A second stellar color locus: A bridge from white dwarfs to M stars

Vernesa Smolčić, Željko Ivezić, Gillian R. Knapp, Robert H. Lupton, Krešimir Pavlovski, Saša Ilijić, David Schlegel, J. Allyn Smith, Peregrine M. McGehee, Nicole M. Silvestri, Suzanne L. Hawley, Constance Rockosi, James E. Gunn, Michael A. Strauss, Xiaohui Fan, Daniel Eisenstein, Hugh Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We report the discovery of a locus of binary stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) g-r versus u-g color-color diagram that connects the colors of white dwarfs and M dwarfs. While its contrast with respect to the main stellar locus is only ∼1 : 2300, this previously unrecognized feature includes 863 stars from the SDSS Data Release 1 (DR1). The position and shape of the feature are in good agreement with predictions of a simple binary star model that consists of a white dwarf and an M dwarf, with the components' luminosity ratio controlling the position along this binary system locus. SDSS DR1 spectra for 47 of these objects strongly support this model. The absolute magnitude-color distribution inferred for the white dwarf component is in good agreement with the models of Bergeron et al.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L141-L144
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Nov 10 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Binaries: general
  • Galaxy: stellar content
  • Stars: statistics
  • White dwarfs


Dive into the research topics of 'A second stellar color locus: A bridge from white dwarfs to M stars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this