John Bochanski, MIT

Our 15 Million Nearest Neighbors: M Dwarfs & the Local Milky Way

I report on recent investigations into the properties of low-mass stars observed with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Low-mass stars, with masses less than 0.8 Solar masses, comprise about 70% of all stars, and have lifetimes much longer than the age of the Universe. This ubiquity and longevity make them ideal tracers of local Milky Way structure and kinematics. Using the largest spectroscopic and photometric samples of these stars ever constructed, we have pursued new statistical investigations into the properties of these stars, including their luminosity and mass functions and kinematic signatures.