M dwarf spectra from 0.6 to 1.5 microns: A spectral sequence, model atmosphere fitting, and the temperature scale

J. Davy Kirkpatrick, Douglas M. Kelly, George H. Rieke, James Liebert, France Allard, Rainer Wehrse

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Abstract

Red/infrared (0.6-1.5 μm) spectra are presented for a sequence of well-studied M dwarfs ranging from M2 through M9. A variety of temperature-sensitive features useful for spectral classification are identified. Using these features the spectral data are compared to recent theoretical models, from which a temperature scale is assigned. The red portion of the model spectra provide reasonably good fits for dwarfs earlier than M6. For later types, the infrared region provides a more reliable fit to the observations. In each case, the wavelength region used includes the broad peak of the energy distribution. For a given spectral type, the derived temperature sequence assigns higher temperatures than have earlier studies - the difference becoming more pronounced at lower luminosities. The positions of M dwarfs on the H-R diagram are, as a result, in closer agreement with theoretical tracks of the lower main sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-654
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume402
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 10 1993

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Keywords

  • Stars: fundamental parameters
  • Stars: late-type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Kirkpatrick, J. D., Kelly, D. M., Rieke, G. H., Liebert, J., Allard, F., & Wehrse, R. (1993). M dwarf spectra from 0.6 to 1.5 microns: A spectral sequence, model atmosphere fitting, and the temperature scale. Astrophysical Journal, 402(2), 643-654.