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Title: Towards a complete census of young stars in the solar neighbourhood with SkyMapper
Authors: Simon J. Murphy, Michael S. Bessell

In this contribution we outline plans for identifying and characterising numerous young, low-mass stars within 150 pc of the Sun using the new SkyMapper telescope and Southern Sky Survey. We aim to learn more about the star formation history of the solar neighbourhood over the past 5-50 Myr, the dispersal processes involved, as well as testing pre-main sequence evolutionary models and the universality of the stellar Inital Mass Function. Searching for the dispersed halo of low-mass objects predicted to surround the Eta Chamaeleontis cluster will be one of the first goals of the project.

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Title: The Solar Neighbourhood. XX. Discovery and Characterisation of 21 New Nearby White Dwarf Systems
Authors: John P. Subasavage (1), Todd J. Henry (1), P. Bergeron (2), P. Dufour (3), Nigel C. Hambly (4), ((1) Georgia State University, (2) University of Montreal, (3) University of Arizona, (4) University of Edinburgh)

We present medium resolution spectroscopy and multi-epoch VRI photometry for 21 new nearby (< 50 pc) white dwarf systems brighter than V ~ 17. Of the new systems, ten are DA (including a wide double degenerate system with two DA components), eight are DC, two are DZ, and one is DB. In addition, we include multi-epoch VRI photometry for eleven known white dwarf systems that do not have trigonometric parallax determinations. Using model atmospheres relevant for various types of white dwarfs (depending on spectral signatures), we perform spectral energy distribution modelling by combining the optical photometry with the near-infrared JHK from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey to derive physical parameters (i.e., effective temperature and distance estimates). We find that twelve new and six known white dwarf systems are estimated to be within the NStars and Catalogue of Nearby Stars horizons of 25 pc. Coupled with identical analyses of the 56 white dwarf systems presented in Paper XIX of this series, a total of 20 new white dwarf systems and 18 known white dwarf systems are estimated to be within 25 pc. These 38 systems of the 88 total studied represent a potential 34% increase in the 25 pc white dwarf population (currently known to consist of 110 systems with trigonometric parallaxes of varying qualities). We continue an ongoing effort via CTIOPI to measure trigonometric parallaxes for the systems estimated to be within 25 pc to confirm proximity and further fill the incompleteness gap in the local white dwarf population. Another 38 systems (both new and known) are estimated to be between 25 and 50 pc and are viable candidates for ground-based parallax efforts wishing to broaden the horizon of interest.

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Groombridge 1830.kmz

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Title: On the age heterogeneity of the Pleiades, Hyades and Sirius moving groups
Authors: Benoit Famaey, Arnaud Siebert, Alain Jorissen

We investigate the nature of the classical low-velocity structures in the local velocity field, i.e. the Pleiades, Hyades and Sirius moving groups. After using a wavelet transform to locate them in velocity space, we study their relation with the open clusters kinematically associated with them. By directly comparing the location of moving group stars in parallax space to the isochrones of the embedded clusters, we check whether, within the observational errors on the parallax, all moving group stars could originate from the on-going evaporation of the associated cluster. We conclude that, in each moving group, the fraction of stars making up the velocity-space overdensity superimposed on the background is higher than the fraction of stars compatible with the isochrone of the associated cluster. These observations thus favour a dynamical (resonant) origin for the Pleiades, Hyades and Sirius moving groups.

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Images showing the size of the planets compared to the Sun, and the Sun compared with other stars.



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Title: Semi-Regular Variables in the Solar Neighbourhood
Authors: I. S. Glass, F. van Leeuwen

Period-luminosity sequences have been shown to exist among the Semi-Regular Variables (SRVs) in the Magellanic Clouds (Wood et al, 1999), the Bulge of the Milky Way galaxy (Glass & Schultheis, 2003) and elsewhere. Using modern period and revised Hipparcos parallax data, this paper demonstrates that they also appear among the M-giant SRVs of the Solar Neighbourhood. Their distribution in the K, log P diagram resembles that of Bulge stars more closely than those in the Magellanic Clouds. The prevalence of mass-loss among local M-type SRVs and its dependence on period and spectral sub-type are also discussed. K -- [12], a measure of circumstellar dust emission, increases clearly with V amplitude, M giant sub-type and log P.

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Title: The Solar Neighbourhood. XVIII. Discovery of new proper motion stars with 0.40 arcsec yr^-1 > mu >= 0.18 arcsec yr^-1 between declinations -90 degrees and -47 degrees
Authors: Charlie T. Finch (1), Todd J. Henry (1), John P. Subasavage (1), Wei-Chun Jao (1), Nigel C. Hambly (2), ((1) Georgia State University, (2) Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA), Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)

We report 1606 new proper motion systems in the southern sky (declinations -90 degrees to -47 degrees with 0.40 arcsec yr^-1 > mu >= 0.18 yr^-1. This effort is a continuation of the SuperCOSMOS-RECONS (SCR) proper motion search to lower proper motions than reported in Papers VIII, X, XII, and XV in this series. Distance estimates are presented for the new systems, assuming that all stars are on the main sequence. We find that 31 systems are within 25 pc, including two systems -- SCR 0838-5855 and SCR 1826-6542 -- we anticipate to be within 10 pc. These new discoveries constitute a more than ten-fold increase in new systems found in the same region of sky searched for systems with mu >= 0.40 arcsec yr^-1, suggesting a happy hunting ground for new nearby slower proper motion systems in the region just north (declinations -47 degrees to 0 degrees, much of which has not been rigorously searched during previous efforts.

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Astronomers have identified 20 new stellar systems in our local solar neighbourhood, including the twenty-third and twenty-fourth closest stars to the Sun. When added to eight other systems announced by this team and six by other groups since 2000, the known population of the Milky Way galaxy within 33 light-years (10 parsecs) of Earth has grown by 16 percent in just the past six years.

The discoveries were made by a group called the Research Consortium on Nearby Stars (RECONS), which has been using small telescopes at the National Science Foundation’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in the Chilean Andes since 1999. These new results will appear in the December 2006 issue of the Astronomical Journal.
The 20 newly reported objects are all red dwarf stars, which now comprise 239 of the 348 known objects beyond our Solar System within the 10-parsec boundary of the RECONS survey. Thus, red dwarfs likely account for at least 69 percent of the Milky Way’s residents.

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Title: Very Massive Close Binaries and the Puzzling Temporal Evolution of 14N in the Solar Neighbourhood
Authors: D. Vanbeveren, E. De Donder

Low metallicity very massive stars with an initial mass between 140 Mo and 260 Mo can be subdivided into two groups: those between 140 Mo and 200 Mo which produce a relatively small amount of Fe, and those with a mass between 200 Mo and 260 Mo where the Fe-yield ejected during the supernova explosion is enormous. We first demonstrate that the inclusion of the second group into a chemical evolutionary model for the Solar Neighbourhood predicts an early temporal evolution of Fe which is at variance with observations whereas it can not be excluded that the first group could have been present. We then show that a low metallicity binary with very massive components (with a mass corresponding to the first group) can be an efficient site of primary 14N production through the explosion of a binary component that has been polluted by the pair instability supernova ejecta of its companion. When we implement these massive binary 14N yields in a chemical evolution model, we conclude that very massive close binaries may be important sites of 14N enrichment during the early evolution of the Galaxy.

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