a new group in Cepheus, designated as Cep OB6. Theselection procedure corrects the list of previously known astrometricand photometric B- and A-type members in these groups and identifiesmany new members, including a significant number of F stars, as well asevolved stars, e.g., the Wolf-Rayet stars gamma^2 Vel (WR 11) in Vel OB2and EZ CMa (WR 6) in Col 121, and the classical Cepheid delta Cep in CepOB6. Membership probabilities are given for all selected stars. MonteCarlo simulations are used to estimate the expected number of interloperfield stars. In the nearest associations, notably in Sco OB2, thelater-type members include T Tauri objects and other stars in the finalpre-main-sequence phase. This provides a firm link between the classicalhigh-mass stellar content and ongoing low-mass star formation. Detailedstudies of these 12 groups, and their relation to the surroundinginterstellar medium, will be presented elsewhere. Astrometric evidencefor moving groups in the fields of R CrA, CMa OB1, Mon OB1, Ori OB1, CamOB1, Cep OB3, Cep OB4, Cyg OB4, Cyg OB7, and Sct OB2, is inconclusive.OB associations do exist in many of these regions, but they are eitherat distances beyond ~500 pc where the Hipparcos parallaxes are oflimited use, or they have unfavorable kinematics, so that the groupproper motion does not distinguish it from the field stars in theGalactic disk. The mean distances of the well-established groups aresystematically smaller than the pre-Hipparcos photometric estimates.While part of this may be caused by the improved membership lists, arecalibration of the upper main sequence in the Hertzsprung-Russelldiagram may be called for. The mean motions display a systematicpattern, which is discussed in relation to the Gould Belt. Six of the 12detected moving groups do not appear in the classical list of nearby OBassociations. This is sometimes caused by the absence of O stars, but inother cases a previously known open cluster turns out to be (part of) anextended OB association. The number of unbound young stellar groups inthe solar neighborhood may be significantly larger than thoughtpreviously.

Five-colour photometry of OB-stars in the Southern Hemisphere
Observations of OB-stars, made in 1959 and 1960 at the Leiden SouthernStation near Hartebeespoortdam, South Africa, with the VBLUW photometerattached to the 90 cm light-collector, are given in this paper. They arecompared with photometry obtained by \cite[Graham (1968),]{gra68}\cite[Walraven & Walraven (1977),]{wal77} \cite[Lub & Pel(1977)]{lub77} and \cite[Van Genderen et al. (1984).]{gen84} Formulaefor the transformation of the present observations to those of\cite[Walraven & Walraven (1977)]{wal77} and \cite[Lub & Pel(1977)]{lub77} are given. Table 4 is only available in electronic format the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( orvia http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

HD 42927 and HD 126341: two pulsating B stars surrounded by circumstellar dust
We have performed an infrared study of pulsating B stars. The mainconclusion is that none of the 163 (non-)radial pulsators shows an IRexcess flux due to free-free emission, despite the fact that the samplecontains several rapid rotators. Two beta Cep stars and two slowlypulsating B stars do exhibit an unexpected infrared colour excess at 12mu m. The small IR excess of the B 2 IV beta Cep star HD 126341 (tau (1) Lup) is not accompanied by H alpha emission nor by a near-IR excess.It follows an energy distribution described by a power-law that pointsto dust emission. An optically thin dust model is fitted to the IR dataand leads to the presence of circumstellar dust which is situated veryfar from the star. The infrared data of the star HD 42927 also pointtowards the presence of (hotter) dust which is situated close to thestar. We have gathered follow-up photometry and high-resolutionspectroscopy that confirm the Hipparcos classification of the star as anew slowly pulsating B star. We briefly discuss the connection betweenthese two pulsating stars and the occurrence of circumstellar dustaround main-sequence stars. Based on observations collected with the CATand the ESO-MPI 2.2m Telescopes of the European Southern Observatory andwith the Swiss Photometric Telescope of the Geneva Observatory, allsituated at La Silla in Chile

Mapping the contours of the Local bubble: preliminary results
We present preliminary results from a long-term program of mapping theneutral absorption characteristics of the local interstellar medium,taking advantage of Hipparcos stellar distances. Equivalent widths ofthe NaI D-line doublet at 5890 Å are presented for thelines-of-sight towards some 143 new target stars lying within 300 pc ofthe Sun. Using these data which were obtained at the Observatoire deHaute Provence, together with previously published NaI absorptionmeasurements towards a further 313 nearby targets, we present absorptionmaps of the distribution of neutral gas in the local interstellar mediumas viewed from 3 different galactic projections. In particular, thesemaps reveal the Local Bubble region as a low neutral densityinterstellar cavity in the galactic plane with radii between 65-250 pcthat is surrounded by a (dense) neutral gas boundary (or ``wall''). Wehave compared our iso-column contours with the contours derived bySnowden et al. (\cite{snowden98}) using ROSAT soft X-ray emission data.Consistency in the global dimensions derived for both sets of contoursis found for the case of a million degree hot LB plasma of emissivity0.0023 cm(-6) pc with an electron density of 0.005 cm(-2) . We havedetected only one relatively dense accumulation of cold, neutral gaswithin 60 pc of the Sun that surrounds the star delta Cyg, and note thatthe nearest molecular cloud complex of MBM 12 probably resides at thevery edge of the Local Bubble at a distance of ~ 90 pc. Our observationsmay also explain the very different physical properties of the columnsof interstellar gas in the line-of-sight to the two hot stars epsilonCMa and beta CMa as being due to their locations with respect to theBubble contours. Finally, in the meridian plane the LB cavity is foundto be elongated perpendicularly to the Gould's Belt plane, possiblybeing ``squeezed'' by the expanding shells of the Sco-Cen andPerseus-Taurus OB associations. Tables 1 and 2 are also available inelectronic form at the CDS (Strasbourg) via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

An ultraviolet, optical and infrared study of Herbig Ae/Be stars
We have selected a list of 45 Herbig Ae/Be-type candidates on the baseof their IRAS colors and their spectral types. We propose the presenceof a broad infrared excess as a defining criterion for these stars,rather than the detection of circumstellar nebulosity. In this way, ourselection also includes more evolved young stars, that are no longerembedded in their star-forming region. A few objects in our sample arewell-known Herbig Ae/Be stars, others are new. New optical andnear-infrared photometric observations, as well as ultraviolet ones, arepresented. The position of the objects in several color-color diagrams,as well as their de-reddened energy distributions, permit a reliableclassification. Three objects probably are binaries with a coolsecondary, 9 appear to be related to the Vega-type stars and 33 objectscan be classified as genuine Herbig Ae/Be stars. The majority of theHerbig Ae/Be stars have a dusty environment consisting of a distinct hotand cool component. These isolated Herbig Ae/Be stars suggest anevolution from embedded Herbig Ae/Be stars to beta Pictoris-likemain-sequence stars, an evolution in which planet formation may play animportant role. Based on observations obtained at the European SouthernObservatory, La Silla, Chile; and at the Swiss Telescope, La Silla,Chile; and at the Swiss Telescope, Hochalpine ForschungsstationJungfraujoch, Switzerland, and with the International UltravioletExplorer (IUE)

A Minisurvey of Interstellar Titanium from the Southern Hemisphere
We describe the results of a minisurvey of interstellar Ti II and Ca IIabsorption toward 42 early-type stars observed from the southernhemisphere at a spectral resolution of 4.5 km s-1. Results are alsopresented for the Na I ultraviolet line (3302 Angstroms) detected towardnine of these targets. We examine the dependence of the integratedcolumn densities of N(Ti II), N(Ca II), and N(Na I) on distance,reddening, neutral hydrogen column density, and their Galactic elementalabundance. Our findings support the proposition that Ti II and Ca IIabsorption originates in the same regions of the pervasive, warm, andneutral intercloud gas of the interstellar medium. We have observed acorrelation of decreasing Ti and Ca abundance with increasingline-of-sight gas density. The Ti II/Ca II abundance ratio has beenfound to be essentially constant under all the interstellar densityconditions we have sampled. Thus, we conclude that the generalabsorption properties of titanium (and calcium) are similar throughoutthe entire disk of our Galaxy.

An All-Sky Catalog of Faint Extreme Ultraviolet Sources
We present a list of 534 objects detected jointly in the ExtremeUltraviolet Explorer (EUVE) 100 Angstroms all-sky survey and in theROSAT X-Ray Telescope 0.25 keV band. The joint selection criterionpermits use of a low count rate threshold in each survey. This lowthreshold is roughly 60% of the threshold used in the previous EUVEall-sky surveys, and 166 of the objects listed here are new EUV sources,appearing in neither the Second EUVE Source Catalog nor the ROSAT WideField Camera Second Catalog. The spatial distribution of this all-skycatalog shows three features: an enhanced concentration of objects inUrsa Major, where the Galactic integrated H I column reaches its globalminimum; an enhanced concentration in the third quadrant of the Galaxy(lII from 180 deg to 270 deg) including the Canis Major tunnel, whereparticularly low H I columns are found to distances beyond 200 pc; and aparticularly low number of faint objects in the direction of the fourthquadrant of the Galaxy, where nearby intervening H I columns areappreciable. Of particular interest is the composition of the 166detections not previously reported in any EUV catalog. We offerpreliminary identifications for 105 of these sources. By far the mostnumerous (81) of the identifications are late-type stars (F, G, K, M),while 18 are other stellar types, only five are white dwarfs (WDs), andnone are extragalactic. The paucity of WDs and extragalactic objects maybe explained by a strong horizon effect wherein interstellar absorptionstrongly limits the effective new-source search volume and, thereby,selectively favors low-luminosity nearby sources over more luminous butdistant objects.

Kinematical Structure of the Local Interstellar Medium: The Galactic Center Hemisphere
A survey of interstellar Na I D1 and D2 absorption features found in thespectra of 31 early-type stars in the first and fourth Galacticquadrants reveals a new picture of the large-scale kinematics ofinterstellar gas in the vicinity of the Sun. While absorption featuresfound in the spectra of stars in the fourth Galactic quadrant show thegas expanding from stars in the Scorpio-Centaurus OB association, starsin the first Galactic quadrant, in the range of distances covered bythis survey (74--312 pc from the Sun), show interstellar gas fallingtoward the Galactic plane with a bulk motion whose component parallel tothat plane is directed toward the Scorpio-Centaurus association. Thispicture differs completely from generally accepted models in which thenearby interstellar gas flows away from the Scorpio-Centaurusassociation toward the Galactic anticenter. Evidence for the presence ofan expanding shell-like feature that is reaching the solar system ispresented.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:13h39m53.20s
Apparent magnitude:2.3
Distance:115.207 parsecs

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesBirdun
Bayerε Cen
HD 1989HD 118716
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0300-19085650
BSC 1991HR 5132

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