Optical - Near Infrared Photometric Calibration of M-dwarf Metallicity and Its Application

Preprint English OPEN
Hejazi, Neda ; De Robertis, Michael M. ; Dawson, Peter C. (2015)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1088/0004-6256/149/4/140
  • Subject: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
    arxiv: Astrophysics::Galaxy Astrophysics | Astrophysics::Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics | Astrophysics::Earth and Planetary Astrophysics | Astrophysics::Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

Based on a carefully constructed sample of dwarf stars, a new optical-near infrared photometric calibration to estimate the metallicity of late-type K and early-to-mid-type M dwarfs is presented. The calibration sample has two parts; the first part includes 18 M dwarfs with metallicities determined by high-resolution spectroscopy and the second part contains 49 dwarfs with metallicities obtained through moderate-resolution spectra. By applying this calibration to a large sample of around 1.3 million M dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Two-Micron All Sky Survey, the metallicity distribution of this sample is determined and compared with those of previous studies. Using photometric parallaxes, the Galactic heights of M dwarfs in the large sample are also estimated. Our results show that stars farther from the Galactic plane, on average, have lower metallicity, which can be attributed to the age-metallicity relation. A scarcity of metal-poor dwarf stars in the metallicity distribution relative to the Simple Closed Box Model indicates the existence of the "M dwarf problem," similar to the previously known G and K dwarf problems. Several more complicated Galactic chemical evolution models which have been proposed to resolve the G and K dwarf problems are tested and it is shown that these models could, to some extent, mitigate the M dwarf problem as well.
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