A first look at white dwarf-M dwarf pairs in the sloan digital sky survey

Sean N. Raymond, Paula Szkody, Suzanne L. Hawley, Scott F. Anderson, J. Brinkmann, Kevin R. Covey, P. M. McGehee, D. P. Schneider, Andrew A. West, D. G. York

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


We have identified 109 white dwarf (WD)-M dwarf pairs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) with g < 20th magnitude. For each system we determined the temperature of the WD primary and the spectral type of the M dwarf secondary. Using Hα emission as a proxy for the chromospheric activity level of the M dwarf, we investigated correlations between the activity level and properties of the system. Compared with field M dwarfs previously observed in the Palomar/MSU Survey, we see a slightly higher active fraction of early-type stars, with activity levels similar to the field. We have conducted follow-up observations at the ARC 3.5 m telescope to obtain radial velocity information and to search for short-period binaries that may be on the verge of interacting. We report on one system with a 4.1 hr period and several additional systems with significant velocity variations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2621-2629
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5 1769
StatePublished - May 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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