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Radial Distribution of Dust Grains around HR 4796A
We present high dynamic range images of circumstellar dust around HR4796A that were obtained with MIRLIN at the Keck II telescope atλ=7.9, 10.3, 12.5, and 24.5 μm. We also present a newcontinuum measurement at 350 μm obtained at the Caltech SubmillimeterObservatory. Emission is resolved in Keck images at 12.5 and 24.5 μmwith point-spread function FWHM values of 0.37" and 0.55", respectively,and confirms the presence of an outer ring centered at 70 AU. Unresolvedexcess infrared emission is also detected at the stellar position andmust originate well within 13 AU of the star. A model of dust emissionfitted to flux densities at 12.5, 20.8, and 24.5 μm indicates thatdust grains are located 4+3-2 AU from the starwith effective size 28+/-6 μm and an associated temperature of260+/-40 K. We simulate all extant data with a simple model ofexozodiacal dust and an outer exo-Kuiper ring. A two-component outerring is necessary to fit both Keck thermal infrared and Hubble SpaceTelescope scattered-light images. Bayesian parameter estimates yield atotal cross-sectional area of 0.055 AU2 for grains roughly 4AU from the star, and an outer-dust disk composed of a narrowlarge-grain ring embedded within a wider ring of smaller grains. Thenarrow ring is 14+/-1 AU wide with inner radius 66+/-1 AU and totalcross-sectional area 245 AU2. The outer ring is 80+/-15 AUwide with inner radius 45+/-5 AU and total cross-sectional area 90AU2. Dust grains in the narrow ring are about 10 times largerand have lower albedos than those in the wider ring. These propertiesare consistent with a picture in which radiation pressure dominates thedispersal of an exo-Kuiper belt.

The sub-arcsecond dusty environment of Eta Carinae
The core of the nebula surrounding Eta Carinae has been observed withthe VLT Adaptive Optics system NACO and with the interferometerVLTI/MIDI to constrain spatially and spectrally the warm dustyenvironment and the central object. In particular, narrow-band images at3.74 μm and 4.05 μm reveal the butterfly shaped dusty environmentclose to the central star with unprecedented spatial resolution. A voidwhose radius corresponds to the expected sublimation radius has beendiscovered around the central source. Fringes have been obtained in theMid-IR which reveal a correlated flux of about 100 Jy situated 0.3arcsec south-east of the photocenter of the nebula at 8.7 μm, whichcorresponds with the location of the star as seen in other wavelengths.This correlated flux is partly attributed to the central object, andthese observations provide an upper limit for the SED of the centralsource from 2.2 μm to 13.5 μm. Moreover, we have been able tospectrally disperse the signal from the nebula itself at PA = 318degree, i.e. in the direction of the bipolar nebula (~310°) withinthe MIDI field of view of 3 arcsec. A large amount of corundum (Al2O3)is discovered, peaking at 0.6 arcsec-1.2 arcsec south-east from thestar, whereas the dust content of the Weigelt blobs is dominated bysilicates. We discuss the mechanisms of dust formation which are closelyrelated to the geometry of this Butterfly nebulae.

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

Multiwavelength diameters of nearby Miras and semiregular variables
We have used optical interferometry to obtain multiwavelength visibilitycurves for eight red giants over the wavelength range 650-1000 nm. Theobservations consist of wavelength-dispersed fringes recorded withMAPPIT (Masked Aperture-Plane Interference Telescope) at the 3.9-mAnglo-Australian Telescope. We present results for four Miras (R Car, oCet, R Hya and R Leo) and four semiregular variables (R Dor, W Hya,L2 Pup and γ Cru). All stars except γ Cru showstrong variations of angular size with wavelength. A uniform-disc modelwas found to be a poor fit in most cases, with Gaussian (or other moretapered) profiles preferred. This, together with the fact that moststars showed a systematic increase in apparent size towards the blue anda larger-than-expected linear size, even in the red, all point towardssignificant scattering by dust in the inner circumstellar environment.Some stars showed evidence for asymmetric brightness profiles, whileL2 Pup required a two-component model, indicating anasymmetrical circumstellar dust shell.

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

High-Resolution Imaging of Dust Shells by Using Keck Aperture Masking and the IOTA Interferometer
We present first results of an experiment to combine data from Keckaperture masking and the Infrared-Optical Telescope Array to image thecircumstellar environments of evolved stars with ~20 mas resolution. Theunique combination of excellent Fourier coverage at short baselines andhigh-quality long-baseline fringe data allows us to determine thelocation and clumpiness of the innermost hot dust in the envelopes andto measure the diameters of the underlying stars themselves. We findevidence for large-scale inhomogeneities in some dust shells and alsosignificant deviations from uniform brightness for the photospheres ofthe most evolved M stars. Deviations from spherically symmetric massloss in the red supergiant NML Cyg could be related to recent evidencefor dynamically important magnetic fields and/or stellar rotation. Wepoint out that dust shell asymmetries, like those observed here, canqualitatively explain the difficulty recent workers have had insimultaneously fitting the broadband spectral energy distributions andhigh-resolution spatial information, without invoking unusual dustproperties or multiple distinct shells (from hypothetical``superwinds''). This paper is the first to combine opticalinterferometry data from multiple facilities for imaging, and we discussthe challenges and potential for the future of this method, givencurrent calibration and software limitations.

Mid-infrared sizes of circumstellar disks around Herbig Ae/Be stars measured with MIDI on the VLTI
We present the first long baseline mid-infrared interferometricobservations of the circumstellar disks surrounding Herbig Ae/Be stars.The observations were obtained using the mid-infrared interferometricinstrument MIDI at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Very LargeTelescope Interferometer VLTI on Cerro Paranal. The 102 m baseline givenby the telescopes UT1 and UT3 was employed, which provides a maximumfull spatial resolution of 20 milli-arcsec (mas) at a wavelength of 10μm. The interferometric signal was spectrally dispersed at aresolution of 30, giving spectrally resolved visibility information from8 μm to 13.5 μm. We observed seven nearby Herbig Ae/Be stars andresolved all objects. The warm dust disk of HD 100546 could even beresolved in single-telescope imaging. Characteristic dimensions of theemitting regions at 10 μm are found to be from 1 AU to 10 AU. The 10μm sizes of our sample stars correlate with the slope of the 10-25μm infrared spectrum in the sense that the reddest objects are thelargest ones. Such a correlation would be consistent with a differentgeometry in terms of flaring or flat (self-shadowed) disks for sourceswith strong or moderate mid-infrared excess, respectively. We comparethe observed spectrally resolved visibilities with predictions based onexisting models of passive centrally irradiated hydrostatic disks madeto fit the SEDs of the observed stars. We find broad qualitativeagreement of the spectral shape of visibilities corresponding to thesemodels with our observations. Quantitatively, there are discrepanciesthat show the need for a next step in modelling of circumstellar disks,satisfying both the spatial constraints such as are now available fromthe MIDI observations and the flux constraints from the SEDs in aconsistent way.Based on observations made with the Very Large Telescope Interferometerat Paranal Observatory.

Quasars and active galaxies.
Not Available

Infrared Colors and Variability of Evolved Stars from COBE DIRBE Data
For a complete 12 μm flux-limited sample of 207 IRAS sources(F12>=150 Jy, |b|>=5deg), the majority ofwhich are AGB stars (~87%), we have extracted light curves in seveninfrared bands between 1.25 and 60 μm using the database of theDiffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) instrument on the CosmicBackground Explorer (COBE) satellite. Using previous infrared surveys,we filtered these light curves to remove data points affected by nearbycompanions and obtained time-averaged flux densities and infraredcolors, as well as estimates of their variability at each wavelength. Inthe time-averaged DIRBE color-color plots, we find clear segregation ofsemiregulars, Mira variables, carbon stars, OH/IR stars, and red giantswithout circumstellar dust (i.e., V-[12]<5) and with little or novisual variation (ΔV<0.1 mag). The DIRBE 1.25-25 μm colorsbecome progressively redder and the variability in the DIRBE databaseincreases along the oxygen-rich sequence nondusty slightly varying redgiants-->SRb/Lb-->SRa-->Mira-->OH/IR and the carbon-richSRb/Lb-->Mira sequence. This supports previous assertions that theseare evolutionary sequences involving the continued production andejection of dust. The carbon stars are redder than their oxygen-richcounterparts for the same variability type, except in theF12/F25 ratio, where they are bluer. Of the 28sources in the sample not previous noted to be variable, 18 are clearlyvariable in the DIRBE data, with amplitudes of variation of ~0.9 mag at4.9 μm and ~0.6 mag at 12 μm, consistent with them being verydusty Mira-like variables. We also present individual DIRBE light curvesof a few selected stars. The DIRBE light curves of the semiregularvariable L2 Pup are particularly remarkable. The maxima at1.25, 2.2, and 3.5 μm occur 10-20 days before those at 4.9 and 12μm, and, at 4.9 and 12 μm, another maximum is seen between the twonear-infrared maxima.

``Thermal'' SiO radio line emission towards M-type AGB stars: A probe of circumstellar dust formation and dynamics
An extensive radiative transfer analysis of circumstellar SiO``thermal'' radio line emission from a large sample of M-type AGB starshas been performed. The sample contains 18 irregulars of type Lb (IRV),7 and 34 semiregulars of type SRa and SRb (SRV), respectively, and 12Miras. New observational data, which contain spectra of several groundvibrational state SiO rotational lines, are presented. The detectionrate was about 60% (44% for the IRVs, and 68% for the SRVs). SiOfractional abundances have been determined through radiative transfermodelling. The abundance distribution of the IRV/SRV sample has a medianvalue of 6*E-6, and a minimum of 2*E-6 and amaximum of 5*E-5. The high mass-loss rate Miras have a muchlower median abundance, la 10-6. The derived SiO abundancesare in all cases well below the abundance expected from stellaratmosphere equilibrium chemistry, on average by a factor of ten. Inaddition, there is a trend of decreasing SiO abundance with increasingmass-loss rate. This is interpreted in terms of depletion of SiOmolecules by the formation of silicate grains in the circumstellarenvelopes, with an efficiency which is high already at low mass-lossrates and which increases with the mass-loss rate. The high mass-lossrate Miras appear to have a bimodal SiO abundance distribution, a lowabundance group (on average 4*E-7) and a high abundance group(on average 5*E-6). The estimated SiO envelope sizes agreewell with the estimated SiO photodissociation radii using an unshieldedphotodissociation rate of 2.5*E-10 s-1. The SiOand CO radio line profiles differ in shape. In general, the SiO lineprofiles are narrower than the CO line profiles, but they havelow-intensity wings which cover the full velocity range of the CO lineprofile. This is interpreted as partly an effect of selfabsorption inthe SiO lines, and partly (as has been done also by others) as due tothe influence of gas acceleration in the region which produces asignificant fraction of the SiO line emission. Finally, a number ofsources which have peculiar CO line profiles are discussed from thepoint of view of their SiO line properties.Based on observations using the SEST at La Silla, Chile, the 20 mtelescope at Onsala Space Observatory, Sweden, the JCMT on Hawaii, andthe IRAM 30 m telescope at Pico Veleta, Spain.

Hipparcos red stars in the HpV_T2 and V I_C systems
For Hipparcos M, S, and C spectral type stars, we provide calibratedinstantaneous (epoch) Cousins V - I color indices using newly derivedHpV_T2 photometry. Three new sets of ground-based Cousins V I data havebeen obtained for more than 170 carbon and red M giants. These datasetsin combination with the published sources of V I photometry served toobtain the calibration curves linking Hipparcos/Tycho Hp-V_T2 with theCousins V - I index. In total, 321 carbon stars and 4464 M- and S-typestars have new V - I indices. The standard error of the mean V - I isabout 0.1 mag or better down to Hp~9 although it deteriorates rapidly atfainter magnitudes. These V - I indices can be used to verify thepublished Hipparcos V - I color indices. Thus, we have identified ahandful of new cases where, instead of the real target, a random fieldstar has been observed. A considerable fraction of the DMSA/C and DMSA/Vsolutions for red stars appear not to be warranted. Most likely suchspurious solutions may originate from usage of a heavily biased color inthe astrometric processing.Based on observations from the Hipparcos astrometric satellite operatedby the European Space Agency (ESA 1997).}\fnmsep\thanks{Table 7 is onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/397/997

Infrared spectral classification of normal stars.
Moderate resolution (~400) 2.38-45.2 mu m infrared spectra of starswithout dust features were obtained with the Short WavelengthSpectrometer (SWS) on board the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). Theobservations are part of a larger program with the objective to extendand refine the current infrared classification schemes. In particular,our data provide the basis for a more detailed classification of the1.N-1.NO sources (ordinary and oxygen rich naked stars) as defined byKraemer et al. (\cite{kraemer}) in a comprehensive classification of theISO-SWS spectra. For our analysis, the continuum was determined byfitting Engelke's function (Engelke \cite{engelke}) to the SWS data. Thestellar angular diameters derived from these estimates of the continuumare in good agreement with values obtained by other methods. Analysis ofthe equivalent widths of the CO fundamental and first overtone molecularbands, the SiO fundamental and first overtone, as well as theH2O bending mode band as a function of MK class, reveals thatthere is sufficient information in the SWS spectra to distinguishbetween hot (B, A, F) and cool stars. Furthermore, it is possible todetermine the spectral type for the G, K and M giants, and subtyperanges in a sequence of K and M giants. The equivalent widths of the COand SiO bands are found to be well correlated in K and M stars, suchthat the equivalent widths of the CO fundamental, the SiO first overtoneand the SiO fundamental can be reasonably well extrapolated from thedepth of the CO first overtone. We have identified two stars,HR 365 and V Nor, whosemid-infrared spectrum does not correspond to their respective opticalclassification. HR 365 may have a late M companion,which dominates the observed infrared spectrum while VNor is a late type giant that was included because itsspectrum was classified as featureless under the IRAS LRS scheme.According to Kraemer et al. (\cite{kraemer}), V Norhas a thin dust shell, which distorts the analysis of its mid-infraredabsorption bands. 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.

Mid-Infrared Images of the Circumstellar Dust around α Scorpii
We present the first two-dimensional mid-infrared images of thecircumstellar dust distribution around the supergiant star αScorpii. Our observations were made at wavelengths of 12.5 and 20.8μm using the MIRLIN focal-plane array camera on the Keck II 10 mtelescope, with spatial resolution (λ/D) of 0.29" and 0.48" atthe two wavelengths, respectively. Our deconvolved images, which providea resolution enhancement of approximately a factor of 2, show that thedust shell previously detected in one-dimensional scans is actuallyhighly nonuniform. Specifically, the shell is now seen to beconcentrated largely into three discrete clumps, and there is evidenceof a more recent ejection which has left a central concentration of dustwithin about 0.3" from the star.

On the Wilson-Bappu relationship in the Mg II k line
An investigation is carried out on the Wilson-Bappu effect in the Mg Iik line at 2796.34 Å. The work is based on a selection of 230 starsobserved by both the IUE and HIPPARCOS satellites, covering a wide rangeof spectral types (F to M) and absolute visual magnitudes (-5.4<=MV <=9.0). A semi-automatic procedure is used to measurethe line widths, which applies also in the presence of strong centralabsorption reversal. The Wilson-Bappu relationship here provided isconsidered to represent an improvement over previous recent results forthe considerably larger data sample used, as well as for a properconsideration of the measurement errors. No evidence has been found fora possible dependence of the WB effect on stellar metallicity andeffective temperature.

Long period variable stars: galactic populations and infrared luminosity calibrations
In this paper HIPPARCOS astrometric and kinematic data are used tocalibrate both infrared luminosities and kinematical parameters of LongPeriod Variable stars (LPVs). Individual absolute K and IRAS 12 and 25luminosities of 800 LPVs are determined and made available in electronicform. The estimated mean kinematics is analyzed in terms of galacticpopulations. LPVs are found to belong to galactic populations rangingfrom the thin disk to the extended disk. An age range and a lower limitof the initial mass is given for stars of each population. A differenceof 1.3 mag in K for the upper limit of the Asymptotic Giant Branch isfound between the disk and old disk galactic populations, confirming itsdependence on the mass in the main sequence. LPVs with a thin envelopeare distinguished using the estimated mean IRAS luminosities. The levelof attraction (in the classification sense) of each group for the usualclassifying parameters of LPVs (variability and spectral types) isexamined. Table 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/374/968 or via ASTRIDdatabase (http://astrid.graal.univ-montp2.fr).

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

Moderate-Resolution Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Cool Stars: A New K-Band Library
I present an atlas of near-infrared K-band spectra of 31 late-typegiants and supergiants and two carbon stars. The spectra were obtainedat resolving powers of 830 and 2000, and have a signal-to-noise ratio>~100. These data are complemented with results from similar existinglibraries in both K and H band, and they are used to identify varioustools useful for stellar population studies at moderate resolution. Ifocus on several of the most prominent absorption features and (1)investigate the effects of spectral resolution on measurements of theirequivalent width (EW), (2) examine the variations with stellarparameters of the EWs, and (3) construct composite indices as indicatorsof stellar parameters and of the contribution from excess continuumsources commonly found in star-forming and AGN galaxies. Among thefeatures considered, the 12CO (2,0) and 12CO (6,3)bandheads together with the Si I 1.59 μm feature, first proposed byOliva, Origlia, and coworkers, constitute the best diagnostic set forstellar spectral classification and for constraining the excesscontinuum emission. The Ca I 2.26 μm and Mg I 2.28 μm featuresoffer alternatives in the K band to the 12CO (6,3) bandheadand Si I feature.

A statistical analysis of the metallicities of nine old superclusters and moving groups
Using both high-dispersion and low-resolution data, the metallicities ofnine old moving groups and superclusters are analyzed. These stellargroupings include the HR 1614 and Hyades superclusters and the Wolf 630,zeta Her, 61 Cyg, HR 1614, sigma Pup, eta Cep, and Arcturus groups.Samples of these stellar groupings are drawn from Eggen's membershiplists. Precautions are taken against problems posed by reddening, visualand spectroscopic binaries, and typographical errors in Eggen's lists.When required, the analyses allow for systematic differences betweenlow-resolution and high-dispersion metallicities. It is found that noneof the stellar groupings have the small metallicity dispersion found fora selection of galactic clusters. Instead, the metallicity dispersionsturn out to be comparable to the dispersion for a random selection offield stars. For most of the stellar groupings, it does not seempossible at present to learn more by analyzing metallicities. However,one can be more definite about three of them: the HR 1614 supercluster,the HR 1614 group, and the Hyades supercluster. Using a membership listfrom Eggen (\cite{e98c}) that is based on Hipparcos astrometry, noevidence is found for the existence of an HR 1614 supercluster. Toisolate an HR 1614 group, results from a kinematic analysis (Dehnen\cite{d98}) are then used to select a tentative list of members fromEggen's group and supercluster lists. From the mean metallicity of theredefined group, it is found that the group is very unlikely to be arandom, magnitude-limited sample of stars. A similar result is obtainedfor a version of the Hyades supercluster derived from 18 of Eggen'smembership lists. About 43% of the stars in this version turn out to bemembers of the supercluster.

Hipparcos Versus GCVS Amplitudes of Non-Mira M-Type Giants
A recent paper by Dumm and Schild deals with the determination of radiiand masses for Hipparcos stars with non-Mira giant M-type spectra. Theirlist contains 350 stars, of which 205 are either verified or suspectedvariables, including 53 SR (semiregular) and 51 Lb (irregular)variables. The authors determined that the masses and radii of thenon-variable stars show a clear correlation, whereas thevariable starsdeviate from this relation roughly according to their amplitudes. Incomparing the Hipparcos amplitudes with the amplitudes in the GCVS andNSV I found numerous conspicuous discordances, ranging well over a wholemagnitude. I therefore hoped that the older amplitudes, based in generalupon data more specifically obtained for period determination, mightimprove the scatter in the Dumm and Schold diagram, but this is not thecase. In the course of the investigation, numerous stars wereencountered that merit further observations. Two were found of especialinterest: V370 And, discovered by Hipparcos, and () Dra,with a reputed period of 1100 days.

Library of Medium-Resolution Fiber Optic Echelle Spectra of F, G, K, and M Field Dwarfs to Giant Stars
We present a library of Penn State Fiber Optic Echelle (FOE)observations of a sample of field stars with spectral types F to M andluminosity classes V to I. The spectral coverage is from 3800 to 10000Å with a nominal resolving power of 12,000. These spectra includemany of the spectral lines most widely used as optical and near-infraredindicators of chromospheric activity such as the Balmer lines (Hαto Hepsilon), Ca II H & K, the Mg I b triplet, Na I D_1, D_2, He ID_3, and Ca II IRT lines. There are also a large number of photosphericlines, which can also be affected by chromospheric activity, andtemperature-sensitive photospheric features such as TiO bands. Thespectra have been compiled with the goal of providing a set of standardsobserved at medium resolution. We have extensively used such data forthe study of active chromosphere stars by applying a spectralsubtraction technique. However, the data set presented here can also beutilized in a wide variety of ways ranging from radial velocitytemplates to study of variable stars and stellar population synthesis.This library can also be used for spectral classification purposes anddetermination of atmospheric parameters (T_eff, logg, [Fe/H]). A digitalversion of all the fully reduced spectra is available via ftp and theWorld Wide Web (WWW) in FITS format.

Period-Luminosity-Colour distribution and classification of Galactic oxygen-rich LPVs. I. Luminosity calibrations
The absolute K magnitudes and kinematic parameters of about 350oxygen-rich Long-Period Variable stars are calibrated, by means of anup-to-date maximum-likelihood method, using Hipparcos parallaxes andproper motions together with radial velocities and, as additional data,periods and V-K colour indices. Four groups, differing by theirkinematics and mean magnitudes, are found. For each of them, we alsoobtain the distributions of magnitude, period and de-reddened colour ofthe base population, as well as de-biased period-luminosity-colourrelations and their two-dimensional projections. The SRa semiregulars donot seem to constitute a separate class of LPVs. The SRb appear tobelong to two populations of different ages. In a PL diagram, theyconstitute two evolutionary sequences towards the Mira stage. The Mirasof the disk appear to pulsate on a lower-order mode. The slopes of theirde-biased PL and PC relations are found to be very different from theones of the Oxygen Miras of the LMC. This suggests that a significantnumber of so-called Miras of the LMC are misclassified. This alsosuggests that the Miras of the LMC do not constitute a homogeneousgroup, but include a significant proportion of metal-deficient stars,suggesting a relatively smooth star formation history. As a consequence,one may not trivially transpose the LMC period-luminosity relation fromone galaxy to the other Based on data from the Hipparcos astrometrysatellite. Appendix B is only available in electronic form at the CDSvia anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

Oxygen-rich semiregular and irregular variables. A catalogue of circumstellar CO observations
Using the SEST, the Onsala 20 m telescope, the JCMT, and the IRAM 30 mtelescope we have carried out a survey of circumstellar CO(J=1-0, 2-1,3-2, and 4-3) emission on a large sample of oxygen-rich semiregular (SRaand SRb) and irregular variables (Lb). A total of 109 stars wereobserved in at least one CO line: 66 were shown to have circumstellar COline emission (7 SRa, 36 SRb, and 23 Lb variables), ~ 60% of thesemiregulars and all but one of the irregulars were detected for thefirst time. Most stars were observed in at least two transitions. Thereis a total of 138 detected CO lines. For twelve stars stronginterference from interstellar CO emission precluded detection. Wepresent here a catalogue of all observational data and the spectra ofall detections, as well as brief discussions on detection statistics(including its dependence on variability type, period, IRAS-colour, IRASLRS-class, and M-subclass), line profiles (including line shapeasymmetry, multi-component line shapes, and line intensity ratios), gasexpansion velocity distributions, and correlations between CO line andIR continuum fluxes (including implications for the mass-lossmechanism). Based on observations collected using at the EuropeanSouthern Observatory, La Silla, Chile, the Onsala Space Observatory,Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, Sweden, the James Clerk MaxwellTelescope, Hawaii and the IRAM 30~m telescope, Pico Veleta, Spain.

A search for Technetium in semiregular variables
We searched for the lines of Tc in the spectra of Semiregular variables(SRVs) in the wavelength region from 4180 to 4300 Å using highresolution spectroscopy. Tc as an s-process element is produced on thethermally pulsing AGB and is therefore a good indicator for theevolutionary status of Semiregular variables. Combining our results withprevious investigations we get a database large enough for a statisticalstudy. Tc is not found in SRVs with periods below 100 days, spectraltypes earlier than M5 and photospheric IRAS colours. These objects are`blue' SRVs in the classification system of Kerschbaum & Hron(\cite{KH94}). Among the `red' SRVs (periods longer than 100 days) thefraction of stars showing Tc in their spectra is about 15 % with aprobably lower fraction among the stars with periods above 150 days.This is significantly lower than for the typical Miras. Taking intoaccount the probable conditions for the occurence of the third dredge-upand the expected behavior of the Tc abundance along an evolutionarytrack on the AGB, our results support an evolutionary scenario from`blue' SRVs (early AGB) to `red' SRVs (early TP-AGB) and on to longperiod Miras. Only the most massive (masses above 2M_ȯ) stars showTc during the SRV stage. The luminosities of the Tc-rich SRVs and Mirasare compatible with theoretical estimates of the minimum core massrequired for the third dredge-up. Based on observations collected at theEuropean Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile (ESO No.54.E-0350), theGerman Spanish Astronomical Centre, Calar Alto, operated by theMax-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, jointly with the SpanishNational Commission for Astronomy, and Kitt Peak National Observatory,USA.

Probing the {Na} BT I D and {K} BT I lambda 7699 resonance lines sensitivity to background opacity in late-type stars
We have measured the equivalent width WK of the K i resonanceline at 7699 Angstroms for a large sample of low activity late-typestars observed with high spectral resolution and we have verified thatthe relation WK vs. Teff is monotonicallydecreasing, for both dwarf and giant stars. This behaviour is differentfrom that of the Na I D lines for stars of the same type, which showedthat the relation WNa vs. Teff has a maximum forTeff ~ 4000 K, which is better defined for giants than fordwarfs (Tripicchio et al. 1997). The fit of the observed K I equivalentwidths by means of a NLTE spectral line synthesis using conventionalbackground opacity shows that, for dwarf stars, the adopted modelsoverestimate the observed WK for temperatures <~ 4000 K.This result is similar to that discussed for the Na I D lines in ourprevious paper. On the other hand, for giant stars with Teff<~ 3800 K these models in general underestimate WK. Thediscrepancies between observed and computed WK andWNa for cool stars are much stronger than the variations dueto uncertainties in either atmospheric model or line parameters, likeeffective temperature and surface gravity, or Van der Waals broadening.For M dwarf stars, the most convincing explanation for the disagreementis the lack of atomic and molecular line opacity in the adopted models.In fact, a NLTE spectral synthesis including an additional backgroundopacity reproduces with a good level of accuracy the equivalent widths,as well as the general shape of the profiles for both the Na I D and K Ilines, in a subsample of early-M dwarfs. Based on observations collectedat the European Southern Observatory (ESO), La Silla, Chile, and at theMcDonald Observatory, Mt. Locke, Texas, USA

Stellar radii of M giants
We determine the stellar radii of the M giant stars in the Hipparcoscatalogue that have a parallax measured to better than 20% accuracy.This is done with the help of a relation between a visual surfacebrightness parameter and the Cousins (V - I) colour index, which wecalibrate with M giants with published angular diameters.The radii of(non-Mira) M giants increase from a median value of 50 R_Sun at spectraltype M0 III to 170 R_Sun at M7/8 III. Typical intermediate giant radiiare 65 R_Sun for M1/M2, 90 R_Sun for M3, 100 R_Sun for M4, 120 R_Sun forM5 and 150 R_Sun for M6. There is a large intrinsic spread for a givenspectral type. This variance in stellar radius increases with latertypes but in relative terms, it remains constant.We determineluminosities and, from evolutionary tracks, stellar masses for oursample stars. The M giants in the solar neighbourhood have masses in therange 0.8-4 M_Sun. For a given spectral type, there is a close relationbetween stellar radius and stellar mass. We also find a linear relationbetween the mass and radius of non-variable M giants. With increasingamplitude of variability we have larger stellar radii for a given mass.

The Infrared Spectral Classification of Oxygen-rich Dust Shells
This paper presents infrared spectral classifications for a flux-limitedsample of 635 optically identified oxygen-rich variables includingsupergiants and sources on the asymptotic giant branch (AGB). Severalclasses of spectra from oxygen-rich dust exist, and these can bearranged in a smoothly varying sequence of spectral shapes known as thesilicate dust sequence. Classification based on this sequence revealsseveral dependencies of the dust emission on the properties of thecentral star. Nearly all S stars show broad emission features fromalumina dust, while most of the supergiants exhibit classic featuresfrom amorphous silicate dust. Mira variables with symmetric light curvesgenerally show broad alumina emission, while those with more asymmetriclight curves show classic silicate emission. These differences may arisefrom differences in the photospheric C/O ratio.

The luminosity index for M stars and the distance to the LMC.
Not Available

The HR 1614 Group and HIPPARCOS Astrometry
The evidence for the existence of the important HR 1614 supercluster andgroup of rare rich CN stars is examined with the use of Hipparcosastrometry. Group membership is supported by Hipparcos parallaxes exceptfor two stars for which available evidence suggests uncertainty in theHipparcos values.

HIPPARCOS Astrometry of Infrared-Selected Sources and the Connection Between Optical and Infrared Reference Frames
Astrometric data from the Hipparcos satellite are reported for theoptical counterparts of 87 bright infrared sources. These sources may beuseful in defining a reference frame for infrared observations. The dataare also useful in studying the locations of circumstellar SiO masers.(SECTION: Stars)

The angular diameter of R Doradus: a nearby Mira-like star
We find the angular diameter of R Doradus to be 57+/-5mas, exceedingthat of Betelgeuse and implying that R Dor is larger in apparent sizethan every star except the Sun. R Dor is shown to be closely related tothe Mira variables. We estimate an effective temperature of 2740+/-190K,a distance of 61+/-7pc, a luminosity of 6500+/-1400 Lsolar and a radiusof 370+/-50 Rsolar. The characteristics of R Dor are consistent with itbeing near the edge of a Mira instability strip. We detect non-zeroclosure phases from R Dor, indicating an asymmetric brightnessdistribution. We also observed W Hydrae, a small-amplitude Mira, forwhich we find an angular diameter of 44+/-4mas.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:13h49m26.70s
Apparent magnitude:4.19
Distance:54.377 parsecs
Proper motion RA:-44.4
Proper motion Dec:-59.1
B-T magnitude:6.023
V-T magnitude:4.416

Catalogs and designations:
Proper Names
Flamsteed2 Cen
HD 1989HD 120323
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 7287-1891-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 0525-16630064
BSC 1991HR 5192
HIPHIP 67457

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