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On the evolutionary status of Be stars. I. Field Be stars near the Sun
A sample of 97 galactic field Be stars were studied by taking intoaccount the effects induced by the fast rotation on their fundamentalparameters. All program stars were observed in the BCDspectrophotometric system in order to minimize the perturbationsproduced by the circumstellar environment on the spectral photosphericsignatures. This is one of the first attempts at determining stellarmasses and ages by simultaneously using model atmospheres andevolutionary tracks, both calculated for rotating objects. The stellarages (τ) normalized to the respective inferred time that eachrotating star can spend in the main sequence phase (τ_MS) reveal amass-dependent trend. This trend shows that: a) there are Be starsspread over the whole interval 0  τ/τ_MS  1 of themain sequence evolutionary phase; b) the distribution of points in the(τ/τMS,M/Mȯ) diagram indicates thatin massive stars (M  12~Mȯ) the Be phenomenon ispresent at smaller τ/τ_MS age ratios than for less massive stars(M  12~Mȯ). This distribution can be due to: i)higher mass-loss rates in massive objets, which can act to reduce thesurface fast rotation; ii) circulation time scales to transport angularmomentum from the core to the surface, which are longer the lower thestellar mass.

The peculiar circumstellar environment of NGC 2024 IRS2
We re-examine the nature of NGC 2024 IRS2 in light of the recentdiscovery of the late O-type star, IRS2b, located 5 arcsec from IRS2.Using L-band spectroscopy, we set a lower limit of AV = 27.0mag on the visual extinction towards IRS2. Arguments based on the natureof the circumstellar material, favor an AV of 31.5 mag. IRS2is associated with the UCHII region G206.543-16.347 and the infraredsource IRAS 05393-0156. We show that much of the mid-infrared emissiontowards IRS2, as well as the far infrared emission peaking at ˜100μm, do not originate in the direct surroundings of IRS2, but insteadfrom an extended molecular cloud. Using new K-, L- and L'-bandspectroscopy and a comprehensive set of infrared and radio continuummeasurements from the literature, we apply diagnostics based on theradio slope, the strength of the infrared hydrogen recombination lines,and the presence of CO band-heads to constrain the nature and spatialdistribution of the circumstellar material of IRS2. Using simple gaseousand/or dust models of prescribed geometry, we find strong indicationsthat the infrared flux originating in the circumstellar material of IRS2is dominated by emission from a dense gaseous disk with a radius ofabout 0.6 AU. At radio wavelengths the flux density distribution is bestdescribed by a stellar wind recombining at a radius of about 100 AU.Although NGC 2024 IRS2 shares many similarities with BN-like objects, wedo not find evidence for the presence of a dust shell surrounding thisobject. Therefore, IRS2 is likely more evolved.

Non-radially pulsating Be stars
Based on more than 3000 high-resolution echelle spectra of 27 early-typeBe stars, taken over six years, it is shown that the short-term periodicline profile variability of these objects is due to non-radialpulsation. The appearance of the line profile variability depends mostlyon the projected rotational velocity v sin i and thus, since all Bestars rotate rapidly, on the inclination i. The observed variability ofthe investigated stars is described, and for some of them line profilevariability periods are given for the first time. For two of theinvestigated stars the line profile variability was successfully modeledas non-radial pulsation with l=m=+2 already in previous works. Since Bestars with similarly low v sin i share the same variability properties,these are in general explainable under the same model assumptions. Theline profile variability of stars with higher v sin i is different fromthe one observed in low v sin i stars, but can be reproduced by thesame model, if only the model inclination is modified to more equatorialvalues. Only for a few stars with periodic line profile variability thel=m=2 non-radial pulsation mode is not able to provide a satisfyingexplanation. These objects might pulsate in different modes (e.g.tesseral ones, l != |m|). Almost all stars in the sample show traces ofoutburst-like variability, pointing to an ephemeral nature of themass-loss phenomenon responsible for the formation of the circumstellardisk of early-type Be stars, rather than a steady star-to-disk masstransfer. In addition to the variability due to non-radial pulsationpresent in most stars, several objects were found to show other periodsresiding in the immediate circumstellar environment. The presence ofthese secondary periods is enhanced in the outburst phases. Short-livedaperiodic phenomena were clearly seen in two stars. But, given theunfavourable sampling of our database to follow rapid variability oftransient nature, they might be more common. Only in two out of 27 starsshort-term spectroscopic variability was not detected at all.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory atLa Silla, Chile, 55.D-0502, 56.D-0381, 58.D-0697, 62.H-0319, 63.H-0080,64.H-0548, and 267.D-5702, the German-Spanish Astronomical Centre, CalarAlto, operated by the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg,jointly with the Spanish National Commission for Astronomy, and onobservations with the Wendelstein 80-cm and the Ondřejov 2-mtelescopes, both equipped with the HEROS spectrograph provided by theLandessternwarte Heidelberg.

A quest for PMS candidate stars at low metallicity: Variable HAe/Be and Be stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud
We report the discovery of 5 new Herbig Ae/Be candidate stars in theSmall Magellanic Cloud in addition to the 2 reported in Beaulieu et al.(\cite{Beaulieu01}). We discuss these 7 HAeBe candidate stars in termsof (1) their irregular photometric variability, (2) their near infraredemission, (3) their Hα emission and (4) their spectral type. Onestar has the typical photometric behaviour that is observed only amongPre-Main Sequence UX Orionis type stars. The objects are more luminousthan Galactic HAeBe stars and Large Magellanic Cloud HAeBe candidates ofthe same spectral type.The stars were discovered in a systematic search for variable stars in asubset of the EROS2 database consisting of 115 612 stars in a field of24x 24 arcmin in the Small Magellanic Cloud. In total we discovered 504variable stars. After classifying the different objects according totheir type of variability, we concentrate on 7 blue objects withirregular photometric behaviour. We cross-identified these objects withemission line catalogues from Simbad and JHK photometry from 2MASS. Theanalysis is supplemented with obtained narrow and broad band imaging. Wediscuss their variability in terms of dust obscuration and bound-freeand free-free emission. We estimate the influence of metallicity on thecircumstellar dust emission from pre-main sequence stars.

Estimation of the mass loss, opening angle and mass of Be circumstellar disks from Brmathsf γ continuum emission and interferometric measurements
Using the SIMECA code developed by Stee & Araùjo(\cite{stee1}); Stee et al. (\cite{stee2}) for Be stars we obtain acorrelation between the mass loss rates {dot M} and the Brgammacontinuum luminosity as a function of the opening angle of the disk. Weshow that this correlation is similar to those obtained by Scuderi etal. (\cite{scuderi}) for O-B supergiants. We found that the wind densityat the base of the photosphere, from a sample of 8 Be stars, liesbetween 10-13 and 10-12 g cm-3. We alsopresent a relationship between the mass of the circumstellar disk andthe 2.16 mu m flux. Finally we emphasize how interferometricmeasurements can help to estimate the wind density and we present asample of 16 Be stars with predicted visibilities that can be observedwith the VLTI.

Autocorrelation Analysis of Hipparcos Photometry of Short-Period Be Stars
We have used Hipparcos epoch photometry and a form of autocorrelationanalysis to investigate the amplitude and timescale of the short-periodvariability of 82 Be stars, including 46 Be stars that were analyzed byHubert & Floquet using Fourier and CLEAN analysis and 36 other Bestars that were suspected of short-period variability. Our method hasgiven useful information for about 84% of these stars; for the rest, thetime distribution of the Hipparcos epoch photometry limits thecapability of our technique.

Rotational Velocities of B Stars
We measured the projected rotational velocities of 1092 northern B starslisted in the Bright Star Catalogue (BSC) and calibrated them againstthe 1975 Slettebak et al. system. We found that the published values ofB dwarfs in the BSC average 27% higher than those standards. Only 0.3%of the stars have rotational velocities in excess of two-thirds of thebreakup velocities, and the mean velocity is only 25% of breakup,implying that impending breakup is not a significant factor in reducingrotational velocities. For the B8-B9.5 III-V stars the bimodaldistribution in V can be explained by a set of slowly rotating Ap starsand a set of rapidly rotating normal stars. For the B0-B5 III-V starsthat include very few peculiar stars, the distributions in V are notbimodal. Are the low rotational velocities of B stars due to theoccurrence of frequent low-mass companions, planets, or disks? Therotational velocities of giants originating from late B dwarfs areconsistent with their conservation of angular momentum in shells.However, we are puzzled by why the giants that originate from the earlyB dwarfs, despite having 3 times greater radii, have nearly the samerotational velocities. We find that all B-type primaries in binarieswith periods less than 2.4 days have synchronized rotational and orbitalmotions; those with periods between 2.4 and 5.0 days are rotating withina factor 2 of synchronization or are ``nearly synchronized.'' Thecorresponding period ranges for A-type stars are 4.9 and 10.5 days, ortwice as large. We found that the rotational velocities of the primariesare synchronized earlier than their orbits are circularized. The maximumorbital period for circularized B binaries is 1.5 days and for Abinaries is 2.5 days. For stars of various ages from 107.5 to1010.2 yr the maximum circularized periods are a smoothexponential function of age.

The ISO-SWS post-helium atlas of near-infrared stellar spectra
We present an atlas of near-infrared spectra (2.36 mu m-4.1 mu m) of ~300 stars at moderate resolution (lambda /delta lambda ~ 1500-2000). Thespectra were recorded using the Short-Wavelength Spectrometer aboard theInfrared Space Observatory (ISO-SWS). The bulk of the observations wereperformed during a dedicated observation campaign after the liquidhelium depletion of the ISO satellite, the so-called post-heliumprogramme. This programme was aimed at extending the MK-classificationto the near-infrared. Therefore the programme covers a large range ofspectral types and luminosity classes. The 2.36 mu m-4.05 mu m region isa valuable spectral probe for both hot and cool stars. H I lines(Bracket, Pfund and Humphreys series), He I and He II lines, atomiclines and molecular lines (CO, H2O, NH, OH, SiO, HCN,C2H2, ...) are sensitive to temperature, gravityand/or the nature of the outer layers of the stellar atmosphere(outflows, hot circumstellar discs, etc.). Another objective of theprogramme was to construct a homogeneous dataset of near-infraredstellar spectra that can be used for population synthesis studies ofgalaxies. At near-infrared wavelengths these objects emit the integratedlight of all stars in the system. In this paper we present the datasetof post-helium spectra completed with observations obtained during thenominal operations of the ISO-SWS. We discuss the calibration of the SWSdata obtained after the liquid helium boil-off and the data reduction.We also give a first qualitative overview of how the spectral featuresin this wavelength range change with spectral type. The dataset isscrutinised in two papers on the quantitative classification ofnear-infrared spectra of early-type stars ({Lenorzer} et al.\cite{lenorzer:2002a}) and late-type stars (Vandenbussche et al., inprep). Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instrumentsfunded by ESA Members States (especially the PI countries France,Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and with theparticipation of ISAS and NASA. The full atlas is available inelectronic form at www.edpsciences.org Table 1 is only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?/A+A/390/1033

Hydrogen infrared recombination lines as a diagnostic tool for the geometry of the circumstellar material of hot stars
We have analysed the infrared hydrogen recombination lines of a sampleof well studied hot massive stars observed with the Infrared SpaceObservatory. Our sample contains stars from several classes of objects,whose circumstellar environment is believed to be dominated by anionized stellar wind (the Luminous Blue Variables) or by a densedisk-like geometry (Be stars and B[e] stars). We show that hydrogeninfrared recombination lines can be used as a diagnostic tool toconstrain the geometry of the ionized circumstellar material. The linestrengths are sensitive to the density of the emitting gas. Highdensities result in optically thick lines for which line strengths areonly dependent on the emitting surface. Low density gas producesoptically thin lines which may be characterized by Menzel case Brecombination. The ISO observations show that stellar winds aredominated by optically thin H I recombination lines, while disks aredominated by optically thick lines. Disks and winds are well separatedin a diagnostic diagram using the Hu(14-6)/Bralpha and theHu(14-6)/Pfgamma line flux ratios. This diagnostic tool is useful toconstrain the nature of hot star environments in case they are highlyobscured, for instance while they are still embedded in their natalmolecular cloud. Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project withinstruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries:France, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK) and with the participationof ISAS and NASA.

An atlas of 2.4 to 4.1 mu m ISO/SWS spectra of early-type stars
We present an atlas of spectra of O- and B-type stars, obtained with theShort Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) during the Post-Helium program ofthe Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). This program is aimed at extendingthe Morgan & Keenan classification scheme into the near-infrared.Later type stars will be discussed in a separate publication. Theobservations consist of 57 SWS Post-Helium spectra from 2.4 to 4.1 μm, supplemented with 10 spectra acquired during the nominal mission witha similar observational setting. For B-type stars, this sample providesample spectral coverage in terms of subtype and luminosity class. ForO-type stars, the ISO sample is coarse and therefore is complementedwith 8 UKIRT Larcmin -band observations. In terms of the presence ofdiagnostic lines, the Larcmin -band is likely the most promising of thenear-infrared atmospheric windows for the study of the physicalproperties of B stars. Specifically, this wavelength interval containsthe Bralpha , Pfgamma , and other Pfund lines which are probes ofspectral type, luminosity class and mass loss. Here, we present simpleempirical methods based on the lines present in the 2.4 to 4.1 mu minterval that allow the determination of i) the spectral type of Bdwarfs and giants to within two subtypes; ii) the luminosity class of Bstars to within two classes; iii) the mass-loss rate of O stars and Bsupergiants to within 0.25 dex. Based on observations with ISO, an ESAproject with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PIcountries: France, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK) and with theparticipation of ISAS and NASA. The appendix is only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin.qcat?J/A+A/384/473

Short-period line profile variations in the Be star ɛ Cap
We present new high-dispersion spectroscopic data for the Be starɛ Cap. The purpose of these data is to study the short-periodline profile variations. By using a two-dimensional period-findingtechnique, we confirm that the photometric period of 0.99d is present inthe helium line profiles. We show that the variations are not easilyexplained by non-radial pulsation and suggest that corotatingcircumstellar material is responsible.

Ultraviolet Spectrophotometry of Variable Early-Type Be and B Stars Derived from High-Resolution IUE Data
High-dispersion IUE data encode significant information about aggregateline absorptions that cannot be conveniently extracted from individualstellar spectra. Here we apply a new technique in which fluxes from eachechelle order of a short-wavelength IUE spectrum are binned together toconstruct low-resolution spectra of a rapidly varying B or Be star. Thedivision of binned spectra obtained during a ``bright-star'' phase byspectra from a ``faint-star'' phase leads to a ratioed spectrum thatcontains information about the mechanism responsible for a star'svariability. The most likely candidate mechanisms are either theperiodic or episodic occultations of the star by ejected matter or achange in photospheric structure, e.g., from pulsation. We model thevariations caused by these mechanism by means of model atmosphere andabsorbing-slab codes. Line absorptions strength changes are rathersensitive to physical conditions in circumstellar shells and ``clouds''at temperatures of 8000-13,000 K, which is the regime expected forcircumstellar structures of early B stars. To demonstrate proofs of thisconcept, we construct spectral ratios for circumstellar structuresassociated with flux variability in various Be stars: (1) Vela X-1 has abow-shock wind trailing its neutron star companion; at successive phasesand hence in different sectors, the wind exhibits spectrophotometricsignatures of a 13,000 or 26,000 K medium; (2) 88 Her undergoes episodic``outbursts'' during which its UV flux fades, followed a year later by adimming at visible wavelengths as well; the ratioed spectrum indicatesthe ``phase lag'' is a result of a nearly gray opacity that dominatesall wavelengths as the shell expands from the star and cools, permittingthe absorptions in the visible to ``catch up'' to those in the UV; and(3) ζ Tau and 60 Cyg exhibit periodic spectrum and flux changes,which match model absorptions for occulting clouds but are actually mosteasily seen from selective variations of various resonance lines. Inaddition, ratioed UV spectra of radial and large-amplitude nonradialpulsating stars show unique spectrophotometric signatures, which can besimulated with model atmospheres. An analysis of ratioed spectraobtained for a representative sample of 18 classical Be stars known tohave rapid periodic flux variations indicates that 13 of them haveratioed spectra that are relatively featureless or have signatures ofpulsation. Ratioed spectra of three others in the sample exhibitsignatures that are consistent with the presence of corotating clouds.

A Search for High-Velocity Be Stars
We present an analysis of the kinematics of Be stars based uponHipparcos proper motions and published radial velocities. We findapproximately 23 of the 344 stars in our sample have peculiar spacemotions greater than 40 km s-1 and up to 102 kms-1. We argue that these high-velocity stars are the resultof either a supernova that disrupted a binary or ejection by closeencounters of binaries in young clusters. Be stars spun up by binarymass transfer will appear as high-velocity objects if there wassignificant mass loss during the supernova explosion of the initiallymore massive star, but the generally moderate peculiar velocities of BeX-ray binaries indicate that the progenitors lose most of their massprior to the supernova (in accordance with model predictions). Binaryformation models for Be stars predict that most systems bypass thesupernova stage (and do not receive runaway velocities) to createultimately Be+white dwarf binaries. The fraction of Be stars spun up bybinary mass transfer remains unknown, since the post-mass transfercompanions are difficult to detect.

High and intermediate-resolution spectroscopy of Be stars 4481 lines
We present an atlas of Hγ , He i lambda 4471 and Mg ii lambda 4481line profiles obtained in a 10 year observation period of 116 Be stars,which enabled many of them to be observed at quite different emissionepochs. From the best fit of the observed He i lambda 4471 line profileswith non-LTE, uniform (Teff,log g) and full limb-darkenedmodel line profiles, we determined the V sin i of the program stars. Toaccount, to some degree, for the line formation peculiarities related tothe rapid rotation-induced non-uniform distributions of temperature andgravity on the stellar surface, the fit was achieved by considering(Teff,log g) as free parameters. This method produced V sin iestimations that correlate with the rotational velocities determined bySlettebak (1982) within a dispersion sigma <= 30 km s-1and without any systematic deviation. They can be considered as given inthe new Slettebak's et al. (1975) system. Only 13 program stars havediscrepant V sin i values. In some objects, this discrepancy could beattributed to binary effects. Using the newly determined V sin iparameters, we found that the ratio of true rotational velocitiesV/Vc of the program Be stars has a very low dispersion aroundthe mean value. Assuming then that all the stars are rigid rotators withthe same ratio V(/lineω)/Vc, we looked for the value of/line ω that better represents the distribution of V sini/Vc for randomly oriented rotational axes. We obtained/lineω = 0.795. This value enabled us to determine the probableinclination angle of the stellar rotation axis of the program stars. Inthe observed line profiles of Hγ , He i lambda 4471, Mg ii lambda4481 and Fe ii lambda 4351 we measured several parameters related to theabsorption and/or emission components, such as: equivalent width,residual emission and/or absorption intensity, FWHM, emission peakseparations, etc. The parameters related to the Hγ line emissionprofiles were used to investigate the structure of the nearbyenvironment of the central star. From the characteristics of thecorrelations between these quantities and the inferred inclinationangle, we concluded that in most of cases the Hγ line emissionforming regions may not be strongly flattened. Using a simplerepresentation of the radiation flux emitted by the star+envelopesystem, we derived first order estimates of physical parameterscharacterizing the Hγ line emission formation region. Thus, weobtained that the total extent of the Hγ region is Rf=~ 2.5 +/- 1.0 R* and that the density distribution in theselayers can be mimicked with a power law rho ~ R-alpha , wherealpha =2.5+2.2-0.6. The same approach enabled usto estimate the optical depth of the Hγ line emission formationregion. From its dependence with the aspect angle, we concluded thatthese regions are caracterized by a modest flattening and that the rho(equator)/rho (pole) density contrast of the circumstellar envelope nearthe star should be two orders of magnitude lower than predicted bymodels based on a priori disc-shaped circumstellar envelopes. We foundthat the separation between the emission peaks, Deltap, andthe full width at half maximum, Delta 1/2, of the Hγline emission are not only sensitive to kinematic effects, but to lineoptical depth as well. This finding agrees with previous theoreticalpredictions and confirms that Huang's (1972) relation overestimates theextent of the Hγ line emission formation region. Data obtained atCASLEO operated under agreement between the CONICET and the NationalUniversities of La Plata, Córdoba and San Juan, Argentina, at ESOLa Silla, Chile and at OHP, France.}\fnmsep\thanks{Tables 2 to 7 andFigs. 1 and 2 are only available in full in electronic form at CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via\http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/378/861}} \subtitle{Anatlas of Hγ , He {\fontsize {10pt}{12pt}\selectfont I} 4471 and Mg{\fontsize {10pt}{12pt}\selectfont II

Statistical analysis of intrinsic polarization, IR excess and projected rotational velocity distributions of classical Be stars
We present the results of statistical analyses of a sample of 627 Bestars. The parameters of intrinsic polarization (p*),projected rotational velocity (v sin i), and near IR excesses have beeninvestigated. The values of p* have been estimated for a muchlarger and more representative sample of Be stars (~490 objects) thanpreviously. We have confirmed that most Be stars of early spectral typehave statistically larger values of polarization and IR excesses incomparison with the late spectral type stars. It is found that thedistributions of p* diverge considerably for the differentspectral subgroups. In contrast to late spectral types (B5-B9.5), thedistribution of p* for B0-B2 stars does not peak at the valuep*=0%. Statistically significant differences in the meanprojected rotational velocities (/line{vsin i}) are found for differentspectral subgroups of Be stars in the sense that late spectral typestars (V luminosity class) generally rotate faster than early types, inagreement with previously published results. This behaviour is, however,not obvious for the III-IV luminosity class stars. Nevertheless, thecalculated values of the ratio vt/vc of the truerotational velocity, vt, to the critical velocity forbreak-up, vc, is larger for late spectral type stars of allluminosity classes. Thus, late spectral type stars appear to rotatecloser to their break-up rotational velocity. The distribution of nearIR excesses for early spectral subgroups is bi-modal, the position ofthe second peak displaying a maximum value E(V-L)~ 1 . m 3for O-B1.5 stars, decreasing to E(V-L)~0. m8 for intermediatespectral types (B3-B5). It is shown that bi-modality disappears for latespectral types (B6-B9.5). No correlations were found betweenp* and near IR excesses and between E(V-L) and vsin i for thedifferent subgroups of Be stars. In contrast to near IR excesses, arelation between p* and far IR excesses at 12 mu m is clearlyseen. A clear relation between p* and vsin i (as well asbetween p* and /line{vsin i}/vc) is found by thefact that plots of these parameters are bounded by a ``triangular"distribution of p*: vsin i, with a decrease of p*towards very small and very large vsin i (and /line{vsini}/vc) values. The latter behaviour can be understood in thecontext of a larger oblateness of circumstellar disks for the stars witha rapid rotation. From the analysis of correlations between differentobservational parameters we conclude that circumstellar envelopes forthe majority of Be stars are optically thin disks with the range of thehalf-opening angle of 10degr

Population synthesis of Be/white dwarf binaries in the Galaxy
Using the ``Scenario Machine'' (a numerical co-de that models theevolution of large ensembles of binary systems) we study the number andphysical properties of binary Be stars with white dwarfs taking accountof the compact object cooling and we discuss the ways of theirformation. In our calculations we take into account the influence oftidal synchronization on the evolution of stars in a close binary. Thesynchronization time scale may be less than the life-time of a Be staron the main sequence after the first mass transfer. It has strongeffects on the resulting number distribution of binary Be stars overorbital periods. In particular, it can explain the lack of short periodBe binaries. According to our calculations the number of binary systemscontaining a Be star paired with a white dwarf in the Galaxy is verylarge - 70% of all Be stars formed as a result of binary evolution musthave a white dwarf as a companion. Based on our calculations we concludethat the compact companion in these systems must have a high surfacetemperature. The number distribution over the surface temperature peaksat 2 104 K for all white dwarfs and at 4 104 K forwhite dwarfs paired with early-type Be stars (between B0 and B2). Theregistration of white dwarfs in such systems is hampered by the factthat the entire orbit of a white dwarf is embedded in the densecircumstellar envelope of the primary star (our calculations show thatthe majority of Be/WD systems have orbital periods less than one year)and all extreme-UV and soft X-ray photons of a compact companion areabsorbed by the Be star envelope. The detection of a white dwarf ispossible during the period when the Be star disc-like envelope islacking by the detection of white dwarf extreme-UV and soft X-rayemission. This method of registration appears to be particularlypromising for ``single'' early-type Be stars because in these systemsthe white dwarfs must have a very high surface temperature. However, theloss of the Be disc-like envelope does not often occur and it is arather rare event for many Be stars. The best possibility of white dwarfdetection is given by the study of helium spectral lines found inemission from several late-type Be stars. The ultraviolet continuumenergy of these Be stars is found to be not enough to produce theobserved helium emission. Besides, we also discuss the orbitalproperties of binary Be star systems with other evolved companions suchas helium stars and neutron stars and give a possible explanation forthe lack of Be/black hole binaries.

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

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

On the Variability of O4-B5 Luminosity Class III-V Stars
We investigate the Hipparcos Satellite photometry of O4-B5 luminosityclass III-V stars. Some for which further study is desirable areidentified. These stars in general are more variable than cooler stars

Interstellar Carbon Abundance
We present 10 new measurements of carbon gas phase column density in theinterstellar medium. We have used spectra made with the Goddard HighResolution Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope containing theCII 1334.5 Ang and CII* 1335.7 Ang lines. The continuum reconstructionmethod has been used to obtain the carbon column density from theLorentzian damped lines. Extinction curve parameters are determined inselected directions and relation between C/H ratio and extinctionparameters is discussed. A correlation has been found between C/H andthe strength of the 2175 Ang bump. Unlike previous results, we noticethat C/H changes with fractional abundance of molecular hydrogen,f(H_2). The average value of C/H=3.55*10^{-4} for lines of sight withf(H_2)<1*10^{-3} is the same as solar photospheric abundance fromGrevese and Noels (1993) and may represent the real cosmic carbonabundance.

Hα observations of Be stars
We present here the Hα spectra of 44 Be stars taken at aresolution of 0.5 Å. From the spectra, different emission lineparameters have been deduced. A study of the correlations betweendifferent pairs of these parameters has been made with a view tounderstanding the mechanisms of line formation and shaping in Be stars.

Sixth Catalogue of Fundamental Stars (FK6). Part I. Basic fundamental stars with direct solutions
The FK6 is a suitable combination of the results of the HIPPARCOSastrometry satellite with ground-based data, measured over more than twocenturies and summarized in the FK5. Part I of the FK6 (abbreviatedFK6(I)) contains 878 basic fundamental stars with direct solutions. Suchdirect solutions are appropriate for single stars or for objects whichcan be treated like single stars. From the 878 stars in Part I, we haveselected 340 objects as "astrometrically excellent stars", since theirinstantaneous proper motions and mean (time-averaged) ones do not differsignificantly. Hence most of the astrometrically excellent stars arewell-behaving "single-star candidates" with good astrometric data. Thesestars are most suited for high-precision astrometry. On the other hand,199 of the stars in Part I are Δμ binaries in the sense ofWielen et al. (1999). Many of them are newly discovered probablebinaries with no other hitherto known indication of binarity. The FK6gives, besides the classical "single-star mode" solutions (SI mode),other solutions which take into account the fact that hidden astrometricbinaries among "apparently single-stars" introduce sizable "cosmicerrors" into the quasi-instantaneously measured HIPPARCOS proper motionsand positions. The FK6 gives in addition to the SI mode the "long-termprediction (LTP) mode" and the "short-term prediction (STP) mode". TheseLTP and STP modes are on average the most precise solutions forapparently single stars, depending on the epoch difference with respectto the HIPPARCOS epoch of about 1991. The typical mean error of anFK6(I) proper motion in the single-star mode is 0.35 mas/year. This isabout a factor of two better than the typical HIPPARCOS errors for thesestars of 0.67 mas/year. In the long-term prediction mode, in whichcosmic errors are taken into account, the FK6(I) proper motions have atypical mean error of 0.50 mas/year, which is by a factor of more than 4better than the corresponding error for the HIPPARCOS values of 2.21mas/year (cosmic errors included).

Long-term variability of the Be/X-ray binary A0535+26 - III. Photometry
UBV-band photometric observations of the Be/X-ray binary system HDE245770/A0535+26 over the last decade are presented. It is shown that theemission at all wavelengths is correlated, and that no resolvabletime-lag exists between variations in differing wavebands. This issuggestive of emission from only one source within the system. It isfound that the optical continuum can be understood as optically thinfree-free and bound-free emission from material in the circumstellardisc around the primary Oe star. We find a change in the emissionmeasure of the disc by a factor of ~ 40 over the course of theobservations. If this is interpreted as a variation in the mass-lossrate from the primary, it corresponds to a change by a factor of ~ 6.Period searches on the optical light curve reveal no evidence formodulation of the circumstellar envelope at the orbital period;therefore it seems unlikely that the mass-loss rate from the primary isaffected by the neutron star at periastron. No positive correlationexists between the optical and X-ray light curves; such a result appearsto exclude models for the X-ray behaviour in which accretion is directlyfed from the dense circumstellar wind of the primary. It is likely thatX-ray outbursts are instead triggered by discrete mass ejection eventsfrom the primary.

The Second Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer Right Angle Program Catalog
We present the detection of 235 extreme ultraviolet sources, of which169 are new detections, using the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer's (EUVE)Right Angle Program (RAP) data. This catalog includes observations sincethe first EUVE RAP catalog (1994 January) and covers 17% of the sky. TheEUVE RAP uses the all-sky survey telescopes (also known as``scanners''), mounted at right angles to the Deep Survey andspectrometer instruments, to obtain photometric data in four wavelengthbands centered at ~100 Å (Lexan/B), ~200 Å (Al/Ti/C), ~400Å (Ti/Sb/Al), and ~550 Å (Sn/SiO). This allows the RAP toaccumulate data serendipitously during pointed spectroscopicobservations. The long exposure times possible with RAP observationsprovide much greater sensitivity than the all-sky survey. We presentEUVE source count rates and probable source identifications from theavailable catalogs and literature. The source distribution is similar toprevious extreme ultraviolet (EUV) catalogs with 2% early-type stars,45% late-type stars, 8% white dwarfs, 6% extragalactic, 24% with no firmclassification, and 15% with no optical identification. We also present36 detections of early-type stars that are probably the result ofnon-EUV radiation. We have detected stellar flares from approximately 12sources, including: EUVE J0008+208, M4 star G32-6 (EUVE J0016+198), anew source EUVE J0202+105, EUVE J0213+368, RS CVn V711 Tau (EUVEJ0336+005), BY Draconis type variable V837 Tau (EUVE J0336+259), the newK5 binary EUVE J0725-004, EUVE J1147+050, EUVE J1148-374, EUVE J1334-083(EQ Vir), EUVE J1438-432 (WT 486/487), EUVE J1808+297, and the M5.5estar G208-45 (EUVE J1953+444). We present sample light curves for thebrighter sources.

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

Investigation of the variability of bright Be stars using HIPPARCOS photometry
The high accuracy and the homogeneity of Hipparcos data for bright starshave allowed us to quantify the degree of variability of Be stars. Thisdegree has been found to be highly dependent on the temperature of thestar. Rapid variability is the main feature of the 86% of early Be andless than 20% of late Be stars taking into account the limit ofdetection considered. In addition to Be stars reported in the Hipparcoscatalogue (ESA 1997) as short-period variables, we have been able toenlarge the number of detections as well as to confirm periodspreviously determined. Be stars that show larger amplitude rapidvariations are proposed as candidates for a search of multiperiodicityi.e. as non-radial pulsators. We have also searched for the presence ofoutbursts and fading events in the Hipparcos data. Outbursts have beenfrequently and preferentially detected in early Be stars with rather lowto moderate v sini while fading events seem to be more conspicuous instars with higher v sini. Mid-term and long-term variations have alsobeen investigated. Several stars have shown some evidence of temporaryquasi-periodic oscillations ranging between 10 and 200 days. Finallyinformation concerning long-term variations is reported. Cycles shorterthan or equal to the Hipparcos mission have mainly been detected instars earlier than B6. Long-term time scales of late Be stars areconfirmed to be longer by far. Tables 1 and 2 are only available inelectronic form at CDS via ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( orvia http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

The long-term behaviour of the Be star HD163868
In this paper we discuss the light variations of HD163868 on the basisof all available photometric data originating from photometricmonitoring during the last two decades. We suggest that one explanationof the on-and-off type variability can be a binary configuration with acompact companion and a period of the order of 850 days, though theobserved effects could also be seen in the context of positiveinterference of NRPs. The bright stages are associated with strongreddening consistent with an increase in circumstellar material. We drawthe attention to the similarity with cyclically-recurrent mild S Dorphases of LBVs. Based on observations obtained at the European SouthernObservatory at La Silla, Chile (observing proposals 55D-0317, 56D-0249and 57D-0133) and on data obtained with the Observatoire deGenève Swiss Telescope at La Silla

UVBY photometry of theta Coronae Borealis during 1994 and 1995
We present differential uvby photometry of theta CrB obtained in 1994and 1995, complemented by Balmer line spectroscopy. This star has beenconstant during this period, showing no short term periodic variabilitywith an amplitude greater than 0.005 mag., nor long term variationsgreater than 0.01 mag. The lack of variability is associated with aninactive phase of the Be star, in which no emision features are presentin the spectra. The only remarkable event observed was a fading episodeon JD 2449779, with an amplitude of about 0.02 magnitudes in allbandpasses and duration of 0.2 -- 0.3 days. Table 2 is only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

The Tokyo PMC catalog 90-93: Catalog of positions of 6649 stars observed in 1990 through 1993 with Tokyo photoelectric meridian circle
The sixth annual catalog of the Tokyo Photoelectric Meridian Circle(PMC) is presented for 6649 stars which were observed at least two timesin January 1990 through March 1993. The mean positions of the starsobserved are given in the catalog at the corresponding mean epochs ofobservations of individual stars. The coordinates of the catalog arebased on the FK5 system, and referred to the equinox and equator ofJ2000.0. The mean local deviations of the observed positions from theFK5 catalog positions are constructed for the basic FK5 stars to comparewith those of the Tokyo PMC Catalog 89 and preliminary Hipparcos resultsof H30.

ROSAT PSPC Observations of 27 Near--Main-Sequence B Stars
In this paper, we report on ROSAT Position Sensitive ProportionalCounter (PSPC) observations of 27 near--main-sequence B stars made withunprecedented sensitivity. Contrary to the results of previous surveys,it is found that 75% of the sample stars are X-ray sources, albeit mostat modest levels. The X-ray luminosities of the program stars range from5.6 x 1027 up to 2.2 x 1032 ergs s-1. We find that LX/LBol decreasesabruptly beyond about B0 and stabilizes at LX/LBol ~ 10-8.5 by about B2,with seven nondetections at B2 and later. For the B0 and B1 stars, ourmodeling suggests that wind attenuation of the X-ray photons issignificant, so that the emitted X-ray luminosity, corrected for thisattenuation, actually exceeds 10-7LBol in some cases. Presumably, thissituation is even more severe for O stars; thus, the well-known LX/LBol~ 10-7 law simply may be an artifact of the neglect of wind attenuation.The ROSAT PSPC observations of most of the B stars are very soft, withthe notable exception of tau Sco (B0 V). The wind emission measurefilling factors that we find for the very early B stars are rather large(roughly 0.1--1). This could be brought into line with theoreticalcalculations of the line-force instability, wind-shock mechanism if themass-loss rates of these stars are a few times higher than theorycurrently predicts. However, the X-rays from stars later than B2 requirefilling factors greater than unity and thus cannot be produced by anyradiation-driven wind-shock mechanism because there is simply not enoughwind material to produce the observed X-rays. It is possible that mid-to late-B stars represent some kind of transition to, or hybrid of, windand coronal X-ray mechanisms.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Constellation:Canis Major
Right ascension:06h49m50.50s
Apparent magnitude:3.96
Distance:242.131 parsecs
Proper motion RA:0
Proper motion Dec:0
B-T magnitude:3.352
V-T magnitude:3.486

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesHúshǐbā
Bayerκ CMa
Flamsteed13 CMa
HD 1989HD 50013
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 7092-2576-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0525-03527983
BSC 1991HR 2538
HIPHIP 32759

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