NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2002B-0121

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Proposal Information for 2002B-0121


PI: I. Neill Reid, STScI, inr@stsci.edu
Address: 3900 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21053, USA

CoI: Kelle L. Cruz, University of Pennsylvania
CoI: J. Liebert, University of Arizona

Title: Meeting the Neighbours

Abstract: We are currently undertaking the first systematic, large-scale survey for nearby ultracool dwarfs, using 2MASS data to search for late- M and L dwarfs within 20 parsecs of the Sun. Follow-up observations of our JHK-selected sample have already identified 76 L dwarfs, including 40 new discoveries. 159 priority targets remain, including the faintest, reddest sources. These could double the number of L dwarfs in the sample as a whole, with a corresponding effect on the derived local number density. We propose to obtain observations of most of those targets in this proposal. We will use intermediate resolution optical spectroscopy to determine accurate distances and luminosities, as well as characterising the level of chromospheric activity. Our goal is a definitive determination of the luminosity function for late-M and L dwarfs, and hence a statistically robust derivation of the mass function across the hydrogen-burning limit.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2002B-0121

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