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We have developed a fully automated cluster characterization pipeline, which simultaneously determines cluster membership and fits the fundamental cluster parameters: distance, reddening, and age. We present results for 24 established clusters and compare them to literature values. Given the large amount of stellar data for clusters available from Gaia DR2 in 2018, this pipeline will be beneficial to analyzing the parameters of open clusters in our Galaxy.
IAU Commission 29 - Stellar Spectra has been one of the IAU commissions from the onset, until its dissolution at the most recent IAU General Assembly in Honolulu in 2015. This commission belonged to IAU Division G (“Stars and Stellar Physics”), the latter committed with fostering research in stellar astrophysics. Within the general field of stellar astrophysics, stellar spectroscopy plays a key role, as stellar spectra are a powerful tool providing a view into the detailed physical properties of stars and the physical processes occuring within them.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
Magnetic Doppler imaging (MDI) from observations of four Stokes parameters can uncover new information that is of interest to the evolution and structure of magnetic fields of intermediate and high-mass stars. Our MDI study of the chemically peculiar star HD 24712 from four Stokes parameter observations, obtained with the HARPSpol instrument at the 3.6-m ESO telescope, revealed a magnetic field with strong dipolar component and weak small-scale contributions. This finding gives evidence for the hypothesis that old Ap stars have predominantly dipolar magnetic fields.
Current knowledge about stellar magnetic fields relies almost entirely on circular polarization observations, with very few objects having been observed in all four Stokes parameters. We are investigating a sample of Ap stars in all four Stokes parameters using the HARPSpol instrument at the 3.6-m ESO telescope. In the context of this project we recently observed the magnetic Ap star HD 24712 (DO Eri, HR 1217). The resulting spectra have dense phase coverage, resolving power > 105, and S/N ratio of 300–600. These are the highest quality full Stokes observations obtained for any star other than the Sun. Furthermore, we have achieved good phase coverage for HD 125248 and HD 119419. Typical four Stokes parameters HARPSpol spectra are shown in Fig. 1. An analysis of the full Stokes vector spectropolarimetric data set of HD 24712 has been published in Rusomarov et al. (2013).
Accurate spectroscopic measurements of magnetic fields in low mass stars remain challenging because of their cool temperatures, strong line blending, and often fast rotation. This is why previous estimates were based either on the analysis of only a few lines or made use of some indirect techniques. This frequently led to noticeable scatter in obtained results. In this talk I will present and discuss new results on the determination of the intensity and geometry of the magnetic fields in M-dwarfs using IR observations obtained with CRIRES@VLT. The instrument provides unprecedented data of high resolution (R = 100 000) which is crucial for resolving individual magnetically broadened molecular and atomic lines. Such an in-depth analysis based on direct magnetic spectral synthesis opens a possibility to deduce both field intensity and geometry avoiding most of the limitation and assumptions made in previous studies.
We present the Milky Way Star Clusters (MWSC) survey based on 470 million stars extracted from the all-sky catalogues PPMXL and 2mass. The target list comprises 3784 entries and includes all open and globular clusters, as well as all cluster candidates, known at present. By means of a combined photometric/astrometric pipeline process, we determine individual membership probabilities for cluster stars and provide fundamental cluster parameters such as cluster centre coordinates, mean proper motions, radial velocity, distance, reddening, age and tidal radius. This sample includes ~ 700 clusters with fundamental parameters based on optical data and offers a good opportunity for a comparison of the near-infrared (NIR) and optical cluster distance scales. We find that distances and reddening values obtained from the colour–magnitude diagrams (CMDs) in the NIR agree well with earlier distance estimates based on optical CMDs. These newly obtained homogeneous distances, together with the other cluster parameters, allow us to study the properties of the open cluster population in the Galactic disk.
This Division IV was started on a trial basis at the General Assembly in The Hague 1994 and was formally accepted at the Kyoto General Assembly in 1997. Its broad coverage of “Stars” is reflected in its relatively large number of Commissions and so of members (1266 in late 2011). Its kindred Division V, “Variable Stars”, has the same history of its beginning. The thinking at the time was to achieve some kind of balance between the number of members in each of the 12 Divisions. Amid the current discussion of reorganizing the number of Divisions into a more compact form it seems advisable to make this numerical balance less of an issue than the rationalization of the scientific coverage of each Division, so providing more effective interaction within a particular field of astronomy. After all, every star is variable to a certain degree and such variability is becoming an ever more powerful tool to understand the characteristics of every kind of normal and peculiar star. So we may expect, after hearing the reactions of members, that in the restructuring a single Division will result from the current Divisions IV and V.
Commission 29 consists of members of the International Astronomical Union carrying out theoretical and observational studies of stars using spectroscopy, developing instrumentation for spectroscopy and producing and collecting data for interpretation of spectra.
The purpose of the Working Group on Ap and Related Stars (ApWG) is to promote and facilitate research about stars in the spectral type range from B to early F that exhibit surface chemical peculiarities and related phenomena. This is a very active field of research, in which a wide variety of new developments have taken place since 2009, as illustrated by the following selected highlights.
The Kepler satellite provides a unique opportunity to study the detailed optical photometric variability of late-type stars with unprecedentedly long (several year) continuous monitoring and sensitivity to very small-scale variations. We are studying a sample of over two hundred cool (mid-A - late-K spectral type) stars using Kepler long-cadence (30 minute sampling) observations. These stars show a remarkable range of photometric variability, but in this paper we concentrate on rotational modulation due to starspots and flaring. Modulation at the 0.1% level is readily discernable. We highlight the rapid timescales of starspot evolution seen on solar-like stars with rotational periods between 2 and 7 days.
Mercury-manganese (HgMn) stars were considered to be non-magnetic, showing no evidence of surface spots. However, recent investigations revealed that some stars in this class possess an inhomogeneous distribution of chemical elements on their surfaces. According to our current understanding, the most probable mechanism of spot formation involves magnetic fields. Taking the advantage of a newly-built polarimeter attached to the HARPS spectrometer at the ESO 3.6m-telescope, we performed a high-precision spectropolarimetric survey of a large group of HgMn stars. The main purpose of this study was to find out how typical it is for HgMn stars to have weak magnetic fields. We report no magnetic field detection for any of the studied objects, with a typical precision of the longitudinal field measurements of 10 G and down to 1 Gauss for some of the stars. We conclude that HgMn stars lack large-scale magnetic fields typical of spotted magnetic Ap stars and probably lack any fields capable of creating and sustaining chemical spots. Our study confirms that alongside the magnetically altered atomic diffusion, there must be other structure formation mechanism operating in the atmospheres of late-B main sequence stars.
The business meeting was attended by 23 members of the Commission. The meeting started at 16:00 a short report of the activities during the triennium 2006-2009. The focus of the activities was the sharing of expertise between spectroscopic techniques in various areas of astronomical research. In particular, the progress in instrumentation, detectors, data reduction, data analysis and archiving. The second activity was the analysis of to IAU meeting proposals followed by recommendations for improvements and eventually support. The sponsored symposia included Sponsoring symposia The Ages of Stars and The Disk Galaxy Evolution in the Cosmological Context. The Commission was also disseminating information about the Commission activities and relevant meetings to the Commission members. In this respect the Commission web page is playing a crucial role.
The active RS CVn star II Peg has been spectroscopically monitored for almost 18 years with the SOFIN spectrograph at NOT, La Palma, Spain. In this paper we present five new surface temperature maps of the object for the years 1999 (two maps), 2001 (one map) and 2002 (two maps).
We have carried out a comparative analysis of the evolution of integrated photometric parameters of young star-forming complexes in spiral and irregular galaxies and Galactic open clusters. We find that when the interstellar extinction is properly taken into account, the extragalactic complexes observed as giant Hii regions and open clusters in the Milky Way form a single evolutionary sequence of objects evolving at different stages.
The members of IAU Commission 29 Stellar Spectra are actively engaged in the quantitative analysis of spectra of various types of stars. With large and medium size telescopes equipped with high resolution spectrographs LTE and Non-LTE analysis of spectra of all types stars are being carried out. Spectra of stars in our Galaxy, in globular and open clusters, stars in LMC and SMC and in nearby galaxies are being studied. Accurate chemical composition analysis of various types of stars has been carried out during the past three years. Now the analysis of stellar spectra covers the wavelength range from X-ray region to IR and sub-millimeter range. Recently stellar spectra are being analysed using time-dependent, 3D, hydrodynamical model atmospheres to derive accurate stellar abundances.
The diversity of physical phenomena embraced by the study of Chemically Peculiar (CP) stars results in an associated research community with interests that are equally diverse. This fact became once more evident during the CP#Ap Workshop that took place in Vienna (Austria) in September 2007, and which gathered over 80 members of this research community. Besides the excellent scientific outcome of the meeting, during the workshop the community had the opportunity to discuss its organization and plans for the future. Following on those plans, the Working Group has submitted a proposal for a Joint Discussion during the IAU XXVII General Assembly, in Rio de Janeiro, which has meanwhile been accepted. Moreover, through an ApN newsletter forum, the Working Group has compiled requests from the community concerning atomic and related data. These requests have been put together and will be shared with Commission 14.
We will introduce a project using Magnetic Doppler Imaging (MDI) to create assumption-free vector magnetic field maps and chemical surface structure maps of chemically peculiar A and B type (or Ap) stars. We are exploiting the latest generation of spectropolarimeters (NARVAL at the Pic du Midi observatory, and ESPaDOnS at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope), to obtain high-resolution time series of Stokes IQUV spectra of a selection of Ap stars. The spectra have superior signal-to-noise ratio, resolution and wavelength coverage to those used previously. This combined with the ground-breaking inversion techniques introduced by Kochukhov et al. (2002) results in maps which represent the state-of-the-art in the field of stellar cartography. These maps will allow us to better understand the links between the magnetic field and the physical processes leading to the formation of chemical structures in the photosphere and allow us to address questions surrounding the detailed magnetic field geometry of Ap stars.