Name/Affiliation: Neil Cook (University of Hertfordshire)
A Method for Identifying M dwarfs with Ultra Cool Companions in 2MASS and WISE
Locating unresolved ultra cool companions to M dwarfs is important to enable dynamical mass and transit radii tests of brown dwarf models, identifying warm exoplanets and, constraining planet formation models. The recent Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer all-sky/All-WISE data release combined with the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) provides unprecedented near-to-mid infrared multi-band coverage for all bright M dwarfs across the sky. We present an optimized method for identifying unresolved ultra cool companions to M dwarfs. We identify an all-sky sample of bright M dwarfs based on optical and near-infrared colors, reduced proper motion, with strict E(H-W2) constraints and near minus mid infrared photometric uncertainty less than 0.04. We hunt for evidence of mid infrared excess using comparison samples of M dwarfs selected from common near-infrared multi-color parameter-space. We also consider low resolution spectroscopic followup to further the selection process. The best candidates will be targeted with adaptive optics, radial velocities, and light curves (for transit) where appropriate. We present the method used and our preliminary candidates.