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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[42.01] White Dwarf-M Dwarf Close Binary Systems in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

N. M. Silvestri, S. L. Hawley, P. Szkody (U. Washington), SDSS Collaboration

Using photometric colors and spectra, we have identified over 400 white dwarf-M dwarf close binary systems in the SDSS database. We are in the process of performing followup observations of systems with the strongest Balmer emission on the ARC 3.5-m telescope as we suspect these pairs may be in a pre-cataclysmic variable phase of evolution. There has been much emphasis on the evolution of the white dwarf in these systems, but it is not really known how the binary environment influences the evolution of the M dwarf and whether the properties of the M dwarf are impacted by the presence of a white dwarf companion. From the followup spectroscopy, we have determined the physical properties of the M dwarf, the temperature, spectral type and rough age estimate of the white dwarf as well as the radial velocity and orbital period for several of these close binary systems. The physical properties and activity of the M dwarf and influence of the pre-CV system on M dwarf evolution are discussed.

This work is supported in part by NSF Grant AST02-05875.

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