AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 42 Nearby Stars: Binaries, Theory and the Future
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[42.08] Identifying Cool Brown Dwarfs and Subdwarfs in the Solar Neighborhood: Prospects for a Near-Infrared Proper Motion Survey

A.J. Burgasser (UCLA)

Low-temperature stars and brown dwarfs emit predominantly in the near-infrared, and recent wide-field surveys sampling these wavelengths (2MASS, DENIS, SDSS) have unveiled a vast repository of intrinsically faint objects, including large numbers of field brown dwarfs and members of two new spectral classes. On the other hand, proper motion surveys have been exceptionally efficient at uncovering both the nearest stars and stars with high intrinsic motions; i.e., halo/thick disk dwarfs and white dwarfs. Unfortunately, proper motion surveys are insensitive to faint stars and brown dwarfs as they have been conducted primarily at optical bands. I therefore make a case for a wide-field near-infrared proper motion survey that would detect the nearest cool stars and brown dwarfs in an efficient and photometrically unbiased manner. I demonstrate how the currently known population of field brown dwarfs are easily discernible in such a survey, and how substellar subdwarfs could potentially be found in substantial numbers. This survey could make use of existing catalog data as its first epoch. I also describe a straightforward NIR survey program using a 2Kx2K IR camera on a dedicated 1-2m class automated telescope. This somewhat more ambitious program could repeatedly scan the sky on a 6-month cycle, and would be useful for cool dwarf searches, general variability studies, searches for transits around late-type stars, and deep survey programs.

This research is supported by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF-01137.01 awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: adam@astro.ucla.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.