The northern census of M dwarfs within 100 pc, and its potential for exoplanet surveys

Authors

  • S. Lépine,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, USA
    2. Department of Physics, Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10016, USA
    • Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, USA
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  • E. Gaidos

    1. Department of Geology & Geophysics, University of Hawai'i, 1680 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
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Abstract

We present a new census of ∼ 100000 M dwarfs located within 100 pc of the Sun, identified in the SUPERBLINK proper motion survey. We show the new census to be >95 % complete to 50 pc, and >70 % complete to 100 pc. We discuss various subsamples which should be considered high-priority targets for exoplanet surveys. These include: (1) very bright M dwarfs amenable to high-precision radial velocity surveys, (2) young M dwarfs making promising targets for direct/coronagraphic imaging programs, and (3) late-type M dwarfs with small radii, which have strong potential for the detection of Earth-mass planets in transit surveys. We show that all three subsamples are well-represented in the census, and discuss magnitude and color ranges of possible targets, and additional observations which may be required to validate the targets for exoplanet surveys and filter out possible contaminants. We present results from an ongoing followup program, which has so far gathered low-resolution optical spectra for ∼ 8000 M dwarfs (including all within 20 pc, and those brighter than J = 9 mag), and already provides formal spectral classification and metallicity estimates for a significant number of high-priority targets. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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