Posts Tagged stellar parameters

Recent Postings from stellar parameters

Stellar Activity and Coronal Heating: an overview of recent results

Observations of the coronae of the Sun and of solar-like stars provide complementary information to advance our understanding of stellar magnetic activity, and of the processes leading to the heating of their outer atmospheres. While solar observations allow us to study the corona at high spatial and temporal resolution, the study of stellar coronae allows us to probe stellar activity over a wide range of ages and stellar parameters. Stellar studies therefore provide us with additional tools for understanding coronal heating processes, as well as the long-term evolution of solar X-ray activity. We discuss how recent studies of stellar magnetic fields and coronae contribute to our understanding of the phenomenon of activity and coronal heating in late-type stars.

Gaia-ESO Survey: The analysis of pre-main sequence stellar spectra

This paper describes the analysis of UVES and GIRAFFE spectra acquired by the Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey in the fields of young clusters whose population includes pre-main sequence (PMS) stars. Both methods that have been extensively used in the past and new ones developed in the contest of the Gaia-ESO survey enterprise are available and used. The internal precision of these quantities is estimated by inter-comparing the results obtained by such different methods, while the accuracy is estimated by comparison with independent external data, like effective temperature and surface gravity derived from angular diameter measurements, on a sample of benchmarks stars. Specific strategies are implemented to deal with fast rotation, accretion signatures, chromospheric activity, and veiling. The analysis carried out on spectra acquired in young clusters’ fields during the first 18 months of observations, up to June 2013, is presented in preparation of the first release of advanced data products. Stellar parameters obtained with the higher resolution and larger wavelength coverage from UVES are reproduced with comparable accuracy and precision using the smaller wavelength range and lower resolution of the GIRAFFE setup adopted for young stars, which allows us to provide with confidence stellar parameters for the much larger GIRAFFE sample. Precisions are estimated to be $\approx$ 120 K r.m.s. in Teff, $\approx$0.3 dex r.m.s. in logg, and $\approx$0.15 dex r.m.s. in [Fe/H], for both the UVES and GIRAFFE setups.

Abundances, Stellar Parameters, and Spectra From the SDSS-III/APOGEE Survey

The SDSS-III/APOGEE survey operated from 2011-2014 using the APOGEE spectrograph, which collects high-resolution (R~22,500), near-IR (1.51-1.70 microns) spectra with a multiplexing (300 fiber-fed objects) capability. We describe the survey data products that are publicly available, which include catalogs with radial velocity, stellar parameters, and 15 elemental abundances for over 150,000 stars, as well as the more than 500,000 spectra from which these quantities are derived. Calibration relations for the stellar parameters (Teff, log g, [M/H], [alpha/M]) and abundances (C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Ti, V, Mn, Fe, Ni) are presented and discussed. The internal scatter of the abundances within clusters indicates that abundance precision is generally between 0.05 and 0.09 dex across a broad temperature range; within more limited ranges and at high S/N, it is smaller for some elemental abundances. We assess the accuracy of the abundances using comparison of mean cluster metallicities with literature values, APOGEE observations of the solar spectrum and of Arcturus, comparison of individual star abundances with other measurements, and consideration of the locus of derived parameters and abundances of the entire sample, and find that it is challenging to determine the absolute abundance scale; external accuracy may be good to 0.1-0.2 dex. Uncertainties may be larger at cooler temperatures (Teff<4000K). Access to the public data release and data products is described, and some guidance for using the data products is provided.

Abundance Differences Between Exoplanet Binary Host Stars XO-2N and XO-2S -- Dependence on Stellar Parameters

The chemical composition of exoplanet host stars is an important factor in understanding the formation and characteristics of their orbiting planets. The best example of this to date is the planet-metallicity correlation. Other proposed correlations are thus far less robust, in part due to uncertainty in the chemical history of stars pre- and post-planet formation. Binary host stars of similar type present an opportunity to isolate the effects of planets on host star abundances. Here we present a differential elemental abundance analysis of the XO-2 stellar binary, in which both G9 stars host giant planets, one of which is transiting. Building on our previous work, we report 16 elemental abundances and compare the $\Delta$(XO-2N-XO-S) values to elemental condensation temperatures. The $\Delta$(N-S) values and slopes with condensation temperature resulting from four different pairs of stellar parameters are compared to explore the effects of changing the relative temperature and gravity of the stars. We find that most of the abundance differences between the stars depend on the chosen stellar parameters, but that Fe, Si, and potentially Ni are consistently enhanced in XO-2N regardless of the chosen stellar parameters. This study emphasizes the power of binary host star abundance analysis for probing the effects of giant planet formation, but also illustrates the potentially large uncertainties in abundance differences and slopes induced by changes in stellar temperature and gravity.

Abundance Differences Between Exoplanet Binary Host Stars XO-2N and XO-2S -- Dependence on Stellar Parameters [Replacement]

The chemical composition of exoplanet host stars is an important factor in understanding the formation and characteristics of their orbiting planets. The best example of this to date is the planet-metallicity correlation. Other proposed correlations are thus far less robust, in part due to uncertainty in the chemical history of stars pre- and post-planet formation. Binary host stars of similar type present an opportunity to isolate the effects of planets on host star abundances. Here we present a differential elemental abundance analysis of the XO-2 stellar binary, in which both G9 stars host giant planets, one of which is transiting. Building on our previous work, we report 16 elemental abundances and compare the $\Delta$(XO-2N-XO-S) values to elemental condensation temperatures. The $\Delta$(N-S) values and slopes with condensation temperature resulting from four different pairs of stellar parameters are compared to explore the effects of changing the relative temperature and gravity of the stars. We find that most of the abundance differences between the stars depend on the chosen stellar parameters, but that Fe, Si, and potentially Ni are consistently enhanced in XO-2N regardless of the chosen stellar parameters. This study emphasizes the power of binary host star abundance analysis for probing the effects of giant planet formation, but also illustrates the potentially large uncertainties in abundance differences and slopes induced by changes in stellar temperature and gravity.

Solar analogs with and without planets: $T_C$ trends and galactic evolution

We explore a sample of 148 solar-like stars to search for a possible correlation between the slopes of the abundance trends versus condensation temperature (known as the Tc slope) both with stellar parameters and Galactic orbital parameters in order to understand the nature of the peculiar chemical signatures of these stars and the possible connection with planet formation. We find that the Tc slope correlates at a significant level with the stellar age and the stellar surface gravity. We also find tentative evidence that the Tc slope correlates with the mean galactocentric distance of the stars (Rmean), suggesting that stars that originated in the inner Galaxy have fewer refractory elements relative to the volatile ones. We found that the chemical peculiarities (small refractory-to-volatile ratio) of planet-hosting stars is probably a reflection of their older age and their inner Galaxy origin. We conclude that the stellar age and probably Galactic birth place are key to establish the abundances of some specific elements.

Solar analogs with and without planets: T$_c$ trends and galactic evolution [Replacement]

We explore a sample of 148 solar-like stars to search for a possible correlation between the slopes of the abundance trends versus condensation temperature (known as the Tc slope) both with stellar parameters and Galactic orbital parameters in order to understand the nature of the peculiar chemical signatures of these stars and the possible connection with planet formation. We find that the Tc slope correlates at a significant level with the stellar age and the stellar surface gravity. We also find tentative evidence that the Tc slope correlates with the mean galactocentric distance of the stars (Rmean), suggesting that stars that originated in the inner Galaxy have fewer refractory elements relative to the volatile ones. We found that the chemical peculiarities (small refractory-to-volatile ratio) of planet-hosting stars is probably a reflection of their older age and their inner Galaxy origin. We conclude that the stellar age and probably Galactic birth place are key to establish the abundances of some specific elements.

High Dispersion Spectroscopy of Solar-type Superflare Stars. II. Stellar Rotation, Starspots, and Chromospheric Activities

We conducted high dispersion spectroscopic observations of 50 superflare stars with Subaru/HDS. These 50 stars were selected from the solar-type superflare stars that we had discovered from the Kepler data. More than half (34 stars) of these 50 target superflare stars show no evidence of binarity, and we estimated stellar parameters of these 34 stars in our previous study (Notsu et al. 2015, hereafter called Paper I). According to our previous studies using Kepler data, superflare stars show quasi-periodic brightness variations whose amplitude (0.1-10\%) is much larger than that of the solar brightness variations (0.01-0.1\%) caused by the existence of sunspots on the rotating solar surface. In this study, we investigated whether these quasi-periodic brightness variations of superflare stars are explained by the rotation of a star with fairly large starspots, by using stellar parameters derived in Paper I. First, we confirmed that the value of the projected rotational velocity $v \sin i$ is consistent with the rotational velocity estimated from the period of the brightness variation. Next, we measured the intensity of Ca II infrared triplet lines and H$\alpha$ line, good indicators of the stellar chromospheric activity, and compared them with other stellar properties. The intensity of Ca II infrared triplet lines indicates that the mean magnetic field strength ($\langle fB\rangle$) of the target superflare stars can be higher than that of the Sun. A correlation between the amplitude of the brightness variation and the intensity of Ca II triplet line was found. All the targets expected to have large starspots because of their large amplitude of the brightness variation show high chromospheric activities compared to the Sun. These results support that the brightness variation of superflare stars is due to the rotation with large starspots.

High Dispersion Spectroscopy of Solar-type Superflare Stars. I. Temperature, Surface Gravity, Metallicity, and $v \sin i$

We conducted high dispersion spectroscopic observations of 50 superflare stars with Subaru/HDS, and measured the stellar parameters of them. These 50 targets were selected from the solar-type (G-type main sequence) superflare stars that we had discovered from the Kepler photometric data. As a result of these spectroscopic observations, we found that more than half (34 stars) of our 50 targets have no evidence of binary system. We then estimated effective temperature ($T_{\rm{eff}}$), surface gravity ($\log g$), metallicity ([Fe/H]), and projected rotational velocity ($v\sin i$) of these 34 superflare stars on the basis of our spectroscopic data. The accuracy of our estimations is higher than that of Kepler Input Catalog (KIC) values, and the differences between our values and KIC values ($(\Delta T_{\rm{eff}})_{\rm{rms}} \sim 219$K, $(\Delta \log g)_{\rm{rms}} \sim 0.37$ dex, and $(\Delta\rm{[Fe/H]})_{\rm{rms}} \sim 0.46$ dex) are comparable to the large uncertainties and systematic differences of KIC values reported by the previous researches. We confirmed that the estimated $T_{\rm{eff}}$ and $\log g$ values of the 34 superflare stars are roughly in the range of solar-type stars. In particular, these parameters and the brightness variation period ($P_{0}$) of 9 stars are in the range of "Sun-like" stars ($5600\leq T_{\rm{eff}}\leq 6000$K, $\log g\geq$4.0, and $P_{0}>$10 days). Five of the 34 target stars are fast rotators ($v \sin i \geq 10$km s$^{-1}$), while 22 stars have relatively low $v \sin i$ values ($v \sin i<5$km s$^{-1}$). These results suggest that stars whose spectroscopic properties similar to the Sun can have superflares, and this supports the hypothesis that the Sun might cause a superflare.

High Dispersion Spectroscopy of Solar-type Superflare Stars. I. Temperature, Surface Gravity, Metallicity, and $v \sin i$ [Replacement]

We conducted high dispersion spectroscopic observations of 50 superflare stars with Subaru/HDS, and measured the stellar parameters of them. These 50 targets were selected from the solar-type (G-type main sequence) superflare stars that we had discovered from the Kepler photometric data. As a result of these spectroscopic observations, we found that more than half (34 stars) of our 50 targets have no evidence of binary system. We then estimated effective temperature ($T_{\rm{eff}}$), surface gravity ($\log g$), metallicity ([Fe/H]), and projected rotational velocity ($v\sin i$) of these 34 superflare stars on the basis of our spectroscopic data. The accuracy of our estimations is higher than that of Kepler Input Catalog (KIC) values, and the differences between our values and KIC values ($(\Delta T_{\rm{eff}})_{\rm{rms}} \sim 219$K, $(\Delta \log g)_{\rm{rms}} \sim 0.37$ dex, and $(\Delta\rm{[Fe/H]})_{\rm{rms}} \sim 0.46$ dex) are comparable to the large uncertainties and systematic differences of KIC values reported by the previous researches. We confirmed that the estimated $T_{\rm{eff}}$ and $\log g$ values of the 34 superflare stars are roughly in the range of solar-type stars. In particular, these parameters and the brightness variation period ($P_{0}$) of 9 stars are in the range of "Sun-like" stars ($5600\leq T_{\rm{eff}}\leq 6000$K, $\log g\geq$4.0, and $P_{0}>$10 days). Five of the 34 target stars are fast rotators ($v \sin i \geq 10$km s$^{-1}$), while 22 stars have relatively low $v \sin i$ values ($v \sin i<5$km s$^{-1}$). These results suggest that stars whose spectroscopic properties similar to the Sun can have superflares, and this supports the hypothesis that the Sun might cause a superflare.

The LAMOST Stellar Parameter Pipeline at Peking University --- LSP3

We introduce the LAMOST Stellar Parameter Pipeline at Peking University — LSP3, developed and implemented for the determinations of radial velocity $V_{\rm r}$ and stellar atmospheric parameters (effective temperature $T_{\rm eff}$, surface gravity log\,$g$, metallicity [Fe/H]) for the LAMOST Spectroscopic Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (LSS-GAC). We describe the algorithms of LSP3 and examine the accuracy of parameters yielded by it. The precision and accuracy of parameters yielded are investigated by comparing results of multi-epoch observations and of candidate members of open and globular clusters, with photometric calibration, as well as with independent determinations available from a number of external databases, including the PASTEL archive, the APOGEE, SDSS and RAVE surveys, as well as those released in the LAMOST DR1. The uncertainties of LSP3 parameters are characterized and quantified as a function of the spectral signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and stellar atmospheric parameters. We conclude that the current implementation of LSP3 has achieved an accuracy of 5.0\,km\,s$^{-1}$, 150\,K, 0.25\,dex, 0.15\,dex for the radial velocity, effective temperature, surface gravity and metallicity, respectively, for LSS-GAC spectra of FGK stars of SNRs per pixel higher than 10. The LSP3 has been applied to over a million LSS-GAC spectra collected hitherto. Stellar parameters yielded by the LSP3 will be released to the general public following the data policy of LAMOST, together with estimates of the interstellar extinction $E(B-V)$ and stellar distances, deduced by combining spectroscopic and multi-band photometric measurements using a variety of techniques.

Stellar Parameters for HD 69830, a Nearby Star with Three Neptune Mass Planets and an Asteroid Belt

We used the CHARA Array to directly measure the angular diameter of HD 69830, home to three Neptune mass planets and an asteroid belt. Our measurement of 0.674+/-0.014 milli-arcseconds for the limb-darkened angular diameter of this star leads to a physical radius of R$_*$ = 0.9058$\pm$0.0190 R\sun and luminosity of L* = 0.622+/-0.014 Lsun when combined with a fit to the spectral energy distribution of the star. Placing these observed values on an Hertzsprung-Russel (HR) diagram along with stellar evolution isochrones produces an age of 10.6+/-4 Gyr and mass of 0.863$\pm$0.043 M\sun. We use archival optical echelle spectra of HD 69830 along with an iterative spectral fitting technique to measure the iron abundance ([Fe/H]=-0.04+/-0.03), effective temperature (5385+/-44 K) and surface gravity (log g = 4.49+/-0.06). We use these new values for the temperature and luminosity to calculate a more precise age of 7.5+/-Gyr. Applying the values of stellar luminosity and radius to recent models on the optimistic location of the habitable zone produces a range of 0.61-1.44 AU; partially outside the orbit of the furthest known planet (d) around HD 69830. Finally, we estimate the snow line at a distance of 1.95+/-0.19 AU, which is outside the orbit of all three planets and its asteroid belt.

Quest for finding the lost siblings of the Sun

The aim of this paper is to find lost siblings of the Sun by analyzing high resolution spectra. Finding solar siblings will enable us to constrain the parameters of the parental cluster and the birth place of the Sun in the Galaxy. The solar siblings can be identified by accurate measurements of metallicity, stellar age and elemental abundances for solar neighbourhood stars. The solar siblings candidates were kinematically selected based on their proper motions, parallaxes and colours. Stellar parameters were determined through a purely spectroscopic approach and partly physical method, respectively. Comparing synthetic with observed spectra, elemental abundances were computed based on the stellar parameters obtained using a partly physical method. A chemical tagging technique was used to identify the solar siblings. We present stellar parameters, stellar ages, and detailed elemental abundances for Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, Fe, and Ni for 32 solar sibling candidates. Our abundances analysis shows that four stars are chemically homogenous together with the Sun. Technique of chemical tagging gives us a high probability that they might be from the same open cluster. Only one candidate HIP 40317 which has solar metallicity and age could be a solar sibling. We performed simulations of the Sun’s birth cluster in analytical Galactic model and found that most of the radial velocities of the solar siblings lie in the range $-10 \leq \mathrm{V_r}\leq 10$ $\mathrm{km~s^{-1}}$, which is smaller than the radial velocity of HIP 40317 $(\mathrm{V_r} = 34.2~\mathrm{km~s^{-1}})$, under different Galactic parameters and different initial conditions of the Sun’s birth cluster. The sibling status for HIP 40317 is not directly supported by our dynamical analysis.

Bayesian Analysis for Stellar Evolution with Nine Parameters (BASE-9): User's Manual

BASE-9 is a Bayesian software suite that recovers star cluster and stellar parameters from photometry. BASE-9 is useful for analyzing single-age, single-metallicity star clusters, binaries, or single stars, and for simulating such systems. BASE-9 uses Markov chain Monte Carlo and brute-force numerical integration techniques to estimate the posterior probability distributions for the age, metallicity, helium abundance, distance modulus, and line-of-sight absorption for a cluster, and the mass, binary mass ratio, and cluster membership probability for every stellar object. BASE-9 is provided as open source code on a version-controlled web server. The executables are also available as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud images. This manual provides potential users with an overview of BASE-9, including instructions for installation and use.

The SAGA so far: reading the history of the Galaxy with asteroseismology

Asteroseismology has the capability of delivering stellar properties which would otherwise be inaccessible, such as radii, masses and thus ages of stars. When this information is coupled with classical determinations of stellar parameters, such as metallicities, effective temperatures and angular diameters, powerful new diagnostics for stellar and Galactic studies can be obtained. The ongoing Stroemgren survey for Asteroseismology and Galactic Archaeology (SAGA) is pursuing such a goal, by determining photometric stellar parameters for stars with seismic oscillations measured by the Kepler satellite. As the survey continues and expands in sample size, SAGA will provide an unprecedented opportunity to constrain theories of the evolution of the Milky Way disc.

A Machine Learning Method to Infer Fundamental Stellar Parameters from Photometric Light Curves

A fundamental challenge for wide-field imaging surveys is obtaining follow-up spectroscopic observations: there are > $10^9$ photometrically cataloged sources, yet modern spectroscopic surveys are limited to ~few x $10^6$ targets. As we approach the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) era, new algorithmic solutions are required to cope with the data deluge. Here we report the development of a machine-learning framework capable of inferring fundamental stellar parameters (Teff, log g, and [Fe/H]) using photometric-brightness variations and color alone. A training set is constructed from a systematic spectroscopic survey of variables with Hectospec/MMT. In sum, the training set includes ~9000 spectra, for which stellar parameters are measured using the SEGUE Stellar Parameters Pipeline (SSPP). We employed the random forest algorithm to perform a non-parametric regression that predicts Teff, log g, and [Fe/H] from photometric time-domain observations. Our final, optimized model produces a cross-validated root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 165 K, 0.39 dex, and 0.33 dex for Teff, log g, and [Fe/H], respectively. Examining the subset of sources for which the SSPP measurements are most reliable, the RMSE reduces to 125 K, 0.37 dex, and 0.27 dex, respectively, comparable to what is achievable via low-resolution spectroscopy. For variable stars this represents a ~12-20% improvement in RMSE relative to models trained with single-epoch photometric colors. As an application of our method, we estimate stellar parameters for ~54,000 known variables. We argue that this method may convert photometric time-domain surveys into pseudo-spectrographic engines, enabling the construction of extremely detailed maps of the Milky Way, its structure, and history.

Stars with and without planets: Where do they come from?

A long and thorough investigation of chemical abundances of planet-hosting stars that lasted for more than a decade has finally beared fruit. We explore a sample of 148 solar-like stars to search for a possible correlation between the slopes of the abundance trends versus condensation temperature (known as the Tc slope) both with stellar parameters and Galactic orbital parameters in order to understand the nature of the peculiar chemical signatures of these stars and the possible connection with planet formation. We find that the Tc slope correlates at a significant level (at more than 4sigma) with the stellar age and the stellar surface gravity. We also find tentative evidence that the Tc slope correlates with the mean galactocentric distance of the stars (Rmean), suggesting that stars that originated in the inner Galaxy have fewer refractory elements relative to the volatile ones. We found that the chemical peculiarities (small refractory-to-volatile ratio) of planet-hosting stars is merely a reflection of their older age and their inner Galaxy origin. We conclude that the stellar age and probably Galactic birth place are key to establish the abundances of some specific elements.

Stellar parameters and chemical abundances of 223 evolved stars with and without planets

We present fundamental stellar parameters and chemical abundances for a sample of 86 evolved stars with planets and for a control sample of 137 stars without planets. The analysis was based on both high S/N and resolution echelle spectra. The goals of this work are i) to investigate chemical differences between stars with and without planets; ii) to explore potential differences between the properties of the planets around giants and subgiants; and iii) to search for possible correlations between these properties and the chemical abundances of their host stars. In agreement with previous studies, we find that subgiants with planets are, on average, more metal-rich than subgiants without planets by ~ 0.16 dex. The [Fe/H] distribution of giants with planets is centered at slightly subsolar metallicities and there is no metallicity enhancement relative to the [Fe/H] distribution of giants without planets. Furthermore, contrary to recent results, we do not find any clear difference between the metallicity distributions of stars with and without planets for giants with M > 1.5 Msun. With regard to the other chemical elements, the analysis of the [X/Fe] distributions shows differences between giants with and without planets for some elements, particularly V, Co, and Ba. Analyzing the planet properties, some interesting trends might be emerging: i) multi-planet systems around evolved stars show a slight metallicity enhancement compared with single-planet systems; ii) planets with a $\lesssim$ 0.5 AU orbit subgiants with [Fe/H] > 0 and giants hosting planets with a $\lesssim$ 1 AU have [Fe/H] < 0; iii) higher-mass planets tend to orbit more metal-poor giants with M < 1.5 Msun, whereas planets around subgiants seem to follow the planet-mass metallicity trend observed on dwarf hosts; iv) planets orbiting giants show lower orbital eccentricities than those orbiting subgiants and dwarfs.

Stellar parameters and chemical abundances of 223 evolved stars with and without planets [Replacement]

We present fundamental stellar parameters and chemical abundances for a sample of 86 evolved stars with planets and for a control sample of 137 stars without planets. The analysis was based on both high S/N and resolution echelle spectra. The goals of this work are i) to investigate chemical differences between stars with and without planets; ii) to explore potential differences between the properties of the planets around giants and subgiants; and iii) to search for possible correlations between these properties and the chemical abundances of their host stars. In agreement with previous studies, we find that subgiants with planets are, on average, more metal-rich than subgiants without planets by ~ 0.16 dex. The [Fe/H] distribution of giants with planets is centered at slightly subsolar metallicities and there is no metallicity enhancement relative to the [Fe/H] distribution of giants without planets. Furthermore, contrary to recent results, we do not find any clear difference between the metallicity distributions of stars with and without planets for giants with M > 1.5 Msun. With regard to the other chemical elements, the analysis of the [X/Fe] distributions shows differences between giants with and without planets for some elements, particularly V, Co, and Ba. Analyzing the planet properties, some interesting trends might be emerging: i) multi-planet systems around evolved stars show a slight metallicity enhancement compared with single-planet systems; ii) planets with a $\lesssim$ 0.5 AU orbit subgiants with [Fe/H] > 0 and giants hosting planets with a $\lesssim$ 1 AU have [Fe/H] < 0; iii) higher-mass planets tend to orbit more metal-poor giants with M < 1.5 Msun, whereas planets around subgiants seem to follow the planet-mass metallicity trend observed on dwarf hosts; iv) planets orbiting giants show lower orbital eccentricities than those orbiting subgiants and dwarfs.

Stellar parameters and chemical abundances of 223 evolved stars with and without planets [Replacement]

We present fundamental stellar parameters and chemical abundances for a sample of 86 evolved stars with planets and for a control sample of 137 stars without planets. The analysis was based on both high S/N and resolution echelle spectra. The goals of this work are i) to investigate chemical differences between stars with and without planets; ii) to explore potential differences between the properties of the planets around giants and subgiants; and iii) to search for possible correlations between these properties and the chemical abundances of their host stars. In agreement with previous studies, we find that subgiants with planets are, on average, more metal-rich than subgiants without planets by ~ 0.16 dex. The [Fe/H] distribution of giants with planets is centered at slightly subsolar metallicities and there is no metallicity enhancement relative to the [Fe/H] distribution of giants without planets. Furthermore, contrary to recent results, we do not find any clear difference between the metallicity distributions of stars with and without planets for giants with M > 1.5 Msun. With regard to the other chemical elements, the analysis of the [X/Fe] distributions shows differences between giants with and without planets for some elements, particularly V, Co, and Ba. Analyzing the planet properties, some interesting trends might be emerging: i) multi-planet systems around evolved stars show a slight metallicity enhancement compared with single-planet systems; ii) planets with a $\lesssim$ 0.5 AU orbit subgiants with [Fe/H] > 0 and giants hosting planets with a $\lesssim$ 1 AU have [Fe/H] < 0; iii) higher-mass planets tend to orbit more metal-poor giants with M < 1.5 Msun, whereas planets around subgiants seem to follow the planet-mass metallicity trend observed on dwarf hosts; iv) planets orbiting giants show lower orbital eccentricities than those orbiting subgiants and dwarfs.

MY Camelopardalis, a very massive merger progenitor

Context. The early-type binary MY Cam belongs to the young open cluster Alicante 1, embedded in Cam OB3. Aims. MY Cam consists of two early-O type main-sequence stars and shows a photometric modulation suggesting an orbital period slightly above one day. We intend to confirm this orbital period and derive orbital and stellar parameters. Methods. Timing analysis of a very exhaustive (4607 points) light curve indicates a period of 1.1754514 +- 0.0000015 d. High- resolution spectra and the cross-correlation technique implemented in the TODCOR program were used to derive radial velocities and obtain the corresponding radial velocity curves for MY Cam. Modelling with the stellar atmosphere code FASTWIND was used to obtain stellar parameters and create templates for cross-correlation. Stellar and orbital parameters were derived using the Wilson-Devinney code, such that a complete solution to the binary system could be described. Results. The determined masses of the primary and secondary stars in MY Cam are 37.7 +- 1.6 and 31.6 +- 1.4 Msol, respectively. The corresponding temperatures, derived from the model atmosphere fit, are 42 000 and 39 000 K, with the more massive component being hotter. Both stars are overfilling their Roche lobes, sharing a common envelope. Conclusions. MY Cam contains the most massive dwarf O-type stars found so far in an eclipsing binary. Both components are still on the main sequence, and probably not far from the zero-age main sequence. The system is a likely merger progenitor, owing to its very short period.

Correcting the spectroscopic surface gravity using transits and asteroseismology. No significant effect on temperatures or metallicities with ARES+MOOG in LTE

Precise stellar parameters are crucial for several reasons, amongst which are the precise characterization of orbiting exoplanets and the correct determination of galactic chemical evolution. The atmospheric parameters are extremely important because all the other stellar parameters depend on them. Using our standard equivalent-width method on high-resolution spectroscopy, good precision can be obtained for the derived effective temperature and metallicity. The surface gravity, however, is usually not well constrained with spectroscopy. We use two different samples of FGK dwarfs to study the effect of the stellar surface gravity on the precise spectroscopic determination of the other atmospheric parameters. Furthermore, we present a straightforward formula for correcting the spectroscopic surface gravities derived by our method and with our linelists. Our spectroscopic analysis is based on Kurucz models in LTE, performed with the MOOG code to derive the atmospheric parameters. The surface gravity was either left free or fixed to a predetermined value. The latter is either obtained through a photometric transit light curve or derived using asteroseismology. We find first that, despite some minor trends, the effective temperatures and metallicities for FGK dwarfs derived with the described method and linelists are, in most cases, only affected within the errorbars by using different values for the surface gravity, even for very large differences in surface gravity, so they can be trusted. The temperatures derived with a fixed surface gravity continue to be compatible within 1 sigma with the accurate results of the InfraRed Flux Method (IRFM), as is the case for the unconstrained temperatures. Secondly, we find that the spectroscopic surface gravity can easily be corrected to a more accurate value using a linear function with the effective temperature.

Correcting the spectroscopic surface gravity using transits and asteroseismology. No significant effect on temperatures or metallicities with ARES+MOOG in LTE [Replacement]

Precise stellar parameters are crucial for several reasons, amongst which are the precise characterization of orbiting exoplanets and the correct determination of galactic chemical evolution. The atmospheric parameters are extremely important because all the other stellar parameters depend on them. Using our standard equivalent-width method on high-resolution spectroscopy, good precision can be obtained for the derived effective temperature and metallicity. The surface gravity, however, is usually not well constrained with spectroscopy. We use two different samples of FGK dwarfs to study the effect of the stellar surface gravity on the precise spectroscopic determination of the other atmospheric parameters. Furthermore, we present a straightforward formula for correcting the spectroscopic surface gravities derived by our method and with our linelists. Our spectroscopic analysis is based on Kurucz models in LTE, performed with the MOOG code to derive the atmospheric parameters. The surface gravity was either left free or fixed to a predetermined value. The latter is either obtained through a photometric transit light curve or derived using asteroseismology. We find first that, despite some minor trends, the effective temperatures and metallicities for FGK dwarfs derived with the described method and linelists are, in most cases, only affected within the errorbars by using different values for the surface gravity, even for very large differences in surface gravity, so they can be trusted. The temperatures derived with a fixed surface gravity continue to be compatible within 1 sigma with the accurate results of the InfraRed Flux Method (IRFM), as is the case for the unconstrained temperatures. Secondly, we find that the spectroscopic surface gravity can easily be corrected to a more accurate value using a linear function with the effective temperature.

FORS2/VLT survey of Milky Way globular clusters I. Description of the method for derivation of metal abundances in the optical and application to NGC 6528, NGC 6553, M 71, NGC 6558, NGC 6426 and Terzan 8

(abridged) We have observed almost 1/3 of the globular clusters in the Milky Way, targeting distant and/or highly reddened objects, besides a few reference clusters. A large sample of red giant stars was observed with FORS2@VLT/ESO at R ~ 2,000. The method for derivation of stellar parameters is presented with application to six reference clusters. We aim at deriving the stellar parameters effective temperature, gravity, metallicity and alpha-element enhancement, as well as radial velocity, for membership confirmation of individual stars in each cluster. We analyse the spectra collected for the reference globular clusters NGC 6528, NGC 6553, M 71, NGC 6558, NGC 6426 and Terzan 8. They cover the full range of globular cluster metallicities, and are located in the bulge, disc and halo. Full spectrum fitting techniques are applied, by comparing each target spectrum with a stellar library in the optical region at 4560-5860 A. We employed the library of observed spectra MILES, and the synthetic library by Coelho et al. (2005). Validation of the method is achieved through recovery of the known atmospheric parameters for 49 well-studied stars that cover a wide range in the parameter space. We adopted as final stellar parameters (effective temperatures, gravities, metallicities) the average of results using MILES and Coelho et al. libraries. We identified 4 member stars in NGC 6528, 13 in NGC 6553, 10 in M 71, 5 in NGC 6558, 5 in NGC 6426 and 12 in Terzan 8. Radial velocities, Teff, log(g), [Fe/H] and alpha-element enhancements were derived. We derived abundances for NGC 6426 from spectroscopy for the first time. The method proved to be reliable for red giant stars observed with resolution R ~ 2,000, yielding results compatible with high-resolution spectroscopy. The derived alpha-element abundances show [A/Fe] vs. [Fe/H] consistent with that of field stars at the same metallicities.

Photometric stellar parameters for asteroseismology and Galactic studies

Asteroseismology has the capability of delivering stellar properties which would otherwise be inaccessible, such as radii, masses and thus ages of stars. When coupling this information with classical determinations of stellar parameters, such as metallicities, effective temperatures and angular diameters, powerful new diagnostics for both stellar and Galactic studies can be obtained. I review how different photometric systems and filters carry important information on classical stellar parameters, the accuracy at which those parameters can be derived, and summarize some of the calibrations available in the literature for late-type stars. Recent efforts in combining classical and asteroseismic parameters are discussed, and the unique- ness of their intertwine is highlighted.

IN-SYNC I: Homogeneous Stellar Parameters from High Resolution APOGEE Spectra for Thousands of Pre-main Sequence Star

Over two years 8,859 high-resolution H-band spectra of 3,493 young (1 – 10 Myr) stars were gathered by the multi-object spectrograph of the APOGEE project as part of the IN-SYNC ancillary program of that SDSS-III survey. Here we present the forward modeling approach used to derive effective temperatures, surface gravities, radial velocities, rotational velocities, and H-band veiling from these near-infrared spectra. We discuss in detail the statistical and systematic uncertainties in these stellar parameters. In addition we present accurate extinctions by measuring the E(J-H) of these young stars with respect to the single-star photometric locus in the Pleiades. Finally we identify an intrinsic stellar radius spread of about 25% for late-type stars in IC 348 using three (nearly) independent measures of stellar radius, namely the extinction-corrected J-band magnitude, the surface gravity and the $R \sin i$ from the rotational velocities and literature rotation periods. We exclude that this spread is caused by uncertainties in the stellar parameters by showing that the three estimators of stellar radius are correlated, so that brighter stars tend to have lower surface gravities and larger $R \sin i$ than fainter stars at the same effective temperature. Tables providing the spectral and photometric parameters for the Pleiades and IC 348 have been provided online.

BONNSAI: a Bayesian tool for comparing stars with stellar evolution models

Powerful telescopes equipped with multi-fibre or integral field spectrographs combined with detailed models of stellar atmospheres and automated fitting techniques allow for the analysis of large number of stars. These datasets contain a wealth of information that require new analysis techniques to bridge the gap between observations and stellar evolution models. To that end, we develop BONNSAI (BONN Stellar Astrophysics Interface), a Bayesian statistical method, that is capable of comparing all available observables simultaneously to stellar models while taking observed uncertainties and prior knowledge such as initial mass functions and distributions of stellar rotational velocities into account. BONNSAI can be used to (1) determine probability distributions of fundamental stellar parameters such as initial masses and stellar ages from complex datasets, (2) predict stellar parameters that were not yet observationally determined and (3) test stellar models to further advance our understanding of stellar evolution. An important aspect of BONNSAI is that it singles out stars that cannot be reproduced by stellar models through $\chi^{2}$ hypothesis tests and posterior predictive checks. BONNSAI can be used with any set of stellar models and currently supports massive main-sequence single star models of Milky Way and Large and Small Magellanic Cloud composition. We apply our new method to mock stars to demonstrate its functionality and capabilities. In a first application, we use BONNSAI to test the stellar models of Brott et al. (2011a) by comparing the stellar ages inferred for the primary and secondary stars of eclipsing Milky Way binaries. Ages are determined from dynamical masses and radii that are known to better than 3%. We find that the stellar models reproduce the Milky Way binaries well. BONNSAI is available through a web-interface at http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/stars/bonnsai.

Asteroseismic inference on the spin-orbit misalignment and stellar parameters of HAT-P-7

The measurement of obliquities in star-planet systems is of great importance for the understanding of planet system formation and evolution. The bright and well studied HAT-P-7 system is intriguing as several Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) measurements found a large projected obliquity in this system, but it was so far not possible to determine if the orbit is polar and/or retrograde. The goal of this study is to measure the stellar inclination and hereby the full 3D obliquity of the HAT-P-7 system instead of only the 2D projection as measured by the RM effect. In addition we provide an updated set of stellar parameters for the star. We use the full set of available observations from Kepler spanning Q0-Q17 to produce the power spectrum of HAT-P-7. We extract oscillation mode frequencies via an MCMC peak-bagging routine, and use the results from this to estimate the stellar inclination angle. Combining this with the projected obliquity from RM and the inclination of the orbital plane allows us to determine the stellar obliquity. We use asteroseismology to model the star from the extracted frequencies using two different approaches to the modelling where either the MESA or the GARSTEC stellar evolution codes are adopted. Using our updated asteroseismic modelling we find, i.a., the following stellar parameters for HAT-P-7: M=1.51{+0.04}{-0.05}Msun, $R=2.00{+0.01}{-0.02}Rsun, and age = 2.07{+0.28}{-0.23} Gyr. Our asteroseismic modelling offers a high precision on the stellar parameters, for instance is the uncertainty on age of the order ~11%. For the stellar inclination we estimate i_star<36.5 deg., which translates to an obliquity between 83 and 111 deg. We find that the planet HAT-P-7b is likely retrograde in its orbit, and that the orbit is close to being polar. The new parameters for the star gives an updated planetary density of 0.65+-0.03 g cm^{-3}, which is lower than previous estimates.

Spectroscopic parameters for solar-type stars with moderate/high rotation. New parameters for 10 planet-hosts

Planetary studies demand precise and accurate stellar parameters as input to infer the planetary properties. Different methods often provide different results that could lead to biases in the planetary parameters. In this work, we present a refinement of the spectral synthesis technique designed to treat better more rapidly rotating FGK stars. This method is used to derive precise stellar parameters, namely effective temperature, surface gravity, metallicitity and rotational velocity. This procedure is tested for samples of low and moderate/fast rotating FGK stars. The spectroscopic analysis is based on the spectral synthesis package Spectroscopy Made Easy (SME), assuming Kurucz model atmospheres in LTE. The line list where the synthesis is conducted, is comprised of iron lines and the atomic data are derived after solar calibration. The comparison of our stellar parameters shows good agreement with literature values, both for low and for higher rotating stars. In addition, our results are on the same scale with the parameters derived from the iron ionization and excitation method presented in our previous works. We present new atmospheric parameters for 10 transiting planet-hosts as an update to the SWEET-Cat catalogue. We also re-analyse their transit light curves to derive new updated planetary properties.

Massive Star Asteroseismology in Action

After highlighting the principle and power of asteroseismology for stellar physics, we briefly emphasize some recent progress in this research for various types of stars. We give an overview of high-precision high duty-cycle space photometry of OB-type stars. Further, we update the overview of seismic estimates of stellar parameters of OB dwarfs, with specific emphasis on convective core overshoot. We discuss connections between pulsational, rotational, and magnetic variability of massive stars and end with future prospects for asteroseismology of evolved OB stars.

ARES+MOOG - a practical overview of an EW method to derive stellar parameters

The goal of this document is to describe the important practical aspects in the use of an Equivalent Width (EW) method for the derivation of spectroscopic stellar parameters. A general description of the fundamental steps composing any EW method is given, together with possible differences that may be found in different methods used in the literature. Then ARES+MOOG is then used as an example where each step of the method is described in detail. A special focus is given for the specific steps of this method, namely the use of a differential analysis to define the atomic data for the adopted line list, the automatic EW determinations, and the way to find the best parameters at the end of the procedure. Finally, a practical tutorial is given, where we focus on simple exercises useful to illustrate and explain the dependence of the abundances with the assumed stellar parameters. The interdependences are described and a clear procedure is given to find the "final" stellar parameters.

Accurate Atmospheric Parameters at Moderate Resolution Using Spectral Indices: Preliminary Application to the MARVELS Survey

Studies of Galactic chemical and dynamical evolution in the solar neighborhood depend on the availability of precise atmospheric parameters (Teff, [Fe/H] and log g) for solar-type stars. Many large-scale spectroscopic surveys operate at low to moderate spectral resolution for efficiency in observing large samples, which makes the stellar characterization difficult due to the high degree of blending of spectral features. While most surveys use spectral synthesis, in this work we employ an alternative method based on spectral indices to determine the atmospheric parameters of a sample of nearby FGK dwarfs and subgiants observed by the MARVELS survey at moderate resolving power (R~12,000). We have developed three codes to automatically normalize the observed spectra, measure the equivalent widths of the indices and, through the comparison of those with values calculated with pre-determined calibrations, derive the atmospheric parameters of the stars. The calibrations were built using a sample of 309 stars with precise stellar parameters obtained from the analysis of high-resolution FEROS spectra. A validation test of the method was conducted with a sample of 30 MARVELS targets that also have reliable atmospheric parameters from high-resolution spectroscopic analysis. Our approach was able to recover the parameters within 80 K for Teff, 0.05 dex for [Fe/H] and 0.15 dex for log g, values that are lower or equal to the typical external uncertainties found between different high-resolution analyzes. An additional test was performed with a subsample of 138 stars from the ELODIE stellar library and the literature atmospheric parameters were recovered within 125 K for Teff, 0.10 dex for [Fe/H] and 0.29 dex for log g. These results show that the spectral indices are a competitive tool to characterize stars with the intermediate resolution spectra.

Spectroscopic Study on the Beryllium Abundances of Red Giant Stars

An extensive spectroscopic study was carried out for the beryllium abundances of 200 red giants (mostly of late G and early K type), which were determined from the near-UV Be II 3131.066 line based on high-dispersion spectra obtained by Subaru/HDS, with an aim of investigating the nature of surface Be contents in these evolved giants; e.g., dependence upon stellar parameters, degree of peculiarity along with its origin and build-up timing. We found that Be is considerably deficient (to widely different degree from star to star) in the photosphere of these evolved giants by ~1-3 dex (or more) compared to the initial abundance. While the resulting Be abundances (A(Be)) appear to weakly depend upon T_eff, log g, [Fe/H], M, age, and v_sin i, this may be attributed to the metallicity dependence of A(Be) coupled with the mutual correlation between these stellar parameters, since such tendencies almost disappear in the metallicity-scaled Be abundance ([Be/Fe]). By comparing the Be abundances (as well as their correlations with Li and C) to the recent theoretical predictions based on sophisticated stellar evolution calculations, we concluded that such a considerable extent/diversity of Be deficit is difficult to explain only by the standard theory of first dredge-up in the envelope of red giants, and that some extra mixing process (such as rotational or thermohaline mixing) must be responsible, which presumably starts to operate already in the main-sequence phase. This view is supported by the fact that appreciable Be depletion is seen in less evolved intermediate-mass B-A type stars near to the main sequence.

Warm Ice Giant GJ 3470b. II Revised Planetary and Stellar Parameters from Optical to Near-infrared Transit Photometry

It is important to explore the diversity of characteristics of low-mass, low-density planets to understand the nature and evolution of this class of planets. We present a homogeneous analysis of 12 new and 9 previously published broadband photometric observations of the Uranus-sized extrasolar planet GJ 3470b, which belongs to the growing sample of sub-Jovian bodies orbiting M dwarfs. The consistency of our analysis explains some of the discrepancies between previously published results and provides updated constraints on the planetary parameters. Our data are also consistent with previous transit observations of this system. We also provide new spectroscopic measurements of GJ~3470 from 0.33 to 2.42 $\mu$$m$ to aid our analysis. We find $R_{\star}$ = 0.48$\pm$0.04 $R_{\odot}$, $M_{\star}$ = 0.51$\pm$0.06 $M_{\odot}$, and $T_{\rm eff}$ = 3652$\pm$50 K for GJ 3470, along with a rotation period of $20.70\pm{0.15}$ d and an R-band amplitude of 0.01 mag, which is small enough that current transit measurements should not be strongly affected by stellar variability. We also present the most precise orbital ephemeris for this system: T$_{o}$ = 245983.7417$\pm$0.00015 BJD$_{TDB}$, P = 3.3366487$^{+0.0000043}_{-0.0000033}$ d, and we see no evidence for transit timing variations greater than 1 minute. Our reported planet to star radius ratio is 0.07642$\pm$0.00037. The physical parameters of this planet are $R_{p}$ = 3.88$\pm$0.32~$R_{\oplus}$, and $M_{p}$ = 13.73$\pm$1.61~$M_{\oplus}$. Because of our revised stellar parameters, the planetary radius we present is smaller than previously reported values. We also perform a second analysis of the transmission spectrum of the entire ensemble of transit observations to date, supporting the existence of a H$_{2}$ dominated atmosphere exhibiting a strong Rayleigh scattering slope.

Warm Ice Giant GJ 3470b. II Revised Planetary and Stellar Parameters from Optical to Near-infrared Transit Photometry [Replacement]

It is important to explore the diversity of characteristics of low-mass, low-density planets to understand the nature and evolution of this class of planets. We present a homogeneous analysis of 12 new and 9 previously published broadband photometric observations of the Uranus-sized extrasolar planet GJ 3470b, which belongs to the growing sample of sub-Jovian bodies orbiting M dwarfs. The consistency of our analysis explains some of the discrepancies between previously published results and provides updated constraints on the planetary parameters. Our data are also consistent with previous transit observations of this system. We also provide new spectroscopic measurements of GJ 3470 from 0.33 to 2.42 $\mu$$m$ to aid our analysis. We find $R_{\star}$ = 0.48$\pm$0.04 $R_{\odot}$, $M_{\star}$ = 0.51$\pm$0.06 $M_{\odot}$, and $T_{\rm eff}$ = 3652$\pm$50 K for GJ 3470, along with a rotation period of $20.70\pm{0.15}$ d and an R-band amplitude of 0.01 mag, which is small enough that current transit measurements should not be strongly affected by stellar variability. We also present the most precise orbital ephemeris for this system: T$_{o}$ = 2459837.417$\pm$0.00015 BJD$_{TDB}$, P = 3.3366487$^{+0.0000043}_{-0.0000033}$ d, and we see no evidence for transit timing variations greater than 1 minute. Our reported planet to star radius ratio is 0.07642$\pm$0.00037. The physical parameters of this planet are $R_{p}$ = 3.88$\pm$0.32 $R_{\oplus}$, and $M_{p}$ = 13.73$\pm$1.61 $M_{\oplus}$. Because of our revised stellar parameters, the planetary radius we present is smaller than previously reported values. We also perform a second analysis of the transmission spectrum of the entire ensemble of transit observations to date, supporting the existence of a H$_{2}$ dominated atmosphere exhibiting a strong Rayleigh scattering slope.

Warm Ice Giant GJ 3470b. II Revised Planetary and Stellar Parameters from Optical to Near-infrared Transit Photometry [Replacement]

It is important to explore the diversity of characteristics of low-mass, low-density planets to understand the nature and evolution of this class of planets. We present a homogeneous analysis of 12 new and 9 previously published broadband photometric observations of the Uranus-sized extrasolar planet GJ 3470b, which belongs to the growing sample of sub-Jovian bodies orbiting M dwarfs. The consistency of our analysis explains some of the discrepancies between previously published results and provides updated constraints on the planetary parameters. Our data are also consistent with previous transit observations of this system. We also provide new spectroscopic measurements of GJ 3470 from 0.33 to 2.42 $\mu$$m$ to aid our analysis. We find $R_{\star}$ = 0.48$\pm$0.04 $R_{\odot}$, $M_{\star}$ = 0.51$\pm$0.06 $M_{\odot}$, and $T_{\rm eff}$ = 3652$\pm$50 K for GJ 3470, along with a rotation period of $20.70\pm{0.15}$ d and an R-band amplitude of 0.01 mag, which is small enough that current transit measurements should not be strongly affected by stellar variability. We also present the most precise orbital ephemeris for this system: T$_{o}$ = 2455983.70472$\pm$0.00021 BJD$_{TDB}$, P = 3.3366487$^{+0.0000043}_{-0.0000033}$ d, and we see no evidence for transit timing variations greater than 1 minute. Our reported planet to star radius ratio is 0.07642$\pm$0.00037. The physical parameters of this planet are $R_{p}$ = 3.88$\pm$0.32 $R_{\oplus}$, and $M_{p}$ = 13.73$\pm$1.61 $M_{\oplus}$. Because of our revised stellar parameters, the planetary radius we present is smaller than previously reported values. We also perform a second analysis of the transmission spectrum of the entire ensemble of transit observations to date, supporting the existence of a H$_{2}$ dominated atmosphere exhibiting a strong Rayleigh scattering slope.

18 Sco: a solar twin rich in refractory and neutron-capture elements. Implications for chemical tagging

We study with unprecedented detail the chemical composition and stellar parameters of the solar twin 18 Sco in a strictly differential sense relative to the Sun. Our study is mainly based on high resolution (R ~ 110 000) high S/N (800-1000) VLT UVES spectra, which allow us to achieve a precision of about 0.005 dex in differential abundances. The effective temperature and surface gravity of 18 Sco are Teff = 5823+/-6 K and log g = 4.45+/-0.02 dex, i.e., 18 Sco is 46+/-6 K hotter than the Sun and log g is 0.01+/-0.02 dex higher. Its metallicity is [Fe/H] = 0.054+/-0.005 dex and its microturbulence velocity is +0.02+/-0.01 km/s higher than solar. Our precise stellar parameters and differential isochrone analysis show that 18 Sco has a mass of 1.04+/-0.02M_Sun and that it is ~1.6 Gyr younger than the Sun. We use precise HARPS radial velocities to search for planets, but none were detected. The chemical abundance pattern of 18 Sco displays a clear trend with condensation temperature, showing thus higher abundances of refractories in 18 Sco than in the Sun. Intriguingly, there are enhancements in the neutron-capture elements relative to the Sun. Despite the small element-to-element abundance differences among nearby n-capture elements (~0.02 dex), we successfully reproduce the r-process pattern in the solar system. This is independent evidence for the universality of the r-process. Our results have important implications for chemical tagging in our Galaxy and nucleosynthesis in general.

The Stagger-grid: A grid of 3D stellar atmosphere models - VI. Surface appearance of stellar granulation

In the surface layers of late-type stars, stellar convection is manifested with its typical granulation pattern due to the presence of convective motions. The resulting photospheric up- and downflows leave imprints in the observed spectral line profiles. We perform a careful statistical analysis of stellar granulation and its properties for different stellar parameters. We employ realistic 3D radiative hydrodynamic (RHD) simulations of surface convection from the Stagger-grid, a comprehensive grid of atmosphere models that covers a large parameter space in terms of Teff, logg, and [Fe/H]. Individual granules are detected from the (bolometric) intensity maps at disk center with an efficient granulation pattern recognition algorithm. From these we derive their respective properties: diameter, fractal dimension (area-perimeter relation), geometry, topology, variation of intensity, temperature, density and velocity with granule size. Also, the correlation of the physical properties at the optical surface are studied. We find in all of our 3D RHD simulations stellar granulation patterns imprinted, which are qualitatively similar to the solar case, despite the large differences in stellar parameters. The granules exhibit a large range in size, which can be divided into two groups – smaller and larger granules – by the mean granule size. These are distinct in their properties: smaller granules are regular shaped and dimmer, while the larger ones are increasingly irregular and more complex in their shapes and distribution in intensity contrast. This is reflected in their fractal dimensions, which is close to unity for the smaller granules, and close to two for larger granules, which is due to the fragmentation of granules. Stellar surface convection seems to operate scale-invariant over a large range in stellar parameters, which translates into a self-similar stellar granulation pattern.

Stellar parameters and accretion rate of the transition disk star HD 142527 from X-Shooter

HD 142527 is a young pre-main sequence star with properties indicative of the presence of a giant planet or/and a low-mass stellar companion. We have analyzed an X-Shooter/Very Large Telescope spectrum to provide accurate stellar parameters and accretion rate. The analysis of the spectrum, together with constraints provided by the SED fitting, the distance to the star (140 +- 20 pc) and the use of evolutionary tracks and isochrones, lead to the following set of parameters T_eff = 6550 +- 100 K, log g = 3.75 +- 0.10, L_*/L_sun = 16.3 +- 4.5, M_*/M_sun = 2.0 +- 0.3 and an age of 5.0 +- 1.5 Myr. This stellar age provides further constrains to the mass of the possible companion estimated by Biller et al. (2012), being in-between 0.20 and 0.35 M_sun. Stellar accretion rates obtained from UV Balmer excess modelling, optical photospheric line veiling, and from the correlations with several emission lines spanning from the UV to the near-IR, are consistent to each other. The mean value from all previous tracers is 2 (+- 1) x 10^-7 M_sun yr^-1, which is within the upper limit gas flow rate from the outer to the inner disk recently provided by Cassasus et al. (2013). This suggests that almost all gas transferred between both components of the disk is not trapped by the possible planet(s) in-between but fall onto the central star, although it is discussed how the gap flow rate could be larger than previously suggested. In addition, we provide evidence showing that the stellar accretion rate of HD 142527 has increased by a factor ~ 7 on a timescale of 2-5 years.

On the origin of stars with and without planets. Tc trends and clues to Galactic evolution

We explore a sample of 148 solar-like stars to search for a possible correlation between the slopes of the abundance trends versus condensation temperature (known as the Tc slope) with stellar parameters and Galactic orbital parameters in order to understand the nature of the peculiar chemical signatures of these stars and the possible connection with planet formation. We find that the Tc slope significantly correlates (at more than 4sigma) with the stellar age and the stellar surface gravity. We also find tentative evidence that the Tc slope correlates with the mean galactocentric distance of the stars (Rmean), suggesting that those stars that originated in the inner Galaxy have fewer refractory elements relative to the volatiles. While the average Tc slope for planet-hosting solar analogs is steeper than that of their counterparts without planets, this difference probably reflects the difference in their age and Rmean. We conclude that the age and probably the Galactic birth place are determinant to establish the star’s chemical properties. Old stars (and stars with inner disk origin) have a lower refractory-to-volatile ratio.

AME - Asteroseismology Made Easy. Estimating stellar properties by use of scaled models

We present a new method to obtain stellar properties for stars exhibiting solar-like oscillations in an easy, fast, and transparent way. The method, called Asteroseismology Made Easy (AME), can determine stellar masses, mean-densities, radii, and surface gravities, as well as estimate ages. In this writing we present AME as a visual and powerful tool which could be useful; in particular in the light of the large number of exoplanets being found. AME consists of a set of figures from which the stellar parameters are deduced. These figures are made from a grid of stellar evolutionary models that cover masses ranging from 0.7 Msun to 1.6 Msun in steps of 0.1 Msun and metallicities in the interval -0.3 dex <= [Fe/H] <= +0.3 dex in increments of 0.1 dex. The stellar evolutionary models are computed using the Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) code with simple input physics. We have compared the results from AME with results for three groups of stars; stars with radii determined from interferometry (and measured parallaxes), stars with radii determined from measurements of their parallaxes (and calculated angular diameters), and stars with results based on the modelling of their individual oscillation frequencies. We find that a comparison of the radii from interferometry to those from AME yield a weighted mean of the fractional differences of just 2%. This is also the level of deviation that we find when we compare the parallax-based radii to the radii determined from AME. The comparison between independently determined stellar parameters and those found using AME show that our method can provide reliable stellar masses, radii, and ages, with median uncertainties in the order of 4%, 2%, and 25% respectively.

The Stagger-grid: A grid of 3D stellar atmosphere models - V. Fe line shapes, shifts and asymmetries

We present a theoretical study of the effects and signatures of realistic velocity field and atmospheric inhomogeneities associated with convective motions at the surface of cool late-type stars on the emergent profiles of iron spectral lines for a large range in stellar parameters. We compute 3D spectral line flux profiles under the assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) by employing state-of-the-art, time-dependent, 3D, radiative-hydrodynamical atmosphere models from the Stagger-grid. A set of 35 real unblended, optical FeI and FeII lines of varying excitation potential are considered. Additionally, fictitious Fe i and Fe ii lines (5000A and 0, 2, 4 eV) are used to construct general curves of growth and enable comparison of line profiles with the same line strength to illustrate systematical trends stemming from the intrinsic structural differences among 3D model atmospheres with different stellar parameters. Theoretical line shifts and bisectors are derived to analyze the shapes, shifts, and asymmetries imprinted in the full 3D line profiles emerging self-consistently from the convective simulations with velocity fields and atmospheric inhomogeneities. We find systematic variations in line strength, shift, width, and bisectors, that can be related to the respective physical conditions at the height of the line formation in the stellar atmospheric environment, in particular the amplitude of the vertical velocity field. Line shifts and asymmetries arise due to the presence of convective velocities and the granulation pattern that are ubiquitously found in observed stellar spectra of cool stars.

Grid-based seismic modelling at high and low signal-to-noise ratios HD 181420 and HD 175272

Context: Recently, the CoRoT target HD 175272 (F5V), which shows a weak signal of solar-like oscillations, was modelled by a differential asteroseismic analysis (Ozel et al. 2013) relative to a seismically similar star, HD 181420 (F2V), for which there is a clear signature of solar-like oscillations. The results provided by Ozel et al. (2013) indicate the possibility of HD 175272 having subsolar mass, while being of the order of 1000 K hotter than the Sun. This seems unphysical — standard stellar evolution theory generally does not predict solar-metallicity stars of subsolar mass to be hotter than about 6000K — and calls for a reanalysis of this star. Aims: We aim to compare the performance of differential asteroseismic analysis with that of grid-based modelling. Methods: We use two sets of stellar model grids and two grid-fitting methods to model HD 175272 and HD 181420. Results: We find that we are able to model both stars with parameters that are both mutually compatible and comparable with other modelling efforts. Hence, with modest spectroscopic and asteroseismic inputs, we obtain reasonable estimates of stellar parameters. In the case of HD 175272, the uncertainties of the stellar parameters from our grid-based modelling are smaller, and hence more physical, than those reported in the differential analysis. Conclusions: Grid-based modelling provides more precise and more realistic results than obtained with differential seismology.

Stroemgren survey for Asteroseismology and Galactic Archaeology: let the SAGA begin

Asteroseismology has the capability of precisely determining stellar properties which would otherwise be inaccessible, such as radii, masses and thus ages of stars. When coupling this information with classical determinations of stellar parameters, such as metallicities, effective temperatures and angular diameters, powerful new diagnostics for Galactic studies can be obtained. The ongoing Stroemgren survey for Asteroseismology and Galactic Archaeology (SAGA) has the goal of transforming the Kepler field into a new benchmark for Galactic studies, similarly to the solar neighborhood. Here we present first results from a stripe centred at Galactic longitude 74deg and covering latitude from about 8 to 20deg, which includes almost 1000 K-giants with seismic information and the benchmark open cluster NGC 6819. We describe the coupling of classical and seismic parameters, the accuracy as well as the caveats of the derived effective temperatures, metallicities, distances, surface gravities, masses, and radii. Confidence in the achieved precision is corroborated by the detection of the first and secondary clump in a population of field stars with a ratio of 2 to 1, and by the negligible scatter in the seismic distances among NGC 6819 member stars. An assessment of the reliability of stellar parameters in the Kepler Input Catalogue is also performed, and the impact of our results for population studies in the Milky Way is discussed, along with the importance of an all-sky Stroemgren survey.

The Catalogue of Stellar Parameters from the Detached Double-Lined Eclipsing Binaries in the Milky Way

The most accurate stellar astrophysical parameters were collected from the solutions of the light and the radial velocity curves of 257 detached double-lined eclipsing binaries in the Milky Way. The catalogue contains masses, radii, surface gravities, effective temperatures, luminosities, projected rotational velocities of the component stars and the orbital parameters. The number of stars with accurate parameters increased 67 per cent in comparison to the most recent similar collection by Torres et al. (2010). Distributions of some basic parameters were investigated. The ranges of effective temperatures, masses and radii are $2750<T_{eff}$(K)$<43000$, $0.18<M/M_{\odot}<33$ and $0.2<R/R_{\odot}<21.2$, respectively. Being mostly located in one kpc in the Solar neighborhood, the present sample covers distances up to 4.6 kpc within the two local Galactic arms Carina-Sagittarius and Orion Spur. The number of stars with both mass and radius measurements better than 1 per cent uncertainty is 93, better than 3 per cent uncertainty is 311, and better than 5 per cent uncertainty is 388. It is estimated from the Roche lobe filling factors that 455 stars (88.5 per cent of the sample) are spherical within 1 per cent of uncertainty.

The Stagger-grid: A grid of 3D stellar atmosphere models - III. The relation to mixing length convection theory

We investigate the relation between 1D atmosphere models that rely on the mixing length theory and models based on full 3D radiative hydrodynamic (RHD) calculations to describe convection in the envelopes of late-type stars. The adiabatic entropy value of the deep convection zone, s_bot, and the entropy jump, {\Delta}s, determined from the 3D RHD models, are matched with the mixing length parameter, {\alpha}_MLT, from 1D hydrostatic atmosphere models with identical microphysics (opacities and equation-of-state). We also derive the mass mixing length, {\alpha}_m, and the vertical correlation length of the vertical velocity, C[v_z,v_z], directly from the 3D hydrodynamical simulations of stellar subsurface convection. The calibrated mixing length parameter for the Sun is {\alpha}_MLT (s_bot) = 1.98. For different stellar parameters, {\alpha}_MLT varies systematically in the range of 1.7 – 2.4. In particular, {\alpha}_MLT decreases towards higher effective temperature, lower surface gravity and higher metallicity. We find equivalent results for {\alpha}_MLT ({\Delta}s). Also, we find a tight correlation between the mixing length parameter and the inverse entropy jump. We derive an analytical expression from the hydrodynamic mean field equations that motivates the relation to the mass mixing length, {\alpha}_m, and find that it exhibits qualitatively a similar variation with stellar parameter (between 1.6 and 2.4) with a solar value of {\alpha}_m = 1.83. The vertical correlation length scaled with the pressure scale height yields for the Sun 1.71, but displays only a small systematic variation with stellar parameters, the correlation length slightly increasing with Teff. We derive mixing length parameters for various stellar parameters that can be used to replace a constant value. Within any convective envelope, {\alpha}_m and related quantities vary a lot.

The Stagger-grid: A grid of 3D stellar atmosphere models - III. The relation to mixing-length convection theory [Replacement]

We investigate the relation between 1D atmosphere models that rely on the mixing length theory and models based on full 3D radiative hydrodynamic (RHD) calculations to describe convection in the envelopes of late-type stars. The adiabatic entropy value of the deep convection zone, s_bot, and the entropy jump, {\Delta}s, determined from the 3D RHD models, are matched with the mixing length parameter, {\alpha}_MLT, from 1D hydrostatic atmosphere models with identical microphysics (opacities and equation-of-state). We also derive the mass mixing length, {\alpha}_m, and the vertical correlation length of the vertical velocity, C[v_z,v_z], directly from the 3D hydrodynamical simulations of stellar subsurface convection. The calibrated mixing length parameter for the Sun is {\alpha}_MLT (s_bot) = 1.98. For different stellar parameters, {\alpha}_MLT varies systematically in the range of 1.7 – 2.4. In particular, {\alpha}_MLT decreases towards higher effective temperature, lower surface gravity and higher metallicity. We find equivalent results for {\alpha}_MLT ({\Delta}s). Also, we find a tight correlation between the mixing length parameter and the inverse entropy jump. We derive an analytical expression from the hydrodynamic mean field equations that motivates the relation to the mass mixing length, {\alpha}_m, and find that it exhibits qualitatively a similar variation with stellar parameter (between 1.6 and 2.4) with a solar value of {\alpha}_m = 1.83. The vertical correlation length scaled with the pressure scale height yields for the Sun 1.71, but displays only a small systematic variation with stellar parameters, the correlation length slightly increasing with Teff. We derive mixing length parameters for various stellar parameters that can be used to replace a constant value. Within any convective envelope, {\alpha}_m and related quantities vary a lot.

Optically visible post-AGB/RGB stars and young stellar objects in the Small Magellanic Cloud: candidate selection, spectral energy distributions and spectroscopic examination

We have carried out a search for optically visible post-AGB candidates in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We used mid-IR observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope to select optically visible candidates with a mid-IR excess. We obtained low-resolution optical spectra for 801 candidates. After removing contaminants and poor quality spectra, the final sample comprised of 63 post-AGB/RGB candidates of A – F spectral type. Using the spectra, we estimated the stellar parameters: effective temperature, surface gravity and [Fe/H]. We also estimated the reddening and deduced the luminosity using the stellar parameters combined with photometry. Based on a luminosity criterion, 42 of these 63 sources were classified as post-RGB candidates and the remaining as post-AGB candidates. From the spectral energy distributions we found that 6 of the 63 post-AGB/RGB candidates have a circumstellar shell suggesting that they are single stars, while 27 of them have a surrounding disc, suggesting that they are binaries. For the remaining candidates the nature of the circumstellar environment was unclear. Variability is displayed by 38 post-AGB/RGB candidates with common variability types being the Population II Cepheids (including RV-Tauri stars) and semi-regular variables. This study has also revealed a new s-process enriched RV Tauri star (J005107.19-734133.3). From the numbers of post-AGB/RGB stars in the SMC, we were able to estimate evolutionary rates that are in good agreement with the stellar evolution models with mass loss in the post-AGB phase and re-accretion in the post-RGB phase. This study also resulted in a new sample of 40 luminous young stellar objects (YSOs) of A – F spectral type. Additionally, we also identified a group of 63 objects whose spectra are dominated by emission lines and in some cases, a UV continuum. These objects are likely to be either hot post-AGB/RGBs or luminous YSOs.

Optically visible post-AGB/RGB stars and young stellar objects in the Small Magellanic Cloud: candidate selection, spectral energy distributions and spectroscopic examination [Replacement]

We have carried out a search for optically visible post-AGB candidates in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We used mid-IR observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope to select optically visible candidates with a mid-IR excess. We obtained low-resolution optical spectra for 801 candidates. After removing contaminants and poor quality spectra, the final sample comprised of 63 post-AGB/RGB candidates of A – F spectral type. Using the spectra, we estimated the stellar parameters: effective temperature, surface gravity and [Fe/H]. We also estimated the reddening and deduced the luminosity using the stellar parameters combined with photometry. Based on a luminosity criterion, 42 of these 63 sources were classified as post-RGB candidates and the remaining as post-AGB candidates. From the spectral energy distributions we found that 6 of the 63 post-AGB/RGB candidates have a circumstellar shell suggesting that they are single stars, while 27 of them have a surrounding disc, suggesting that they are binaries. For the remaining candidates the nature of the circumstellar environment was unclear. Variability is displayed by 38 post-AGB/RGB candidates with common variability types being the Population II Cepheids (including RV-Tauri stars) and semi-regular variables. This study has also revealed a new s-process enriched RV Tauri star (J005107.19-734133.3). From the numbers of post-AGB/RGB stars in the SMC, we were able to estimate evolutionary rates that are in good agreement with the stellar evolution models with mass loss in the post-AGB phase and re-accretion in the post-RGB phase. This study also resulted in a new sample of 40 luminous young stellar objects (YSOs) of A – F spectral type. Additionally, we also identified a group of 63 objects whose spectra are dominated by emission lines and in some cases, a UV continuum. These objects are likely to be either hot post-AGB/RGBs or luminous YSOs.

Two spotted and magnetic early B-type stars in the young open cluster NGC2264 discovered by MOST and ESPaDOnS

Star clusters are known as superb tools for understanding stellar evolution. In a quest for understanding the physical origin of magnetism and chemical peculiarity in about 7% of the massive main-sequence stars, we analysed two of the ten brightest members of the ~10 Myr old Galactic open cluster NGC 2264, the early B-dwarfs HD47887 and HD47777. We find accurate rotation periods of 1.95 and 2.64 days, respectively, from MOST photometry. We obtained ESPaDOnS spectropolarimetric observations, through which we determined stellar parameters, detailed chemical surface abundances, projected rotational velocities, and the inclination angles of the rotation axis. Because we found only small (<5 km/s) radial velocity variations, most likely caused by spots, we can rule out that HD47887 and HD47777 are close binaries. Finally, using the least-squares deconvolution technique, we found that both stars possess a large-scale magnetic field with an average longitudinal field strength of about 400 G. From a simultaneous fit of the stellar parameters we determine the evolutionary masses of HD47887 and HD47777 to be 9.4+/-0.7 M0 and 7.6+/-0.5 M0. Interestingly, HD47777 shows a remarkable helium underabundance, typical of helium-weak chemically peculiar stars, while the abundances of HD47887 are normal, which might imply that diffusion is operating in the lower mass star but not in the slightly more massive one. Furthermore, we argue that the rather slow rotation, as well as the lack of nitrogen enrichment in both stars, can be consistent with both the fossil and the binary hypothesis for the origin of the magnetic field. However, the presence of two magnetic and apparently single stars near the top of the cluster mass-function may speak in favour of the latter.

 

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