Posts Tagged stellar parameters

Recent Postings from stellar parameters

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 [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.

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.

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.

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.

Comparison of photometric variability before and after stellar flares

The energy in the solar acoustic spectrum is known to be correlated with flares, but it is not known if the same is true for stellar flares? In order to answer this question, we have analyzed 73 flares in 39 solar-like stars. These flares were identified in the 854 solar-like stars observed by the Kepler spacecraft that have stellar parameters measured with asteroseismology. Though we were not able to identify a statistically significant enhancement of the energy in the high-frequency part of the post-flare acoustic spectra compared to the pre-flare spectra of these stars, we did identify a larger variability between the energy in the high-frequency part of the post- and pre-flare acoustic spectra compared to spectra taken at random times.

A new procedure for defining a homogenous line-list for solar-type stars [Replacement]

Context. The homogenization of the stellar parameters is an important goal for large observational spectroscopic surveys, but it is very difficult to achieve it because of the diversity of the spectroscopic analysis methods used within a survey, such as spectrum synthesis and the equivalent width method. To solve this problem, constraints to the spectroscopic analysis can be set, such as the use of a common line-list. Aims. We present a procedure for selecting the best spectral lines from a given input line-list, which then allows us to derive accurate stellar parameters with the equivalent width method. Methods. To select the lines, we used four very well known benchmark stars, for which we have high-quality spectra. From an initial line-list, the equivalent width of each individual line was automatically measured for each benchmark star using ARES, then we performed a local thermodynamic equilibrium analysis with MOOG to compute individual abundances. The results allowed us to choose the best lines which give consistent abundance values for all the benchmark stars from which we then created a final line-list. Results. To verify its consistency, the compiled final line-list was tested for a small sample of stars. These stars were selected to cover different ranges in the parameter space for FGK stars. We show that the obtained parameters agree well with previously determined values.

A new procedure for defining a homogenous line-list for solar-type stars

Context. The homogenization of the stellar parameters is an important goal for large observational spectroscopic surveys, but it is very difficult to achieve it because of the diversity of the spectroscopic analysis methods used within a survey, such as spectrum synthesis and the equivalent width method. To solve this problem, constraints to the spectroscopic analysis can be set, such as the use of a common line-list. Aims. We present a procedure for selecting the best spectral lines from a given input line-list, which then allows us to derive accurate stellar parameters with the equivalent width method. Methods. To select the lines, we used four very well known benchmark stars, for which we have high-quality spectra. From an initial line-list, the equivalent width of each individual line was automatically measured for each benchmark star using ARES, then we performed a local thermodynamic equilibrium analysis with MOOG to compute individual abundances. The results allowed us to choose the best lines which give consistent abundance values for all the benchmark stars from which we then created a final line-list. Results. To verify its consistency, the compiled final line-list was tested for a small sample of stars. These stars were selected to cover different ranges in the parameter space for FGK stars. We show that the obtained parameters agree well with previously determined values.

Accurate parameters of the oldest known rocky-exoplanet hosting system: Kepler-10 revisited [Replacement]

Since the discovery of Kepler-10, the system has received considerable interest because it contains a small, rocky planet which orbits the star in less than a day. The system’s parameters, announced by the Kepler team and subsequently used in further research, were based on only 5 months of data. We have reanalyzed this system using the full span of 29 months of Kepler photometric data, and obtained improved information about its star and the planets. A detailed asteroseismic analysis of the extended time series provides a significant improvement on the stellar parameters: Not only can we state that Kepler-10 is the oldest known rocky-planet-harboring system at 10.41 +/- 1.36 Gyr, but these parameters combined with improved planetary parameters from new transit fits gives us the radius of Kepler-10b to within just 125 km. A new analysis of the full planetary phase curve leads to new estimates on the planetary temperature and albedo, which remain degenerate in the Kepler band. Our modeling suggests that the flux level during the occultation is slightly lower than at the transit wings, which would imply that the nightside of this planet has a non-negligible temperature.

Accurate parameters of the oldest known rocky-exoplanet hosting system: Kepler-10 revisited [Replacement]

Since the discovery of Kepler-10, the system has received considerable interest because it contains a small, rocky planet which orbits the star in less than a day. The system’s parameters, announced by the Kepler team and subsequently used in further research, were based on only 5 months of data. We have reanalyzed this system using the full span of 29 months of Kepler photometric data, and obtained improved information about its star and the planets. A detailed asteroseismic analysis of the extended time series provides a significant improvement on the stellar parameters: Not only can we state that Kepler-10 is the oldest known rocky-planet-harboring system at 10.41 +/- 1.36 Gyr, but these parameters combined with improved planetary parameters from new transit fits gives us the radius of Kepler-10b to within just 125 km. A new analysis of the full planetary phase curve leads to new estimates on the planetary temperature and albedo, which remain degenerate in the Kepler band. Our modeling suggests that the flux level during the occultation is slightly lower than at the transit wings, which would imply that the nightside of this planet has a non-negligible temperature.

Accurate parameters of the oldest known rocky-exoplanet hosting system: Kepler-10 revisited

Since the discovery of Kepler-10, the system has received considerable interest because it contains a small, rocky planet which orbits the star in less than a day. The system’s parameters, announced by the Kepler team and subsequently used in further research, were based on only 5 months of data. We have reanalyzed this system using the full span of 29 months of Kepler photometric data, and obtained improved information about its star and the planets. A detailed asteroseismic analysis of the extended time series provides a significant improvement on the stellar parameters: Not only can we state that Kepler-10 is the oldest known rocky-planet-harboring system at 10.41 +/- 1.36 Gyr, but these parameters combined with improved planetary parameters from new transit fits gives us the radius of Kepler-10b to within just 125 km. A new analysis of the full planetary phase curve leads to new estimates on the planetary temperature and albedo, which remain degenerate in the Kepler band. Our modeling suggests that the flux level during the occultation is slightly lower than at the transit wings, which would imply that the nightside of this planet has a non-negligible temperature.

Asteroseismology of binary stars and a compilation of core overshoot and rotational frequency values of OB stars

After a brief introduction into the asteroseismic modelling of stars, we provide a compilation of the current seismic estimates of the core overshooting parameter and of the rotational frequency of single and binary massive stars. These important stellar parameters have meanwhile become available for eleven OB-type stars, among which three spectroscopic pulsating binaries and one magnetic pulsator. We highlight the potential of ongoing and future analyses of eclipsing binary pulsators as essential laboraties to test stellar structure and evolution models of single and binary stars.

The Evolution of Dusty Debris Disks Around Solar Type Stars

We used chromospheric activity to determine the ages of 2,820 field stars.. We searched these stars for excess emission at 22 um with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer. Such excess emission is indicative of a dusty debris disk around a star. We investigated how disk incidence trends with various stellar parameters, and how these parameters evolve with time. We found 22 um excesses around 98 stars (a detection rate of 3.5%). Seventy-four of these 98 excess sources are presented here for the first time. We also measured the abundance of lithium in 8 dusty stars in order to test our stellar age estimates.

MyGIsFOS: an automated code for parameter determination and detailed abundance analysis in cool stars

The current and planned high-resolution, high-multiplexity stellar spectroscopic surveys, as well as the swelling amount of under-utilized data present in public archives have led to an increasing number of efforts to automate the crucial but slow process to retrieve stellar parameters and chemical abundances from spectra. We present MyGIsFOS, a code designed to derive atmospheric parameters and detailed stellar abundances from medium – high resolution spectra of cool (FGK) stars. We describe the general structure and workings of the code, present analyses of a number of well studied stars representative of the parameter space MyGIsFOS is designed to cover, and examples of the exploitation of MyGIsFOS very fast analysis to assess uncertainties through Montecarlo tests. MyGIsFOS aims to reproduce a “traditional” manual analysis by fitting spectral features for different elements against a precomputed grid of synthetic spectra. Fe I and Fe II lines can be employed to determine temperature, gravity, microturbulence, and metallicity by iteratively minimizing the dependence of Fe I abundance from line lower energy and equivalent width, and imposing Fe I – Fe II ionization equilibrium. Once parameters are retrieved, detailed chemical abundances are measured from lines of other elements. MyGIsFOS replicates closely the results obtained in similar analyses on a set of well known stars. It is also quite fast, performing a full parameter determination and detailed abundance analysis in about two minutes per star on a mainstream desktop computer. Currently, its preferred field of application are high-resolution and/or large spectral coverage data (e.g UVES, X-Shooter, HARPS, Sophie).

Spectroscopic and physical parameters of Galactic O-type stars. II. Observational constraints on projected rotational and extra broadening velocities as a function of fundamental parameters and stellar evolution

Rotation is of key importance for the evolution of hot massive stars, however, the rotational velocities of these stars are difficult to determine. Based on our own data for 31 Galactic O stars and incorporating similar data for 86 OB supergiants from the literature, we aim at investigating the properties of rotational and extra line-broadening as a function of stellar parameters and at testing model predictions about the evolution of stellar rotation. Fundamental stellar parameters were determined by means of the code FASTWIND. Projected rotational and extra broadening velocities originate from a combined Ft + GOF method. Model calculations published previously were used to estimate the initial evolutionary masses. The sample O stars with Minit > 50 Msun rotate with less that 26% of their break-up velocity, and they also lack objects with v sin i < 50 km/s. For the stars with Minit > 35 Msun on the hotter side of the bi-stability jump, the observed and predicted rotational rates agree quite well; for those on the cooler side of the jump, the measured velocities are systematically higher than the predicted ones. In general, the derived extra broadening velocities decrease toward cooler Teff, whilst for later evolutionary phases they appear, at the same v sin i, higher for high-mass stars than for low-mass ones. None of the sample stars shows extra broadening velocities higher than 110 km/s. For the majority of the more massive stars, extra broadening either dominates or is in strong competition with rotation. Conclusions: For OB stars of solar metallicity, extra broadening is important and has to be accounted for in the analysis. When appearing at or close to the zero-age main sequence, most of the single and more massive stars rotate slower than previously thought. Model predictions for the evolution of rotation in hot massive stars may need to be updated.

Sounding stellar cores with mixed modes

The space-borne missions CoRoT and Kepler have opened a new era in stellar physics, especially for evolved stars, with precise asteroseismic measurements that help determine precise stellar parameters and perform ensemble astero seismology. This paper deals with the quality of the information that we can retrieve from the oscillations. It focusses on the conditions for obtaining the most accurate measurement of the radial and non-radial oscillation patterns. This accuracy is a prerequisite for making the best with asteroseismic data. From radial modes, we derive proxies of the stellar mass and radii with an unprecedented accuracy for field stars. For dozens of subgiants and thousands of red giants, the identification of mixed modes (corresponding to gravity waves propagating in the core coupled to pressure waves propagating in the envelope) indicates unambiguously their evolutionary status. As probes of the stellar core, these mixed modes also reveal the internal differential rotation and show the spinning down of the core rotation of stars ascending the red giant branch. A toy model of the coupling of waves constructing mixed modes is exposed, for illustrating many of their features.

The PLATO 2.0 Mission [Replacement]

PLATO 2.0 has recently been selected for ESA’s M3 launch opportunity (2022/24). Providing accurate key planet parameters (radius, mass, density and age) in statistical numbers, it addresses fundamental questions such as: How do planetary systems form and evolve? Are there other systems with planets like ours, including potentially habitable planets? The PLATO 2.0 instrument consists of 34 small aperture telescopes (32 with 25 sec readout cadence and 2 with 2.5 sec candence) providing a wide field-of-view (2232 deg2) and a large photometric magnitude range (4-16 mag). It focusses on bright (4-11 mag) stars in wide fields to detect and characterize planets down to Earth-size by photometric transits, whose masses can then be determined by ground-based radial-velocity follow-up measurements. Asteroseismology will be performed for these bright stars to obtain highly accurate stellar parameters, including masses and ages. The combination of bright targets and asteroseismology results in high accuracy for the bulk planet parameters: 2%, 4-10% and 10% for planet radii, masses and ages, respectively. The planned baseline observing strategy includes two long pointings (2-3 years) to detect and bulk characterize planets reaching into the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars and an additional step-and-stare phase to cover in total about 50% of the sky. PLATO 2.0 will observe up to 1,000,000 stars and detect and characterize hundreds of small planets, and thousands of planets in the Neptune to gas giant regime out to the HZ. It will therefore provide the first large-scale catalogue of bulk characterized planets with accurate radii, masses, mean densities and ages. This catalogue will include terrestrial planets at intermediate orbital distances, where surface temperatures are moderate. Coverage of this parameter range with statistical numbers of bulk characterized planets is unique to PLATO 2.0.

Variable rotational line broadening in the Be star Achernar

The main theoretical problem for the formation of a Keplerian disk around Be stars is how to supply angular momentum from the star to the disk, even more so since Be stars probably rotate somewhat sub-critically. For instance, nonradial pulsation may transport angular momentum to the stellar surface until (part of) this excess supports the disk formation/replenishment. The nearby Be star Achernar is presently building a new disk and offers an excellent opportunity to observe this process from relatively close-up. Spectra from various sources and epochs are scrutinized to identify the salient stellar parameters characterizing the disk life cycle as defined by H\alpha emission. Variable strength of the non-radial pulsation is confirmed, but does not affect the further results. For the first time it is demonstrated that the photospheric line width does vary in a Be star, by as much as \Delta v sin i \lesssim 35kms^{-1}. However, contrary to assumptions in which a photospheric spin-up accumulates during the diskless phase and then is released into the disk as it is fed, the apparent photospheric spin-up is positively correlated with the appearance of H\alpha line emission: The photospheric line widths and circumstellar emission increase together, and the apparent stellar rotation declines to the value at quiescence after the H\alpha line emission becomes undetectable.

The RAVE harvest: from the relation between abundances and kinematic of the Milky Way stars to tools for the abundance analysis of the spectra

RAVE is a spectroscopic survey of the Milky Way which collected more than 500,000 stellar spectra of nearby stars in the Galaxy. The RAVE consortium analysed these spectra to obtain radial velocities, stellar parameters and chemical abundances. These data, together with spatial and kinematic information like positions, proper motions, and distance estimations, make the RAVE database a rich source for galactic archaeology. I present recent investigations on the chemo-kinematic relations and chemical gradients in the Milky Way disk by using RAVE data and compare our results with the Besancon models. I also present the code SPACE, an evolution of the RAVE chemical pipeline, which integrates the measurements of stellar parameters and chemical abundances in one single process.

Stellar mass-loss near the Eddington limit. Tracing the sub-photospheric layers of classical Wolf-Rayet stars

Towards the end of their evolution hot massive stars develop strong stellar winds and appear as emission line stars, such as WR stars or LBVs. The quantitative description of the mass loss in these important pre-SN phases is hampered by unknowns such as clumping and porosity due to an in-homogeneous wind structure, and by an incomplete theoretical understanding of optically thick stellar winds. In this work we investigate the conditions in deep atmospheric layers of WR stars to find out whether these comply with the theory of optically thick winds, and whether we find indications of clumping in these layers. We use a new semi-empirical method to determine sonic-point optical depths, densities, and temperatures for a large sample of WR stars of the carbon (WC) and oxygen (WO) sequence. Based on an artificial model sequence we investigate the reliability of our method and its sensitivity to uncertainties in stellar parameters. We find that the WR stars in our sample obey an approximate relation with P_rad/P_gas~80 at the sonic point. This ‘wind condition’ is ubiquitous for radiatively driven, optically thick winds, and sets constraints on possible wind/envelope solutions affecting radii, mass-loss rates, and clumping properties. Our results suggest that the presence of an optically thick wind may force many stars near the Eddington limit to develop clumped, radially extended sub-surface zones. The clumping in these zones is most likely sustained by the non-linear strange-mode instability, and may be the origin of the observed wind clumping. The properties of typical late-type WC stars comply with this model. Solutions without sub-surface clumping and inflation are also possible but demand for compact stars with comparatively low mass-loss rates. These objects may resemble the small group of WO stars with their exceptionally hot stellar temperatures and highly ionized winds.

High Resolution Spectroscopy of M subdwarfs

M subdwarfs are metal poor and cool stars. They are important probes of the old galactic populations. However, they remain elusive due to their low luminosity. Observational and modeling efforts are required to fully understand the physics and to investigate the effect of metallicity in their cool atmo- spheres. We perform a detail study of a sample of subdwarfs to determine their stellar parameters and constrain the atmosphere models. We present UVES/VLT high resolution spectra of 21 M subdwarfs. Our atlas covers the optical region from 6400{\deg}A up to the near infrared at 10000{\deg}A. We show spectral details of cool atmospheres at very high resolution (R = 40 000) and compare with synthetic spectra computed from the recent BT-Settl atmosphere models. Our comparison shows that molecular features (TiO, VO, CaH), and atomic features (Fe, Ti, Na, K) are well fitted by current models. We produce an effective temperature versus spectral type relation all over the subdwarf spectral sequence.

Diffuse interstellar band at 8620 \AA\ in RAVE: A new method for detecting the diffuse interstellar band in spectra of cool stars

Diffuse interstellar bands are usually observed in spectra of hot stars, where interstellar lines are rarely blended with stellar ones. The need for hot stars is a strong limitation in the number of sightlines we can observe and the distribution of sightlines in the Galaxy, as hot stars are rare and concentrated in the Galactic plane. We are introducing a new method, where interstellar lines can be observed in spectra of cool stars in large spectroscopic surveys. The method is completely automated and does not require prior knowledge of the stellar parameters. If known, the stellar parameters only reduce the computational time and are not involved in the extraction of the interstellar spectrum. The main step in extracting interstellar lines is a construction of the stellar spectrum, which is in our method done by finding other observed spectra that lack interstellar features and are otherwise very similar to the spectrum in question. Such spectra are then combined into a single stellar spectrum template, which matches the stellar component in an observed spectrum. We demonstrate the performance of this new method on a sample of 482,430 spectra observed in RAVE survey. However, many spectra have to be combined (48 on average) in order to achieve a S/N ratio high enough to measure the DIB’s profile, hence limiting the spatial information about the ISM. Only one strong interstellar line is included in the RAVE spectral range, a diffuse interstellar band at 8620 \AA. We compare its equivalent width with extinction maps and with Bayesian reddening, calculated for individual stars, and provide a linear relation between the equivalent width and reddening. Separately from the introduced method, we calculate equivalent widths of the diffuse interstellar band in spectra of hot stars with known extinction and compare all three linear relations with each other and with relations from the literature.

New distances to RAVE stars

Probability density functions are determined from new stellar parameters for the distance moduli of stars for which the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) has obtained spectra with S/N>=10. The expectation value of distance is larger than the distance implied by the expectation of distance modulus; the latter is itself larger than the distance implied by the expectation value of the parallax. Our parallaxes of Hipparcos stars agree well with the values measured by Hipparcos, so the expectation of parallax is the most reliable distance indicator. The latter are improved by taking extinction into account. We provide one- two- or three-Gaussian fits to the distance pdfs. The effective temperature absolute-magnitude diagram of our stars is significantly improved when these pdfs are used to make the diagram. We use the method of kinematic corrections devised by Schoenrich, Binney & Asplund to check for systematic errors in our estimators for ordinary stars and confirm the conclusion reached from the Hipparcos stars that the most reliable distance indicator is the expectation of parallax. There is an indication that for cool dwarfs and low-gravity giants <varpi> tends to be larger than the true distance by up to 30 percent. The most satisfactory distances are for dwarfs hotter than 5500 K. We compare our distances to stars in 13 open clusters with cluster distances from the literature and find excellent agreement for the dwarfs and indications that we are over-estimating distances to giants, especially in young clusters. Taking extinction into account slightly improves results for cluster stars even though our derived extinctions scatter significantly within a cluster and in four clusters the mean extinction of clusters stars does not agree with the cluster’s literature value. Noise in the spectra dominates neither the uncertainty in distance nor the uncertainty in extinction.

Exploring the Milky Way stellar disk. A detailed elemental abundance study of 714 F and G dwarf stars in the Solar neighbourhood [Replacement]

ABRIDGED: METHODS: We have conducted a high-resolution spectroscopic study of 714 F and G dwarf and subgiant stars in the Solar neighbourhood. The star sample has been kinematically selected to trace the Galactic thin and thick disks to their extremes…… The determination of stellar parameters and elemental abundances is based on a standard 1-D LTE analysis using equivalent width measurements in high-resolution (R=40000-110000) and high signal-to-noise (S/N=150-300) spectra obtained with….. RESULTS: …. Our data show that there is an old and alpha-enhanced disk population, and a younger and less alpha-enhanced disk population. While they overlap greatly in metallicity between -0.7<[Fe/H]<+0.1, they show a bimodal distribution in [alpha/Fe]. This bimodality becomes even clearer if stars where stellar parameters and abundances show larger uncertainties (Teff<5400 K) are discarded, showing that it is important to constrain the data set to a narrow range in the stellar parameters if small differences between stellar populations are to be revealed. We furthermore find that the alpha-enhanced population has orbital parameters placing the stellar birthplaces in the inner Galactic disk while the low-alpha stars mainly come from the outer Galactic disk……….. We furthermore have discovered that a standard 1-D, LTE analysis, utilising ionisation and excitation balance of Fe I and Fe II lines produces a flat lower main sequence. As the exact cause for this effect is unclear we chose to apply an empirical correction. Turn-off, and more evolved, stars, appears to be un-affected.

Exploring the Milky Way stellar disk. A detailed elemental abundance study of 703 F and G dwarf stars in the Solar neighbourhood

AIMS: The aim of this paper is to explore and map the age and abundance structure of the stars in the nearby Galactic disk. Methods: We have conducted a high-resolution spectroscopic study of 703 F and G dwarf stars in the Solar neighbourhood. The star sample has been kinematically selected to trace the Galactic thin and thick disks to their extremes, the metal-rich stellar halo, sub-structures in velocity space such as the Hercules stream and the Arcturus moving group, as well as stars that cannot (kinematically) be associated with either the thin disk or the thick disk. The determination of stellar parameters and elemental abundances is based on a standard 1-D LTE analysis using equivalent width measurements in high-resolution (R=40000-110000) and high signal-to-noise (S/N=150-300) spectra obtained with FEROS, SOFIN, UVES, and MIKE. NLTE corrections for individual Fe I lines were employed in every step of the analysis. Results: We present stellar parameters, stellar ages, kinematical parameters, orbital parameters, and detailed elemental abundances for O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, Fe, Ni, Zn, Y, and Ba for 703 nearby F and G dwarf stars. Our data show there is an old and alpha-enhanced disk population, and then a younger and less alpha-enhanced disk population. While they greatly overlap in metallicity between -0.7<[Fe/H]<+0.1 they show a bimodal distribution in [alpha/Fe]. This bimodality becomes even clearer if stars that are more susceptible to uncertainties and NLTE effects are discarded, showing that it is important to constrain the data set to a narrow range in the stellar parameters if small differences between different stellar populations are to be revealed. We furthermore find that the alpha-enhanced population have orbital parameters placing their birthplaces in the inner Galactic disk while the low-alpha stars mainly come from the outer Galactic disk, abridged…

Rotation Periods, Variability Properties and Ages for Kepler Exoplanet Candidate Host Stars

We report rotation periods, variability characteristics, gyrochronological ages for ~950 of the Kepler Object of Interest host stars. We find a wide dispersion in the amplitude of the photometric variability as a function of rotation, likely indicating differences in the spot distribution among stars. We use these rotation periods in combination with published spectroscopic measurements of vsini and stellar parameters to derive the stellar inclination in the line-of-sight, and find a number of systems with possible spin-orbit misalignment. We additionally find several systems with close-in planet candidates whose stellar rotation periods are equal to or twice the planetary orbital period, indicative of possible tidal interactions between these planets and their parent stars. If these systems survive validation to become confirmed planets, they will provide important clues to the evolutionary history of these systems.

New and updated stellar parameters for 90 transit hosts. The effect of the surface gravity

Context. Precise stellar parameters are crucial in exoplanet research for correctly determining of the planetary parameters. For stars hosting a transiting planet, determining of the planetary mass and radius depends on the stellar mass and radius, which in turn depend on the atmospheric stellar parameters. Different methods can provide different results, which leads to different planet characteristics.}%Spectroscopic surface gravities have shown to be poorly constrained, but the photometry of the transiting planet can provide an independent measurement of the surface gravity. Aims. In this paper, we use a uniform method to spectroscopically derive stellar atmospheric parameters, chemical abundances, stellar masses, and stellar radii for a sample of 90 transit hosts. Surface gravities are also derived photometrically using the stellar density as derived from the light curve. We study the effect of using these different surface gravities on the determination of the chemical abundances and the stellar mass and radius. Methods. A spectroscopic analysis based on Kurucz models in LTE was performed through the MOOG code to derive the atmospheric parameters and the chemical abundances. The photometric surface gravity was determined through isochrone fitting and the use of the stellar density, directly determined from the light curve. Stellar masses and radii are determined through calibration formulae. Results. Spectroscopic and photometric surface gravities differ, but this has very little effect on the precise determination of the stellar mass in our spectroscopic analysis. The stellar radius, and hence the planetary radius, is most affected by the surface gravity discrepancies. For the chemical abundances, the difference is, as expected, only noticable for the abundances derived from analyzing of lines of ionized species.

On the Galactic chemical evolution of sulphur. Sulphur abundances from the [S i] 1082 nm line in giants

Context. The Galactic chemical evolution of sulphur is still under debate. At low metallicities some studies find no correlation between [S/Fe] and [Fe/H], others find [S/Fe] increasing towards lower metallicities, and still others find a combination of the two. Each scenario has different implications for the Galactic chemical evolution of sulphur. Aims. To contribute to the discussion on the Galactic chemical evolution of sulphur by deriving sulphur abundances from non-LTE insensitive spectral diagnostics in Disk and Halo stars with homogeneously determined stellar parameters. Methods. We derive Teff from photometric colours, logg from stellar isochrones and Bayesian estimation, and [Fe/H] and [S/Fe] from spectrum synthesis. We derive [S/Fe] from the [S i] 1082 nm line in 39 mostly cool and metal-poor giants, using 1D LTE MARCS model atmospheres to model our high-resolution NIR spectra obtained with the VLT, NOT and Gemini South telescopes. Results. We derive homogeneous stellar parameters for 29 stars. Our results argue for a chemical evolution of sulphur that is typical for alpha-elements, contrary to some previous studies. Our abundances are systematically higher by about 0.1 dex in comparison to other studies that arrived at similar conclusions using other sulphur diagnostics. Conclusions. We find the [S i] line to be a valuable diagnostic of sulphur abundances in cool giants down to [Fe/H] ~ -2.3. We argue that a homogeneous determination of stellar parameters is necessary, since the derived abundances are sensitive to them. Our results ([S/Fe]) show reasonable agreement with predictions of contemporary models of Galactic chemical evolution. In these models sulphur is predominantly created in massive stars by oxygen burning, and ejected in the ISM during Type II SNe explosions. Systematic differences with previous studies likely fall within modelling uncertainties.

Calibrations of Atmospheric Parameters Obtained from the First Year of SDSS-III APOGEE Observations

The SDSS-III Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) is a three year survey that is collecting 100,000 high-resolution spectra in the near-IR across multiple Galactic populations. To derive stellar parameters and chemical compositions from this massive data set, the APOGEE Stellar Parameters and Chemical Abundances Pipeline (ASPCAP) has been developed. Here, we describe empirical calibrations of stellar parameters presented in the first SDSS-III APOGEE data release (DR10). These calibrations were enabled by observations of 559 stars in 20 globular and open clusters. The cluster observations were supplemented by observations of stars in NASA’s Kepler field that have well determined surface gravities from asteroseismic analysis. We discuss the accuracy and precision of the derived stellar parameters, considering especially effective temperature, surface gravity, and metallicity; we also briefly discuss the derived results for the abundances of the alpha-elements, carbon, and nitrogen. Overall, we find that ASPCAP achieves reasonably accurate results for temperature and metallicity, but suffers from systematic errors in surface gravity. We derive calibration relations that bring the raw ASPCAP results into better agreement with independently determined stellar parameters. The internal scatter of ASPCAP parameters within clusters suggests that, metallicities are measured with a precision better than 0.1 dex, effective temperatures better than 150 K, and surface gravities better than 0.2 dex. The understanding provided by the clusters and Kepler giants on the current accuracy and precision will be invaluable for future improvements of the pipeline.

Three-dimensional simulations of near-surface convection in main-sequence stars - I. Overall structure

The near-surface layers of cool main-sequence stars are structured by convective flows, which are overshooting into the atmosphere. The flows and the associated spatio-temporal variations of density and temperature affect spectral line profiles and thus have an impact on estimates of stellar properties such as effective temperature, gravitational acceleration, and abundances. We aim at identifying distinctive properties of the thermodynamic structure of the atmospheres of different stars and understand their causes. We ran comprehensive 3D radiation hydrodynamics simulations of the near-surface layers of six simulated stars of spectral type F3V to M2V with the MURaM code. We carry out a systematic parameter study of the mean stratifications, flow structures, and the energy flux in these stars.\par Results: We find monotonic trends along the lower main sequence in granule size, flow velocity, and intensity contrast. The convection in the M-star models differs substantially from that of the hotter stars, mainly owing to the more gradual transition from convective to radiative energy transport. While the basic mechanisms driving surface convection in cool stars are the same, the properties of the convection vary along the main sequence. Apart from monotonic trends in rms velocity, intensity contrast, granule size, etc., there is a transition between "naked" and "hidden" granulation around spectral type K5V caused by the (highly non-linear) temperature dependence of the opacity. These variations have to be taken into account when stellar parameters are derived from spectra.

Three-dimensional simulations of near-surface convection in main-sequence stars - II. Properties of granulation and spectral lines

The atmospheres of cool main-sequence stars are structured by convective flows from the convective envelope that penetrate the optically thin layers and lead to structuring of the stellar atmospheres analogous to solar granulation. The flows have considerable influence on the 3D structure of temperature and pressure and affect the profiles of spectral lines formed in the photosphere. For the set of six 3D radiative (M)HD simulations of cool main-sequence stars described in the first paper of this series, we analyse the near-surface layers. We aim at describing the properties of granulation of different stars and at quantifying the effects on spectral lines of the thermodynamic structure and flows of 3D convective atmospheres. We detected and tracked granules in brightness images from the simulations to analyse their statistical properties, as well as their evolution and lifetime. We calculated spatially resolved spectral line profiles using the line synthesis code SPINOR. To enable a comparison to stellar observations, we implemented a numerical disc-integration, which includes (differential) rotation. Although the stellar parameters change considerably along the model sequence, the properties of the granules are very similar. The impact of the 3D structure of the atmospheres on line profiles is measurable in disc-integrated spectra. Line asymmetries caused by convection are modulated by stellar rotation. The 3D structure of cool stellar atmospheres as shaped by convective flows has to be taken into account when using photospheric lines to determine stellar parameters.

Modelling the asymmetric wind of the luminous blue variable binary MWC 314

We present a spectroscopic analysis of MWC 314, a luminous blue variable (LBV) candidate with an extended bipolar nebula. The detailed spectroscopic variability is investigated to determine if MWC 314 is a massive binary system with a supersonically accelerating wind or a low-mass B[e] star. We compare the spectrum and spectral energy distribution to other LBVs (such as P Cyg) and find very similar physical wind properties, indicating strong kinship. We combined long-term high-resolution optical spectroscopic monitoring and V-band photometric observations to determine the orbital elements and stellar parameters and to investigate the spectral variability with the orbital phases. We developed an advanced model of the large-scale wind-velocity and wind-density structure with 3-D radiative transfer calculations that fit the orbitally modulated P Cyg profile of He I lam5876, showing outflow velocities above 1000 km/s. We find that MWC 314 is a massive semi-detached binary system of ~1.22 AU, observed at an inclination angle of i=72.8 deg. with an orbital period of 60.8 d and e=0.23. The primary star is a low-vsini LBV candidate of m1=39.6 Msun and R1=86.8 Rsun. The detailed radiative transfer fits show that the geometry of wind density is asymmetric around the primary star with increased wind density by a factor of 3.3, which leads the orbit of the primary. The variable orientation causes the orbital modulation that is observed in absorption portions of P Cyg wind lines. Wind accretion in the system produces a circumbinary disc. MWC 314 is in a crucial evolutionary phase of close binary systems, when the massive primary star has its H envelope being stripped and is losing mass to a circumbinary disc. MWC 314 is a key system for studying the evolutionary consequences of these effects.

The Hamburg/ESO R-process Enhanced Star survey (HERES) VIII. The r+s star HE 1405 0822

Aims.The aim of this study is a detailed abundance analysis of the newly discovered r-rich star HE 1405 0822, which has [Fe=H]=-2.40. This star shows enhancements of both r- and s-elements, [Ba/Fe]= +1.95 and [Eu/Fe]=1.54, for which reason it is called r+s star. Methods.Stellar parameters and element abundances were determined by analying high-quality VLT/UVES spectra. We used Fe I line excitation equilibria to derive the e?ective temperature. The surface gravity was calculated from the Fei/Feii and Ti I/Ti II equilibria. Results.We determined accurate abundances for 39 elements, including 19 neutron-capture elements. HE 1405-0822 is a red giant. Its strong enhancements of C, N, and s-elements are the consequence of enrichment by a former AGB companion with an initial mass of less than 3 M_Sun. The heavy n-capture element abundances (including Eu, Yb, and Hf) seen in HE 1405-0822 do not agree with the r-process pattern seen in strongly r-process-enhanced stars. We discuss possible enrichment scenarios for this star. The enhanced alpha elements can be explained as the result of enrichment by supernovae of type II. Na and Mg may have partly been synthesized in a former AGB companion, when the primary 22^Ne acted as a neutron poison in the 13^C-pocket.

Physical properties of the eclipsing Delta Sct star KIC 10661783

KIC 10661783 is an eclipsing binary that shows Delta Sct-like oscillations. More than 60 pulsation frequencies have been detected in its light curve as observed by the Kepler satellite. We want to determine the fundamental stellar and system parameters of the eclipsing binary as a precondition for asteroseismic modelling of the pulsating component and to establish whether the star is a semi-detached Algol-type system. We measured the radial velocities of both components from new high-resolution spectra using TODCOR and compute the orbit using PHOEBE. We used the KOREL program to decompose the observed spectra into its components, and analysed the decomposed spectra to determine the atmospheric parameters. For this, we developed a new computer program for the normalisation of the KOREL output spectra. Fundamental stellar parameters are determined by combining the spectroscopic results with those from the analysis of the Kepler light curve. We obtain Teff, logg, vsini, and the absolute masses and radii of the components, together with their flux ratio and separation. Whereas the secondary star rotates synchronously with the orbital motion, the primary star rotates subsynchronously by a factor of 0.75. The newly determined mass ratio of 0.0911 is higher than previously thought and means a detached configuration is required to fit the light curve. With its low orbital period and very low mass ratio, the system shows characteristics of the R CMa-type stars but differs from this group by being detached. Its current state is assumed to be that of a detached post-Algol binary system with a pulsating primary component.

Fermi-LAT upper limits on gamma-ray emission from colliding wind binaries

Context: Colliding wind binaries (CWBs) are thought to give rise to a plethora of physical processes including acceleration and interaction of relativistic particles. Observation of synchrotron radiation in the radio band confirms there is a relativistic electron population in CWBs. Accordingly, CWBs have been suspected sources of high-energy gamma-ray emission since the COS-B era. Theoretical models exist that characterize the underlying physical processes leading to particle acceleration and quantitatively predict the non-thermal energy emission observable at Earth. Aims: We strive to find evidence of gamma-ray emission from a sample of seven CWB systems: WR 11, WR 70, WR 125, WR 137, WR 140, WR 146, and WR 147. Theoretical modelling identified these systems as the most favourable candidates for emitting gamma-rays. We make a comparison with existing gamma-ray flux predictions and investigate possible constraints. Methods: We used 24 months of data from the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on-board the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope to perform a dedicated likelihood analysis of CWBs in the LAT energy range. Results: We find no evidence of gamma-ray emission from any of the studied CWB systems and determine corresponding flux upper limits. For some CWBs the interplay of orbital and stellar parameters renders the Fermi-LAT data not sensitive enough to constrain the parameter space of the emission models. In the cases of WR140 and WR147, the Fermi-LAT upper limits appear to rule out some model predictions entirely and constrain theoretical models over a significant parameter space. A comparison of our findings to the CWB eta Car is made.

 

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