A Deep Multicolor Survey. V. The M Dwarf Luminosity Function

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We present a study of M dwarfs discovered in a large-area, multicolor survey. We employ a combination of morphological and color criteria to select M dwarfs to a limiting magnitude in V of 22, the deepest such ground-based survey for M dwarfs to date. We solve for the vertical disk stellar density law and use the resulting parameters to derive the M dwarf luminosity and mass functions from this sample. We find that the stellar luminosity function peaks at M_V ~ 12 and declines thereafter. Our derived mass function for stars with M < 0.6 Msun is inconsistent with a Salpeter function at the 3 σ level; instead, we find that the mass function is relatively flat for 0.6 Msun > M > 0.1 Msun.



stars: late-type, stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs, stars: luminosity function, mass function


Paul Martini and Patrick S. Osmer, "A Deep Multicolor Survey. V. The M Dwarf Luminosity Function," The Astronomical Journal 116, no. 5 (1998), doi:10.1086/300605