University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • 1601.03402

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.38 MB, PDF document

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2192-2208
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Early online date10 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


Locating ultracool companions to M dwarfs is important for constraining low-mass formation models, the measurement of substellar dynamical masses and radii, and for testing ultracool evolutionary models. We present an optimized method for identifying M dwarfs which may have unresolved ultracool companions. We construct a catalogue of 440 694 M dwarf candidates, from Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, Two Micron All-Sky Survey and Sloan Digital Sky Survey, based on optical- and near-infrared colours and reduced proper motion. With strict reddening, photometric and quality constraints we isolate a subsample of 36 898 M dwarfs and search for possible mid-infrared M dwarf + ultracool dwarf candidates by comparing M dwarfs which have similar optical/near-infrared colours (chosen for their sensitivity to effective temperature and metallicity). We present 1082 M dwarf + ultracool dwarf candidates for follow-up. Using simulated ultracool dwarf companions to M dwarfs, we estimate that the occurrence of unresolved ultracool companions amongst our M dwarf + ultracool dwarf candidates should be at least four times the average for our full M dwarf catalogue. We discuss possible contamination and bias and predict yields of candidates based on our simulations.


This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review. The version of record [N. J, Cook, et al, 'A method for selecting M dwarfs with an increased likelihood of unresolved ultracool companionship', MNRAS, Vol. 457(2): 2192-2208, February 2016] is available online at: Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

ID: 9947673