NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001A-0185

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Proposal Information for 2001A-0185


PI: Iain Neill Reid, University of Pennsylvania, inr@morales.physics.upenn.edu
Address: 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

CoI: Kelle Cruz, University of Pennsylvania
CoI: D. G. Monet, U.S. Naval Observatory, Flagstaff
CoI: J.E.Gizis, IPAC, Caltech
CoI: J. Liebert, Univ. of Arizona
CoI: J. D. Kirkpatrick, IPAC, Caltech

Title: Finding the neighbours

Abstract: We are engaged in a long-term project which combines 2MASS and POSS II data with other catalogues to complete the census of M and L dwarfs within 20 parsecs of the Sun. Our current program utilises two techniques to identify nearby dwarfs later than spectral type M5: a direct search of the 2MASS database for point sources with (J-K)>1.1 and appropriate JHK magnitudes; and cross-referencing Luyten's NLTT catalogue with 2MASS, using (m_r-K) as a luminosity calibrator. Based on our initial analyses, we expect to identify a sample of ~900 candidates accessible from KPNO with magnitudes in the range 14 < R < 22. We propose to use intermediate resolution spectroscopy to refine distance and luminosity estimates for those objects. Approximately two- thirds of the sample (and all of the NLTT dwarfs) can be observed with Goldcam on the 2.1-metre; for the remainder, we propose to use the R-C spectrograph on the 4-metre. Our aim is to confirm the spectral classification; derive improved distance estimates from bandstrength measurements; and characterise the level of chromospheric activity.


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