Journal Article

Trumpeting M dwarfs with CONCH-SHELL: a catalogue of nearby cool host-stars for habitable exoplanets and life

E. Gaidos, A. W. Mann, S. Lépine, A. Buccino, D. James, M. Ansdell, R. Petrucci, P. Mauas and E. J. Hilton

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 443, issue 3, pages 2561-2578
ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2014 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Trumpeting M dwarfs with CONCH-SHELL: a catalogue of nearby cool host-stars for habitable exoplanets and life

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We present an all-sky catalogue of 2970 nearby (d ≲ 50 pc), bright (J < 9) M- or late K-type dwarf stars, 86 per cent of which have been confirmed by spectroscopy. This catalogue will be useful for searches for Earth-size and possibly Earth-like planets by future space-based transit missions and ground-based infrared Doppler radial velocity surveys. Stars were selected from the SUPERBLINK proper motion catalogue according to absolute magnitudes, spectra, or a combination of reduced proper motions and photometric colours. From our spectra, we determined gravity-sensitive indices, and identified and removed 0.2 per cent of these as interloping hotter or evolved stars. 13 per cent of the stars exhibit Hα emission, an indication of stellar magnetic activity and possible youth. The mean metallicity is [Fe/H] = −0.07 with a standard deviation of 0.22 dex, similar to nearby solar-type stars. We determined stellar effective temperatures by least-squares fitting of spectra to model predictions calibrated by fits to stars with established bolometric temperatures, and estimated radii, luminosities, and masses using empirical relations. Six per cent of stars with images from integral field spectra are resolved doubles. We inferred the planet population around M dwarfs using Kepler data and applied this to our catalogue to predict detections by future exoplanet surveys.

Keywords: astrobiology; techniques: spectroscopic; planets and satellites: detection; stars: fundamental parameters; stars: late-type; stars: low-mass

Journal Article.  14175 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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