A Deep Multicolor Survey V: The M Dwarf Luminosity Function

Martini, P. and Osmer, P.S. 1998, AJ, 116, 2513

We present a study of M dwarfs discovered in a large area, multicolor survey. We employ a combination of morphological and color criteria to select M dwarfs to a limiting magnitude in V of 22, the deepest such ground-based survey for M dwarfs to date. We solve for the vertical disk stellar density law and use the resulting parameters to derive the M dwarf luminosity and mass functions from this sample. We find the stellar luminosity function peaks at M_V \sim 12 and declines thereafter. Our derived mass function for stars with M < 0.6 M_sun is inconsistent with a Salpeter function at the 3 sigma level; instead, we find the mass function is relatively flat for 0.6 M_sun > M > 0.1 M_sun.

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