Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date



A sample of white dwarfs is selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 3 using their reduced proper motions, based on improved proper motions from combined SDSS and USNO-B data. Numerous SDSS and follow-up spectra (Kilic and coworkers) are used to quantify completeness and contamination of the sample; kinematicsmodels are used to understand and correct for velocity-dependent selection biases.A luminosity function is constructed covering the range 7 < Mbol < 16, and its sensitivity to various assumptions and selection limits is discussed. The white dwarf luminosity function based on 6000 stars is remarkably smooth and rises nearly monotonically to Mbol=15.3. It then drops abruptly, although the small number of low-luminosity stars in the sample and their unknown atmospheric composition prevent quantitative conclusions about this decline. Stars are identified that may have high tangential velocities, and a preliminary luminosity function is constructed for them.

Publication Title

The Astronomical Journal


Institute of Physics Publishing, Inc.

Grant or Award Name

National Science Foundation grant AST 03-07321