Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach


Department of Physical Sciences

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date



A reduced proper motion diagram utilizing Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) photometry and astrometry and USNO-B plate astrometry is used to separate cool white dwarf candidates from metal-weak, high-velocity, mainsequence Population II stars (subdwarfs) in the SDSS Data Release 2 imaging area. Follow-up spectroscopy using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, the MMT, and the McDonald 2.7 m telescope is used to demonstrate that the white dwarf and subdwarf loci separate cleanly in the reduced proper motion diagram and that the contamination by subdwarfs is small near the cool white dwarf locus. This enables large, statistically complete samples of white dwarfs, particularly the poorly understood cool white dwarfs, to be created from the SDSS imaging survey, with important implications for white dwarf luminosity function studies. SDSS photometry for our sample of cool white dwarfs is compared to current white dwarf models.

Publication Title

The Astronomical Journal


Institute of Physics Publishing, Inc.