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Evolution of interacting binaries with a B type primary at birth
We revisited the analytical expression for the mass ratio distributionfor non-evolved binaries with a B type primary. Selection effectsgoverning the observations were taken into account in order to comparetheory with observations. Theory was optimized so as to fit best withthe observed q-distribution of SB1s and SB2s. The accuracy of thistheoretical mass ratio distribution function is severely hindered by theuncertainties on the observations. We present a library of evolutionarycomputations for binaries with a B type primary at birth. Some liberalcomputations including loss of mass and angular momentum during binaryevolution are added to an extensive grid of conservative calculations.Our computations are compared statistically to the observeddistributions of orbital periods and mass ratios of Algols. ConservativeRoche Lobe Over Flow (RLOF) reproduces the observed distribution oforbital periods but fails to explain the observed mass ratios in therange q in [0.4-1]. In order to obtain a better fit the binaries have tolose a significant amount of matter, without losing much angularmomentum.

The Indo-US Library of Coudé Feed Stellar Spectra
We have obtained spectra for 1273 stars using the 0.9 m coudéfeed telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. This telescope feedsthe coudé spectrograph of the 2.1 m telescope. The spectra havebeen obtained with the no. 5 camera of the coudé spectrograph anda Loral 3K×1K CCD. Two gratings have been used to provide spectralcoverage from 3460 to 9464 Å, at a resolution of ~1 Å FWHMand at an original dispersion of 0.44 Å pixel-1. For885 stars we have complete spectra over the entire 3460 to 9464 Åwavelength region (neglecting small gaps of less than 50 Å), andpartial spectral coverage for the remaining stars. The 1273 stars havebeen selected to provide broad coverage of the atmospheric parametersTeff, logg, and [Fe/H], as well as spectral type. The goal ofthe project is to provide a comprehensive library of stellar spectra foruse in the automated classification of stellar and galaxy spectra and ingalaxy population synthesis. In this paper we discuss thecharacteristics of the spectral library, viz., details of theobservations, data reduction procedures, and selection of stars. We alsopresent a few illustrations of the quality and information available inthe spectra. The first version of the complete spectral library is nowpublicly available from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory(NOAO) via ftp and http.

High-Resolution Observations of Interstellar Ca I Absorption-Implications for Depletions and Electron Densities in Diffuse Clouds
We present high-resolution (FWHM~0.3-1.5 km s-1) spectra,obtained with the AAT UHRF, the McDonald Observatory 2.7 m coudéspectrograph, and/or the KPNO coudé feed, of interstellar Ca Iabsorption toward 30 Galactic stars. Comparisons of the column densitiesof Ca I, Ca II, K I, and other species-for individual componentsidentified in the line profiles and also when integrated over entirelines of sight-yield information on relative electron densities anddepletions (dependent on assumptions regarding the ionizationequilibrium). There is no obvious relationship between the ratio N(CaI)/N(Ca II) [equal to ne/(Γ/αr) forphotoionization equilibrium] and the fraction of hydrogen in molecularform f(H2) (often taken to be indicative of the local densitynH). For a smaller sample of sight lines for which thethermal pressure (nHT) and local density can be estimated viaanalysis of the C I fine-structure excitation, the average electrondensity inferred from C, Na, and K (assuming photoionizationequilibrium) seems to be independent of nH andnHT. While the electron density (ne) obtained fromthe ratio N(Ca I)/N(Ca II) is often significantly higher than the valuesderived from other elements, the patterns of relative nederived from different elements show both similarities and differencesfor different lines of sight-suggesting that additional processesbesides photoionization and radiative recombination commonly andsignificantly affect the ionization balance of heavy elements in diffuseinterstellar clouds. Such additional processes may also contribute tothe (apparently) larger than expected fractional ionizations(ne/nH) found for some lines of sight withindependent determinations of nH. In general, inclusion of``grain-assisted'' recombination does reduce the inferred ne,but it does not reconcile the ne estimated from differentelements; it may, however, suggest some dependence of ne onnH. The depletion of calcium may have a much weakerdependence on density than was suggested by earlier comparisons with CHand CN. Two appendices present similar high-resolution spectra of Fe Ifor a few stars and give a compilation of column density data for Ca I,Ca II, Fe I, and S I.

3D mapping of the dense interstellar gas around the Local Bubble
We present intermediate results from a long-term program of mapping theneutral absorption characteristics of the local interstellar medium,motivated by the availability of accurate and consistent parallaxes fromthe Hipparcos satellite. Equivalent widths of the interstellar NaID-line doublet at 5890 Å are presented for the lines-of-sighttowards some 311 new target stars lying within ~ 350 pc of the Sun.Using these data, together with NaI absorption measurements towards afurther ~ 240 nearby targets published in the literature (for many ofthem, in the directions of molecular clouds), and the ~ 450lines-of-sight already presented by (Sfeir et al. \cite{sfeir99}), weshow 3D absorption maps of the local distribution of neutral gas towards1005 sight-lines with Hipparcos distances as viewed from a variety ofdifferent galactic projections.The data are synthesized by means of two complementary methods, (i) bymapping of iso-equivalent width contours, and (ii) by densitydistribution calculation from the inversion of column-densities, amethod devised by Vergely et al. (\cite{vergely01}). Our present dataconfirms the view that the local cavity is deficient in cold and neutralinterstellar gas. The closest dense and cold gas ``wall'', in the firstquadrant, is at ~ 55-60 pc. There are a few isolated clouds at closerdistance, if the detected absorption is not produced by circumstellarmaterial.The maps reveal narrow or wide ``interstellar tunnels'' which connectthe Local Bubble to surrounding cavities, as predicted by the model ofCox & Smith (1974). In particular, one of these tunnels, defined bystars at 300 to 600 pc from the Sun showing negligible sodiumabsorption, connects the well known CMa void (Gry et al. \cite{gry85}),which is part of the Local Bubble, with the supershell GSH 238+00+09(Heiles \cite{heiles98}). High latitude lines-of-sight with the smallestabsorption are found in two ``chimneys'', whose directions areperpendicular to the Gould belt plane. The maps show that the LocalBubble is ``squeezed'' by surrounding shells in a complicated patternand suggest that its pressure is smaller than in those expandingregions.We discuss the locations of several HI and molecular clouds. Usingcomparisons between NaI and HI or CO velocities, in some cases we areable to improve the constraints on their distances. According to thevelocity criteria, MBM 33-37, MBM 16-18, UT 3-7, and MBM 54-55 arecloser than ~ 100 pc, and MBM 40 is closer than 80 pc. Dense HI cloudsare seen at less than 90 pc and 85 pc in the directions of the MBM 12and MBM 41-43 clouds respectively, but the molecular clouds themselvesmay be far beyond. The above closest molecular clouds are located at theneutral boundary of the Bubble. Only one translucent cloud, G192-67, isclearly embedded within the LB and well isolated.These maps of the distribution of local neutral interstellar NaI gas arealso briefly compared with the distribution of both interstellar dustand neutral HI gas within 300 pc.Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp:cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/411/447

Quantitative Stellar Spectral Classification. II. Early Type Stars
The method developed by Stock & Stock (1999) for stars of spectraltypes A to K to derive absolute magnitudes and intrinsic colors from theequivalent widths of absorption lines in stellar spectra is extended toB-type stars. Spectra of this type of stars for which the Hipparcoscatalogue gives parallaxes with an error of less than 20% were observedwith the CIDA one-meter reflector equipped with a Richardsonspectrograph with a Thompson 576×384 CCD detector. The dispersionis 1.753 Å/pixel using a 600 lines/mm grating in the first order.In order to cover the spectral range 3850 Å to 5750 Å thegrating had to be used in two different positions, with an overlap inthe region from 4800 Å to 4900 Å . A total of 116 stars wasobserved, but not all with both grating positions. A total of 12measurable absorption lines were identified in the spectra and theirequivalent widths were measured. These were related to the absolutemagnitudes derived from the Hipparcos catalogue and to the intrinsiccolors (deduced from the MK spectral types) using linear and secondorder polynomials and two or three lines as independent variables. Thebest solutions were obtained with polynomials of three lines,reproducing the absolute magnitudes with an average residual of about0.40 magnitudes and the intrinsic colors with an average residual of0.016 magnitudes.

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

3.4 Micron Feature on the Shoulder of Ice-Band Absorptions in Three Luminous Young Stellar Objects: IRAS 18511+0146, IRAS 21413+5442, and IRAS 04579+4703
An absorption feature at 3.4 μm has been detected in thelong-wavelength wing of the 3.1 μm H2O ice feature inthree young stellar objects: IRAS 18511+0146, IRAS 21413+5442, and IRAS04579+4703. The profile of the 3.4 μm absorption in IRAS 18511+0146has distinct subfeatures at 3.38, 3.41, and 3.48 μm and is notsimilar to those found in molecular clouds but is similar to those inthe diffuse interstellar medium, such as the lines of sight toward theGalactic center and Cyg OB2 12. Spectropolarimetry of the 3.4 μmfeature in IRAS 18511+0146 shows no excess polarization accompanying thefeature, which is consistent with the observation toward the Galacticcenter source IRS 7 by Adamson et al.The 3.4 μm absorption in IRAS18511+0146 probably occurs in the diffuse interstellar mediumintervening in the line of sight to the molecular cloud where theH2O ice absorption occurs. Furthermore, the 3.4 μmabsorption carrier seems to reside in a population of nonpolarizinggrains in the diffuse interstellar medium, physically separate fromother polarizing grains.

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

Wind variability of B supergiants. IV. A survey of IUE time-series data of 11 B0 to B3 stars
We present the most suitable data sets available in the InternationalUltraviolet Explorer (IUE) archive for the study of time-dependentstellar winds in early B supergiants. The UV line profile variability in11 B0 to B3 stars is analysed, compared and discussed, based on 16separate data sets comprising over 600 homogeneously reducedhigh-resolution spectrograms. The targets include ``normal'' stars withmoderate rotation rates and examples of rapid rotators. A gallery ofgrey-scale images (dynamic spectra) is presented, which demonstrates therichness and range of wind variability and highlights differentstructures in the winds of these stars. This work emphasises thesuitability of B supergiants for wind studies, under-pinned by the factthat they exhibit unsaturated wind lines for a wide range of ionization.The wind activity of B supergiants is substantial and has highly variedcharacteristics. The variability evident in individual stars isclassified and described in terms of discrete absorption components,spontaneous absorption, bowed structures, recurrence, and ionizationvariability and stratification. Similar structures can occur in stars ofdifferent fundamental parameters, but also different structures mayoccur in the same star at a given epoch. We discuss the physicalphenomena that may be associated with the spectral signatures. Thediversity of wind patterns evident likely reflects the role of stellarrotation and viewing angle in determining the observationalcharacteristics of azimuthally extended structure rooted at the stellarsurface. In addition, SEI line-synthesis modelling of the UV wind linesis used to provide further information about the state of the winds inour program stars. Typically the range, implied by the line profilevariability, in the product of mass-loss rate and ion fraction (mdotq_i) is a factor of ~ 1.5, when integrated between 0.2 and 0.9 v_infty ;it can however be several times larger over localised velocity regions.At a given effective temperature the mean relative ion ratios can differby a factor of 5. The general excess in predicted (forward-scattered)emission in the low velocity regime is discussed in terms of structuredoutflows. Mean ion fractions are estimated over the B0 to B1 spectralclasses, and trends in the ionic ratios as a function of wind velocityare described. The low values obtained for the ion fractions of UVresonance lines may reflect the role of clumping in the wind.

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

Catalogue of Apparent Diameters and Absolute Radii of Stars (CADARS) - Third edition - Comments and statistics
The Catalogue, available at the Centre de Données Stellaires deStrasbourg, consists of 13 573 records concerning the results obtainedfrom different methods for 7778 stars, reported in the literature. Thefollowing data are listed for each star: identifications, apparentmagnitude, spectral type, apparent diameter in arcsec, absolute radiusin solar units, method of determination, reference, remarks. Commentsand statistics obtained from CADARS are given. The Catalogue isavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcar?J/A+A/367/521

The proper motions of fundamental stars. I. 1535 stars from the Basic FK5
A direct combination of the positions given in the HIPPARCOS cataloguewith astrometric ground-based catalogues having epochs later than 1939allows us to obtain new proper motions for the 1535 stars of the BasicFK5. The results are presented as the catalogue Proper Motions ofFundamental Stars (PMFS), Part I. The median precision of the propermotions is 0.5 mas/year for mu alpha cos delta and 0.7mas/year for mu delta . The non-linear motions of thephotocentres of a few hundred astrometric binaries are separated intotheir linear and elliptic motions. Since the PMFS proper motions do notinclude the information given by the proper motions from othercatalogues (HIPPARCOS, FK5, FK6, etc.) this catalogue can be used as anindependent source of the proper motions of the fundamental stars.Catalogue (Table 3) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strastg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/365/222

ICCD Speckle Observations of Binary Stars. XXIII. Measurements during 1982-1997 from Six Telescopes, with 14 New Orbits
We present 2017 observations of 1286 binary stars, observed by means ofspeckle interferometry using six telescopes over a 15 year period from1982 April to 1997 June. These measurements constitute the 23dinstallment in CHARA's speckle program at 2 to 4 m class telescopes andinclude the second major collection of measurements from the MountWilson 100 inch (2.5 m) Hooker Telescope. Orbital elements are alsopresented for 14 systems, seven of which have had no previouslypublished orbital analyses.

Feasibility study of an absolute energy calibration of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes by starlight
A new method is presented for an absolute energy calibration of imagingatmospheric Cherenkov telescopes as a whole instrument at all relevantwavelengths. For this study the Cherenkov telescope #1 of the HEGRAexperiment was used. The calibration was carried out by detecting thelight of different selected stars during one night. From the data asimple linear correlation was derived between the anode current of theCherenkov camera photomultiplier tubes and the incident photon flux.This result is important for the imaging air Cherenkov technique inseveral aspects: The method enables to determine the response functionof Cherenkov telescopes in the energetic range of Cherenkov lightquickly and reliably. Therefore it can be used as an atmosphericcalorimeter by measuring the absolute integrated flux of Cherenkovphotons. Moreover, the signal of a point run can be predicted and asimulation of the apparatus response can be carried out more reliably.The High Energy Gamma Ray Astronomy experiment is operated on La Palma(Canary Island) by the HEGRA collaboration formed by the University ofHamburg, Max-Planck Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Universityof Kiel, University of Madrid, Max-Planck Institut für Physik,Munich, University of Wuppertal and the Yerevan Physics Institute.

A search for nonthermal radio emission from OB and WR stars with RATAN-600
We have searched for nonthermal radio emission from 40 OB and WR stars.Enhanced nonthermal radio emission from an early-type star could beevidence for the presence of a collapsed companion, and thus for itsorigin as the result of a supernova explosion in a massive binary. Asshown in the evolutionary calculations of joint evolution of a neutronstar and a normal star in binaries (Lipunov & Prokhorov \cite{lp}),a considerable fraction of neutron stars in binary systems having anoptical companion must be in the ejector state. A neutron star in thisstate generates a relativistic wind like an isolated radio pulsar. Mostejectors in binary systems can not be identified as radio pulsarsbecause of absorption of radiowaves in the stellar wind of the normalcompanion, but instead, they may appear as sources of high-energy quantadue to the synchrotron radiation of relativistic particles (ejected bythe radio pulsar) in the magnetic field of a normal star (Lipunov &Prokhorov \cite{lp2}; Lipunov & Nazin \cite{naz}). In this case asource of nonthermal radiation in a wide range from radio to hardgamma-ray may appear as a result of a specific reflection effect in themagnetic field of the optical companion. Cyg X-3 and the periodicradioburster LS I +610303 may be examples of just this kind.To test this idea, measurements of radio flux densities in the rangefrom 0.96 to 21.7 GHz from selected OB and WR stars were made with theRATAN-600. No nonthermal radio emission from the selected stars weredetected.

Speckle Interferometry of New and Problem HIPPARCOS Binaries
The ESA Hipparcos satellite made measurements of over 12,000 doublestars and discovered 3406 new systems. In addition to these, 4706entries in the Hipparcos Catalogue correspond to double star solutionsthat did not provide the classical parameters of separation and positionangle (rho,theta) but were the so-called problem stars, flagged ``G,''``O,'' ``V,'' or ``X'' (field H59 of the main catalog). An additionalsubset of 6981 entries were treated as single objects but classified byHipparcos as ``suspected nonsingle'' (flag ``S'' in field H61), thusyielding a total of 11,687 ``problem stars.'' Of the many ground-basedtechniques for the study of double stars, probably the one with thegreatest potential for exploration of these new and problem Hipparcosbinaries is speckle interferometry. Results are presented from aninspection of 848 new and problem Hipparcos binaries, using botharchival and new speckle observations obtained with the USNO and CHARAspeckle cameras.

UBV beta Database for Case-Hamburg Northern and Southern Luminous Stars
A database of photoelectric UBV beta photometry for stars listed in theCase-Hamburg northern and southern Milky Way luminous stars surveys hasbeen compiled from the original research literature. Consisting of over16,000 observations of some 7300 stars from over 500 sources, thisdatabase constitutes the most complete compilation of such photometryavailable for intrinsically luminous stars around the Galactic plane.Over 5000 stars listed in the Case-Hamburg surveys still lackfundamental photometric data.

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

Diffuse interstellar bands in the spectra of massive young stellar objects
We have compared the B - V color excess, E(B - V), obtained for a sampleof five optically visible massive young stellar objects (YSOs) both fromdiffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in their spectra and from theiroptical continuum slopes. Our targets are HD 200775, BD+40.4124 deg, MWC1080, MWC 297 and MWC 349A. First, E(B - V) towards each of the targetsis derived by dereddening the observed continua to match those of B-typestandard stars. A survey of DIBs in the spectra of the massive YSOs, anda control field star, then reveals that the DIBs are significantlyweaker in the former than would be expected based on the total E(B - V)values. This result is strengthened by the finding that the DIBs in thecontrol field star, HD 154445, have on average the strength expectedfrom its continuum E(B - V). A rough estimate of the foregroundreddening of intervening diffuse interstellar medium shows it to besmaller than the DIB E(B - V), implying that at least part of the DIBcarriers are formed within the parental molecular clouds in which theYSOs are embedded. The DIB E(B - V) compares favorably with the totalE(B - V) towards BD+40.4124 deg, but is almost negligible in the line ofsight towards MWC 297. Despite this general, but not unexpected,deficit, we provide evidence that the DIB at 5849 A is a good tracer oftotal extinction in these lines of sight.

Flux Distributions for 59 Stars in Cygnus
Absolute flux distributions are given for 59 Cygnus stars in thespectral range of 320--720 nm with a step of 5 nm. Their rms errors areon the average 2--4%. The synthetic color indices calculated for theflux distributions are compared with the observed color indices in threephotometric systems.

UBV photometry of Be stars at Hvar: 1972--1990
A summary of results of the systematic UBV photoelectric monitoring ofbright northern Be stars carried out at the Hvar Observatory between1972 and 1990 is presented. Altogether, 76 Be stars of all luminosityclasses were observed and 13,848 UBV measurements secured.Simultaneously, 9,648 UBV measurements of 48 check stars (most of themof early spectral types) were obtained. A careful transformation of allobservations into the standard Johnson system allowed detection andmonitoring of even very mild long-term light and colour variations ofthese objects. Almost all early-type Be stars in the sample turned outto be variable. For several stars phase-locked light variations relatedto their binary nature were established. Sudden brightenings, on a timescale of a few days, were detected for o Cas and QR Vul. Tables 2 and 3are only available in electronic form at CDS via ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

A catalogue of [Fe/H] determinations: 1996 edition
A fifth Edition of the Catalogue of [Fe/H] determinations is presentedherewith. It contains 5946 determinations for 3247 stars, including 751stars in 84 associations, clusters or galaxies. The literature iscomplete up to December 1995. The 700 bibliographical referencescorrespond to [Fe/H] determinations obtained from high resolutionspectroscopic observations and detailed analyses, most of them carriedout with the help of model-atmospheres. The Catalogue is made up ofthree formatted files: File 1: field stars, File 2: stars in galacticassociations and clusters, and stars in SMC, LMC, M33, File 3: numberedlist of bibliographical references The three files are only available inelectronic form at the Centre de Donnees Stellaires in Strasbourg, viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (, or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

Synthetic Color Indices of Spectrophotometric Standards
Synthetic B--V color indices in the {\it WBVR photometric system for 11stars of 3 -- 4 mag, proposed as spectrophotometric standards, arecalculated for the mean energy distribution data from the Moscow andAlma-Ata spectrophotometric catalogs. Also, synthetic B--V color indicesin the same photometric system are obtained for 16 stars of 6 -- 7 magfrom the set of 60 spectrophotometric standards observed at theSternberg Institute Crimean Station. Both sets of spectrophotometricstandards demonstrate a good agreement between the synthetic andobserved color indices. The energy distribution of Vega is compared withthe mean energy distribution for A0 V-type stars. A pecularity of theenergy distribution of Vega in the ultraviolet range is discussed.

The ROSAT all-sky survey catalogue of optically bright OB-type stars.
For the detailed statistical analysis of the X-ray emission of hot starswe selected all stars of spectral type O and B listed in the Yale BrightStar Catalogue and searched for them in the ROSAT All-Sky Survey. Inthis paper we describe the selection and preparation of the data andpresent a compilation of the derived X-ray data for a complete sample ofbright OB stars.

Vitesses radiales. Catalogue WEB: Wilson Evans Batten. Subtittle: Radial velocities: The Wilson-Evans-Batten catalogue.
We give a common version of the two catalogues of Mean Radial Velocitiesby Wilson (1963) and Evans (1978) to which we have added the catalogueof spectroscopic binary systems (Batten et al. 1989). For each star,when possible, we give: 1) an acronym to enter SIMBAD (Set ofIdentifications Measurements and Bibliography for Astronomical Data) ofthe CDS (Centre de Donnees Astronomiques de Strasbourg). 2) the numberHIC of the HIPPARCOS catalogue (Turon 1992). 3) the CCDM number(Catalogue des Composantes des etoiles Doubles et Multiples) byDommanget & Nys (1994). For the cluster stars, a precise study hasbeen done, on the identificator numbers. Numerous remarks point out theproblems we have had to deal with.

An IUE survey of interstellar H I LY alpha absorption. 1: Column densities
We measure Galactic interstellar neutral hydrogen column densities byanalyzing archival interstellar Ly alpha absorption line data toward 554B2 and hotter stars observed at high resolution with the IUE satellite.This study more than doubles the number of lines of sight with measuresof N(H I) based on Ly alpha. We have included the scattered lightbackground correction algorithm of Bianchi and Bohlin in our datareduction. We use the correlation between the Balmer discontinuity(c1) index and the stellar Ly alpha absorption in order toassess the effects of stellar Ly alpha contamination. Approximately 40%of the B stars with measured (c1) index, exhibit seriousstellar Ly alpha contamination. One table contains the derived values ofthe interstellar N(H I) for 393 stars with at most small amounts ofstellar contamination. Another lists the observed values of total N(H I)for 161 stars with suspected stellar Ly alpha contamination and/oruncertain stellar parameters.

The local distribution of NA I interstellar gas
We present high-resolution absorption measurements (lambda/Delta lambdaapproximately 75,000) of the interstellar Na I D lines at 5890 A toward80 southern hemisphere early-type stars located in the localinterstellar medium (LISM). Combining these results with other sodiummeasurements taken from the literature, we produce galactic maps of thedistribution of neutral sodium column density for a total of 293 starsgenerally lying within approximately 250 pc of the Sun. These mapsreveal the approximate shape of the mid-plane contours of the rarefiedregion of interstellar space termed the Local Bubble. Its shape is seenas highly asymmetric, with a radius ranging from 30 to 300 pc, and withan average radius of 60 pc. Similar plots of the Galactic mid-planedistribution of sources emitting extreme ultraviolet radiation show thatthey also trace out similar contours of the Local Bubble derived from NaI absorption measurements. We conclude that the Local Bubble absorptioninterface can be represented by a hydrogen column density,NuETA = 2 x 1019 cm-2, which explainsboth the local distribution of Na I absorption and the observed galacticdistribution of extreme ultraviolet sources. The derived mid-planecontours of the Bubble generally reproduce the large-scale featurescarved out in the interstellar medium by several nearby galactic shellstructures.

Physical characteristics of close binary system components
An approximate approach for evaluating the mass of invisible satellitesof close binary systems with the mass-function f(M) much less than 1 issuggested. A possibility of using it is shown for 62 close binarysystems.

Reliable photometric reductions to the standard UBV (or uvby) system and accurate UBV magnitudes of bright standard stars from the northern part of the international Be program
A modified method of computer reduction of UBV (or uvby) photoelectricobservations to standard systems, which combines advantages of what hasso far been achieved in this area, is described in detail. A completereduction of over 46000 UBV observations obtained at Hvar Observatorybetween 1972 and 1991, and of nearly 5000 UBV observations secured atSkalnate Pleso Observatory between 1980 and 1987, was carried out usingthe new technique. It is argued that replacing the original Johnson'sUBV values for the non-variable stars that were observed by the meanvalues based on repeated observations over several years and applyingthe new reduction technique can ensure a stable reproduction of UBVmagnitudes, obviously quite close to the standard Johnson's ones, overmany years and from observatories situated at very different altitudesabove sea level within about 0.01mag in all three UBV magnitudes. A listof new accurate mean UBV values of 191 stars which were regularlyobserved at Hvar - and a part of them also at Skalnate Pleso - ascomparison, check and standard stars in the Be- and Ap-star observingprograms, is included for future use by photometric observers in theNorthern Hemisphere. For a number of these stars, we can guaranteesecular constancy within 0.mag01 during the past 5 to 15 years.

Ultraviolet FeIII lines in the spectra of high galactic latitude early-type stars
Using high resolution spectral data from the International UltravioletExplorer satellite, we present qualitative and quantitative comparisonsof blends of Fe III absorption lines in the region1890A<=λ<=1930A for a sample of fifteen high latitudeB-type and standard stars. Standard and halo stars were matched ineffective temperature and surface gravity using Stroemgren [c_1_] andHβ photometry, and LTE model atmosphere codes were used toinvestigate whether they had similar iron abundances. We conclude thatwhile most of the halo stars have Population I iron abundances and maybe young objects, one star, HD 177566, has significant iron and silicondepletions and is most probably an old, evolved star. In view of thecoincidence of the atmospheric parameters of this star with those ofyoung B-type stars, we consider a post-AGB evolutionary status to belikely for HD 177566.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:21h46m47.60s
Apparent magnitude:4.23
Distance:354.61 parsecs
Proper motion RA:0
Proper motion Dec:0
B-T magnitude:4.065
V-T magnitude:4.208

Catalogs and designations:
Proper NamesPennae Caudalis
Bayerπβ Cyg
Flamsteed81 Cyg
HD 1989HD 207330
TYCHO-2 2000TYC 3612-3062-1
USNO-A2.0USNO-A2 1350-14932060
BSC 1991HR 8335
HIPHIP 107533

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